Dulce de Belén

dulce de belen, cake, custard tart, ceres, vejer, vejer de la frontera,, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, food, illustration

This is a ‘Dulce de Belén’, a delicious custard tart which originates from Portugal, made by  Ceres, Vejer’s very best baker! 

Always nice to have a sweet treat at the end of a sketching session!

Frog Fountain

frog, fountain, plaza de espana, vejer, vejer de la frontera, vejer sketchers, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration

The Vejer Sketchers met up for the first time in months last Saturday. It was gorgeously sunny and we congregated in Vejer’s Plaza de España.

I chose a quick and simple subject; one of the water spouting ceramic frogs which forms part of the fountain.

And here we are posing with our sketches in front of said fountain!

vejer sketchers, vejer, plaza de espana

La Pinturera – Group Exhibition

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

Yolanda, the delightful proprietor of Vejer’s ‘La Pinturera‘ generously invited me and three other local artists to set up a group exhibition in her hair and beauty salon since she had a great deal of white wall space and the opportunities for sales would be high in the run up to Christmas.

Pinturera means swanky, so it’s quite apt!

We started in the window (left) with a mixture of all the participating artists’ work (below)….

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

…then each selected a space inside the salon to show our work individually:

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

My wall – above, me in the mirror

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

Chio adds the finishing touches to her wall of Vejer themed drawings.

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

Bryony’s ceramics in the foreground as she studies Laura’s paintings in the background.

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

Laura designed the poster, left and we set a date for the official opening…

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

 

Laura shows one of her beautiful sketchbooks, left…

…and below, Chio’s jewelry and sketches and my postcards…

art exhibition, group show, la pinturera, hairdressing salon, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, vejer, vejer de la frontera

I’m feeling very grateful to Yolanda for this wonderful opportunity to exhibit in such a lovely space alongside Chio, Laura and Bryony whose work I truly admire; they’re a great group of people. 

Corredera 55

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, facadeI was delighted to be commissioned to paint a pen and watercolour sketch style ‘portrait’ of the facade of the beautiful Corredera 55 restaurant in Vejer de la Frontera.

I worked from photos as there was an element of surprise involved in the project.

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, rough sketch, drawing, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

First I roughed out the composition by making a preliminary sketch (right).

The bike is part of the exterior decor!

Then I made a more careful drawing in pencil on 300gsm watercolour paper with deckled (hand torn) edges which I retraced loosely in waterproof pen (below).corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

Next came the watercolour painting…

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

And here’s the finished piece…(click on the image to enlarge)

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

With a couple of details singled out below…

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself in Vejer at any time of year the Corredera 55 restaurant is well worth a visit.

The food is a clever and delicious blend of the homely, exotic, luxurious and healthy; the wine list is extensive and expertly composed; the staff are incredibly warm and hospitable while at the same time being efficient and savvy; the outside terrace is sunny, shady and breezy with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside (Vejer’s perched on top of a steep hill, 200m above sea level); the interior is cosy and gorgeously crafted from reclaimed materials (by Retro Nuevo) and houses an extensive collection of Vejer themed paintings by local artists.

As the sign says Comer – Amar – Vivir  =  Eat – Love – Live

This is a delightful place full of loving touches.

 

Springtime Vejer

vejer de la frontera, springtime, vejer sketchers, pen and watercolour, sketch, watercolor

It was lovely to get out in the spring sunshine this Saturday morning with the Vejer Sketchers and capture this view of Vejer in pen and watercolour.

Tricky angle, hence the slanted sketchbook!

Sketch Workshop

arte vejer, sketch, workshop, drawing, castle, vejer de la frontera, artSome time ago Arte Vejer invited me to run an art workshop in their castle headquarters.

With no previous teaching experience I wasn’t sure what I could offer, then I remembered all the people who’d told me that they’d like to come out and draw with the Vejer Sketchers but are out of practice or lack confidence or find drawing stressful…or all of the above.

It then occurred to me that as a regular sketcher I do have some tips and tricks to share that could make the whole experience more fun and relaxed.

arte vejer, sketch, workshop, drawing, castle, vejer de la frontera, art

 

So having listed my tips and tricks in English and translated them into Spanish I had my workshop plan, and here we are discussing them.

 

arte vejer, sketch, workshop, drawing, castle, vejer de la frontera, art

 

The group then dispersed to sketch whatever caught their imagination and put some of the ideas into practice.

 

 

Feedback was very positive and I might very well run another workshop in the not too distant future.

I do truly believe that anyone can draw; it’s a matter of confidence, regular practice and being relaxed enough to shelve your expectations, to revel in the experiments your materials offer and to willingly ‘ruin’ those pristine paper sheets.

Recent Sketches

I’ve yet to find my New Year’s sketch rhythm but here are two pen and watercolour sketches I made during pre-Christmas outings.

san ambrosio, vejer, andalusia, drawing, water colour, sketch, pen and watercolourcadiz, oranges, orange tree, andalusia, moped, vespa, drawing, water colour, sketch, pen and watercolour

 

 

Hiking through San Ambrosio (left) from Vejer  it felt more like spring than midwinter….

…and the oranges shone like festive baubles in Cádiz (right)

 

 

 

Arte Vejer on the Move

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation,

Arte Vejer has certainly had a busy few weeks. The community group which promotes visual arts and creativity in the Vejer de la Frontera region has really been going for it as you’ll see and read below!

 

exhibition, poster, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts

 

What is a mobile art exhibition? You might well ask…I had no idea before taking part on Sunday 13th December.

It turned out to be as dynamic, colourful and festive a procession through the streets of Vejer as the poster promised.

 

 

castle, vejer, sol muniain, face painting, exhibition, poster, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts

 

 

Sol Muniain (right), a truly gifted artist and the inventor and driving force behind the Arte Vejer mobile art exhibition unlocks the door to the castle for a session of painting faces Picasso style prior to the procession.

 

 

face painting, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts

 

 

Sol paints the face of Ismael Virués, another dedicated Arte Vejer organiser and the banner bearing leader of the art parade.

 

 

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Having picked up the art works we were joined by a band of marching drummers and set off around town.

I was wearing a couple of my artworks as well as carrying one (right, centre); my cockerel skirt and my 2CV silk scarf

 

exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade

 

The drive and energy exuded by the marching drummers was amazing, especially when the parade passed through the narrowest alleyways and the rhythm really bounced off the walls.

 

exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade

 

 

 

It was also quite surreal to look back and see a view of Vejer within a view of Vejer.

 

 

 

plaza de espana, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade

 

 

We made several stops en route, here we are in the Plaza de España for a photo opportunity…..

 

arco de segur, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade, flamenco dancers

arco de segur, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade, flamenco dancers

 

 

 

…and enjoying being part of the back drop near the Arco de Segur within the old town walls for this, the first of several short flamenco dance ‘tablaos’ …

corredera, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade, flamenco dancers

 

 

 

 

 

…more flamenco dancing on La Corredera….

 

 

 

plaza san francisco, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade

 

 

….dancing to an African style drum troupe in La Plaza de San Francisco…

 

cow skull. limited edition print, exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, parade

 

 

…and returning to La Plazuela with tired and happy arms (and no, despite the crazed expression, I did not get arrested)….

 

 

exhibition, hotel convento san francisco, mobile exhibition, vejer, arte vejer, art, community art group, art promotion, visual arts, drummers, parade

 

 

…before replacing the artworks on the walls of the Hotel Convento San Francisco where they will rest, for sale, until January 10th 2016.

 

I was delighted to have my artwork accepted for the mobile exhibition and feel priviledged to have taken part in such an extraordinary event. Many thanks again to Arte Vejer for the huge amount of work and good will which went into coordinating all the art forms so beautifully and happily.

Click here to see yet more photos of the event on facebook, thanks to Jackie Cornwall.

And there’s even more:

painting, art, competition, young, artist, vejer, arte vejer, vejer de la frontera, concurso, pintura

 

On the 29th November Arte Vejer staged the first ever painting competition for young artists in Vejer.

I was honoured to be invited to join the judging panel and was really impressed by the high standard of the artworks produced.

 

 

plaza de espana, painting, art, competition, young, artist, vejer, arte vejer, vejer de la frontera, concurso, pintura

 

 

About 30 participants signed up to the competition in Vejer’s beautiful Plaza de España and then dispersed to various parts of the charming old town to work on their paintings and drawings for several hours.

 

 

Click here to see photos of the event and the impressive range of artworks; the overall winner has her painting included in the (previously mobile) Arte Vejer exhibition in the Hotel Convento San Francisco and the other prize winning works are currently displayed in La Bodeguita, a local bar.

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

 

The 6th December was pueblo abierto (open village) day for Vejer, which coincided with the ruta de tapas. Arte Vejer celebrated its recent allocation of a room in the castle by the town council by mounting an exhibition of members’ work there and including the non-prize winning works from the young artist painting competition.

 

 

 

water colour, sketch, pen and watercolour, vejer sketcher, castle, patio, andaluciaI made this pen and watercolour sketch (right) of the castle patio while sitting on the doorstep of Arte Vejer’s room and then went up to the ramparts to make an abstract watercolour sketch (below) inspired by the lichen which adorns many roofs and walls in the old town.

water colour, sketch, lichen, abstract

As well as an exhibition space the castle room will be used as a venue for creative workshops. I’m planning to host one early in 2016 for adult sketchers who are a bit rusty and lack the confidence to come and draw with the Vejer Sketchers group.

If that’s you, please get in touch!

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

Beach Walk Sketches

I don’t usually remember to pack my sketch book and paints when I head out for a stroll along the beach in El Palmar but there was something in the gentle sunshine this Monday afternoon that reminded me…cows, vacas, el palmar, andalucia, vejer de la frontera,, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, drawing

I didn’t quite manage to capture the beauty of these Retinto cows in my pen and wash sketch above…

beach, sand dunes, playa, el palmar, andalucia, vejer de la frontera,, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, drawing

…but there’s a softness that I like in this deserted beach scene painted with sea water

Rainy Day Sketches

andalucia, Vejer de la Frontera, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, pen and watercolor, sketch, vejer sketchers, urban sketchers, drawing,

With the onset of showery weather it’s tempting to skip the weekly sketch meetings but these last two Saturdays I’ve been determined to persevere. For sure the white walls of Vejer don’t glow without sunshine but the brooding clouds lend a different atmosphere.

andalucia, Vejer de la Frontera, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, pen and watercolor, sketch, vejer sketchers, urban sketchers, drawing, iglesia divino salvador

 

 

Above, the old town of Vejer from a roof terrace in the new town.

Left, the church bell tower from my roof terrace in the old town.

Both pen and watercolour.

Hooray for roofs and brollies!