Illustration Exhibition at the Presentation of the Play ‘Té Verde’

te verde, green tea, play, marcel snyders, arte vejer, exhibition, vejer de la frontera, castle, illustration, book cover, watercolour, pen and watercolour, art, drawing, painting, posterOn a rainy January afternoon my friend Marcel Snyders presented his play ‘Té Verde‘ (Green Tea in English) to an enthusiastic audience in the castle headquarters of Arte Vejer.

I designed the front cover for Té Verde back in October 2017 (you can read about the process here) so Marcel invited me to exhibit some of my art work during the event.

That’s Marcel (below) being interviewed by Paco Ariza Varo from Radio Vejer before Marcel interviewed me….

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te verde, green tea, play, marcel snyders, arte vejer, exhibition, vejer de la frontera, castle, illustration, book cover, watercolour, pen and watercolour, art, drawing, painting, fabric design, surface design, digital printing

I decided to keep the exhibition small and simple so I showed a selection of my sketchbooks with my painting materials (to demonstrate the process of illustration) alongside the finished illustrations for:

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I also displayed some of my fabric designs (my current favourite form of illustration!) and the dresses I made from them, as well as a selection of postcards and a computer slideshow of other artworks.

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abraham sevilla serrano, flamenco, musician, te verde, green tea, play, marcel snyders, arte vejer, exhibition, vejer de la frontera, castle,

 

 

The presentation was highly entertaining, Marcel served green tea (té verde) and cakes as people arrived, two actresses from Marcel’s theatre group read the first act of the play, the flamenco musician Abraham Sevilla Serrano improvised a song dedictated to Marcel and the play (right)…

te verde, green tea, play, marcel snyders, arte vejer, exhibition, vejer de la frontera, castle, illustration, book cover, watercolour, pen and watercolour, art, drawing, painting, fabric design, surface design, digital printing

 

 

 

…then Marcel broke out the cava and presented me with my copy of the book

 

 

 

The Spanish version of the play Té Verde is now available to buy on the publisher’s website.

It’s a highly entertaining read…Good luck Marcel!

Tapas Time

 sketchbook, pasta, ricotta, spinach, red onion sauce, la posta, italian restaurant, tapas, ruta de tapas, tapas por vejer, vejer, vejer de la frontera, vejer sketchers, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolor, sketch, illustration, food, pueblos mas bonitos de espana, drawing, painting, gamba, langostino, mercado de abastos, market, street food, fish, roe, mercado de san francisco, 4 estaciones restaurant

There’ve been two public holidays in Spain this week; Wednesday the 6th and Friday 8th December to mark the Spanish constitution and the immaculate conception(!) respectively.

So to celebrate, Vejer went into ‘Pueblo Abierto’ (Open Village) mode, flinging back the doors of her monuments and putting on a Ruta de Tapas (tapas route). 

During the Ruta de Tapas 12 restaurants put up their best little dishes for sale at 3€ (including a drink) and hundreds of people try to taste them all within the 8 hour over 2 days time frame. There’s a tapas route map which you need to get stamped in every establishment you eat at – if you get the full set of stamps you can vote for your favourite dish and enter a competition to win a computer. Tasty and hectic, start early!

The Vejer Sketchers arranged a meeting on Saturday so I popped into town with the intention of sketching (and eating) food in tapas form.

First stop the market (below)…not strictly part of the official tapas route but hey ho, the only place open when I started sketching. I didn’t eat this one, the roe was pretty but not gastronomically appealing so I gave it back unsullied to the fish counter lady once the sketch was finished.

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Next stop, La Posta for some yummy spinach and ricotta pasta in a red onion sauce (below)

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Then on to the 4 Estaciones (4 Seasons) for some delicious beef with Japanese flavours in a crunchy filo pocket (below)

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Confession time: I ran out of steam and didn’t draw the last dish I ate…the establishment was struggling under the weight of the hoard by then so it took a long time to procure said tapas, which although delicious was not pretty!

 

Chumbera!

chumbera, prickly pear, cactus, cadiz, vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, andalucia, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, sketchbook, illustration

I’m delighted to have finally found a chumbera (prickly pear) with some lush new growth; the once ubiquitous and beautiful cactus is suffering an infestation of insects and slowly dying out here in Andalusia.

Moi from the gorgeous Ecléctica Deco shop in Vejer suggested that I sketch a chumbera a good while ago; he told me he’d seen a good one in La Breña national park so I set off for a hike on a really hot day search of it…needle in a haystack situation ensued. His next sighting was luckily closer to home and much easier to find.

I missed it in flower but hey-ho…the heart shaped leaf was a bonus…promise it was actually like that! 

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

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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)….

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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)