Saturday, 22 July 2017

Sleeping under the stars

Days are heavy in Southern Spain in the summer, mostly too hot and too noisy, but the reward is there too: nights with a light breeze and no dew, making it possible to sleep under the stars, immersed in nature.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

City centre

It is July, even hotter than June, although June was extreme this year. Those temperatures make us all lazy, I try to keep working but it is difficult. I wish I were one of those tourists who are here on a holiday and can swim and sleep as they like.
But I also wish I could spend those summer months on a quiet island.




Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The magic of summer solstice

June is a special month! In our Northern hemisphere, it is the start of summer, and the longest days of the year have something magical. June has to do with vitality, energy and light. And hot nights spent outside with grilled sardines and wine, looking at the stars.




Monday, 19 June 2017

San Bernardino (Paraguay)

Twenty-five years ago, in August, we travelled to Asunción, Paraguay (with technical stops in Brussels and Dakar), and I began to work there two days after arriving at the airport. We only stayed until December, but those months were so instructive, astonishing, frightening and beautiful that Paraguay, in spite of everything, will always remain a special country and hold a special place in my heart - with its smells: yerba mate, lapacho (pink trumpet tree), fresh chipas (cheese-flavoured rolls)... 

Working and living a daily life in a country is not comparable at all with having a holiday at the same place (even a long one). On a holiday, I may (try to) read local newspapers to understand the political situation, but I will (normally) not go to the doctor, pay taxes, have to deal with corruption. 

Those sketches are made with India ink on paper, based on the pictures that my Paraguayan friend Olga made a week ago in San Bernardino, a small touristic town on the shores of the Ypacaraí Lake, about 50 km from the capital (thanks again for the pics, Olga). Enjoy!
(BTW: I wish I could win the lottery to take the next plane to Asunción).









Thursday, 15 June 2017

Fornes

Andalusia is full of hidden gems. One of them is Fornes, with its lake Embalse de los Bermejales (province of Granada, Andalusia, Spain). At this time of the year, days are hot, but nights are still fresh. I wish I could have stayed longer in the old country house we rent for two days, listening to the horses and swallows, and in the evening, to the frogs.
Here two sketches with India ink and some pictures. Enjoy!



 Fornes (India ink)






Monday, 12 June 2017

From Asiatic Black Bear to Indian Elephant

Incredibly, how time flies. It seems it is always New Year or summer, and for the group of illustrators of AnimalAlphabets on Twitter, always A or Z ;-)
Six weeks already have passed since we have begun a new alphabet with endangered species, and here they are, letters A to I! 



Sunday, 4 June 2017

El Padul

The small town of Padul (or El Padul, province of Granada, Spain) has a lot to offer to walkers and people who like to observe birds. It is situated in a fertile valley, and surrounded by well irrigated fields and wetlands. I found many beautiful spots, but had only the time for a quick sketch and some pictures: it was too hot!
Wish I was still there!
Tree and field near Padul (India ink on paper)






Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Beach and meadows

After three severe storms those last months, they are now making our beach fit for the summer, with huge trucks and excavators. Very soon, mass of tourists will be here again, after one festival is before the next one. I prefer to escape to the countryside, that is still green if you drive North East (Alpujarra, province of Granada), and to listen at streams and irrigation ditches. If I am lucky, I will see a fox or a deer.



Friday, 19 May 2017

Terral

We have got terral since yesterday, that is a hot wind coming from the interior from north to south. At this time of the year, it is still enjoyable, while it makes temperatures increase dramatically during the summer. This year, I have been forward-looking: I have already ordered 10 books for hotter days ;-)


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Going home

May will always be a strange month, some bank holidays, but different ones in every country or parts of them... A yearning for summer but, at the same time, the wish that advantages of winter could remain as well. 


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tulips in Warmenhuizen

Reality has little to do with memories. It is colder, wetter and more colourful. Houses have been build. Fields have disappeared. But tulips are still there. Many. Wonderful tulips!











Thursday, 20 April 2017

Warmenhuizen

Some places keep attracting us irresistibly. Perhaps because they have to do with our childhood dreams or have a taste of forbidden fruit. One day, we realise life is too short to visit them all again. Yellowed pictures remain and, in our heads, a smell of perfection.

Warmenhuizen (the Netherlands)

Friday, 7 April 2017

New Animal Alphabet!

Here is my new Animal Alphabet, performed between September 2016 and April 2017 for @AnimalAlphabets on Twitter! This time, the theme was "Fairy tales", which means that we did not only draw animals, but also human characters who play a role in them.

Some reflections that accompanied my creation process:

- Figurative drawing will never be my cup of tea. Though, leaving my comfort zone gave me the opportunity to learn, and that's the important thing. I will participate again in this kind of challenge: it is fun to work individually for a common goal and to enjoy the creations of colleagues, week after week.
- I do not like fairy tales, especially the way women and men are portrayed and polarised there. As a child already, I never liked them without being able to articulate why... Although, I was forced to read a lot to understand some figures I had to draw (never heard of the Inch High Samourai, Vassilisa, Xerxes, the Young King of Easaidh Ruadh or Zoulvisia before), not a bad thing!

We were now asked to make a collage of all letters, so I made two: a random one and another one from A to Z in the right order. Enjoy!



And here are my four favourites:












Sunday, 2 April 2017

TAE17 in Stratford on Avon

From 1-19 April 2017, I will participate in the exhibition TAE 17 (#twitterartexhibit) in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshare, England, with my original postcard "Europe 2017" drawn with India ink. 
This year, the charity being supported is Molly Olly's Wishes, a charity that "supports children with terminal or life threatening illnesses and their families to help with their emotional wellbeing". 

Where? Arts House, Rother Street, Stratford upon Avon, England


Monday, 27 March 2017

Sunday in Benalmadena

Some beaches in Benalmadena (Andalusia, province of Malaga, Spain) has something that Torremolinos does not have: a sea ground with stones, so that the sea can be crystal clear. Also, more birds can be observed there.
I wanted to try my new camera yesterday, this is what I saw:











Thursday, 23 March 2017

Where is spring?

It was difficult to concentrate on creating art those last days, so much translation work to finish, many errands...
Waiting for a real spring that takes long to arrive this year (yes, we had some summer days already, now winter again, just wonder where spring is hiding). Next Sunday, we will have to advance our clocks again (unfortunately in my opinion, but I know it is very controversial and complex). Maybe spring will come then. 






Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Running

Last year in March, it was Easter and we had some free days. Now, winter is still here (I still need my Icelandic jumper) and we will have to work one more month before Easter is coming. I am longing for more light and higher temperatures. 


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

More Andalusian mountains

If you come to Malaga, Guadix (province of Granada) and the Tabernas Desert (province of Almería) are farther away, but definitely worth to visit. In Guadix, you will see cave-dwellings, and Tabernas is the filming location of many western movies. Enjoy!


Countryside near Guadix (province of Granada, Spain)

Mountains near Guadix (province of Granada, Spain)


Tabernas Desert (province of Almería, Spain)


Tabernas Desert (province of Almería, Spain)

View of the Sierra Nevada (province of Almería, Spain)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Andalusia Day

Today is February 28, a holiday here in Andalusia ("Andalusia Day" or "Día de Andalucía" in Spanish). Banks and most shops are closed (schools are closed the whole week), and people generally spend this free day with family and friends.
I wanted to use this opportunity to show some impressive mountains we have nearby. The best known is perhaps El Torcal de Antequera, with it surreal rock formations. But there are many more beautiful spots in this autonomous region. Enjoy!



El Torcal de Antequera (province of Malaga)

El Torcal de Antequera (province of Malaga)

 Near Almuñécar (province of Granada)


Sierra de la Utrera, Casares (province of Malaga)


Sierra de la Utrera, Casares (province of Malaga)



Near Salobreña (province of Granada)