Thursday, 16 November 2017

Red and wild

During the summer months, flocks of people come to Southern Spain in search of sun, sea, good food and cheap alcohol, but autumn is certainly a better season to discover Andalusia. 
At the moment, the sun is still shining so that you can eat chestnuts on the beach without hundreds of people around you (and even swim if you are brave), hike, look for mushrooms and enjoy the flourishing hedges and shrubs with strong colours.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Dark season

November is there: days are becoming shorter. Little by little, this year is coming to its end (it is time to buy a new calendar and to order Xmas cards), and a new Animal Alphabet is beginning today on Twitter, with "Audrey II" for letter A! The location for #TAE2018 has been announced. It will take place in April in Canberra, Australia!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Fishing nets and ropes

The Spanish town of El Puerto de Santa María is a magic place, with its ferry to Cadiz, its smell of salty water, mud and old buildings that would need an urgent refurbishment, its countless restaurants and bars... 
Walking along the river Guadalete as it was low tide, I came to a place where generations of fishermen have been throwing old nets, ropes and other material. The incredible beauty of those rotting nets in the twilight was astonishing: perfect abstract art made by nature. And, yes, I saw some crabs and rats too.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

First autumn rain

Yesterday, we got our first autumn rain here in Southern Spain. Not enough water to fill the water reservoirs, of course, but in this dry country, every drop is welcome. Our home mountain will certainly get a bit greener soon, and sheep and goats will enjoy to find some more food.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

New finished Animal Alphabet

Time is flying. The Animal Alphabet with endangered animals that we began in April on Twitter is now finished! As always, it was fun, I learned a lot about creatures whose name I even did not know!
Here a collage with the result (A-Z), and my five favourites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


When holidays are over, only pictures and memories remain. 
I was impressed by the small town of Warendorf (Westphalia, Germany), the "town of horses", well known for its stud farm, with well-preserved historic centre. Although I have been studying many years in Münster, which is nearby, I never had the opportunity of visiting it - shame on me!
I found some interesting doors to add to my Doors gallery on Fine Art America. Here are two of them: 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Rain and mushrooms

Just back from holidays, my head is full of pictures, impressions and ideas. :-)
We had no good weather in the Netherlands and Germany, so our first action was to purchase some rubber boots. With them, we were at least able to explore the nature around us.
During those rainy days, I found some fascinating mushrooms there (I have posted two pictures of my dog Nicki to give an idea of their height).

Friday, 1 September 2017

Drawing August (2)

September is there! Since we had some rain on Tuesday, the air smells differently. 
It is time to show you my #drawingaugust postings from day 16 to 31. Despite of the lack of time, it was a pleasure to join and I had fun to discover the many art works of colleagues.

Here is a collage with the items from day 16 to 31, followed by my 3 favourites: matches, rucksack and secateurs. Enjoy!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

First rain?

I love the last days of August (this year, this month has been quite mild, and there were few jellyfish in the sea), where it is still possible to read outside (I have been devouring one book of Yrsa Sigurdardóttir after the other), to have dinner under the stars on the terrace, after a hard day's work. Very soon, I will have to bring my drying chillies that to safety: the first rain of the season is announced!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Drawing August (1)

I only heard about #drawingaugust in July on Twitter, asked a bit and decided to join. I thought it would be positive to have a concrete reason to perform one drawing or sketch per day and, improving my skills doing so (while enjoying looking at the creations of other artists), although August is always one of the busiest months at work. But now, it is already half time!
Because of the lack of time, I decided from the beginning that I only would draw items that are to find in my house with black ink: bucket and mop, hot sauce, liquid soap, chair and poncho...

Here are my postings from August day 1 to day 15. A collage with all of them and my three favourites: dog toys, knives and hoover. Enjoy!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Clear waters

This August is not as hot as it was last year (until now), and soon, tourist masses will gradually go back to work and school! Lukewarm evenings and nights will be missed though: it is now difficult to imagine how our seafront will be deserted at 7 p.m. in some months.
With those temperatures, it seems that my artworks becomes a bit blurry as well ;-)

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Time flies - more than half AnimalAlphabet

Time flies: it is August already, and more than half of the #AnimalAlphabets (on Twitter) with endangered species is finished. Soon, days will become shorter and schools will open again (fortunately) ;-)

My two favourites are the cassowary and the Hawksbill turtle:

Friday, 28 July 2017

Coastal towers in Southern Spain

There are many watch towers in Southern Spain, all along the coast. I have always thought it would be nice to take a sabbatical and hike or bike from one to the other, reading about their history. Some of them are surrounded by nature, others are situated directly along the road (where it is difficult or impossible to park) or even in town, lost between concrete. Here are four of them, in three different provinces. The most beautiful area is, without hesitation, Caños de Meca, as it is a protected area. And from there, if it is not too foggy, you can see the Rif mountains in Morocco.

Almuñécar (province of Granada)

Torremuelle (Benalmádena, province of Malaga)

 Harbour of Benalmádena (province of Malaga)

 Caños de Meca (Barbate, province of Cadiz)

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).