Remembering Sevilla (and unfinished paintings)

Good afternoon! It certainly has been a long time since last I posted. I’ve no real excuse further than I get busy and I forget. After a misguided (and very brief) trip outside my house, the bitter cold has defeated my efforts in procuring cold medicine and I’ve retreated to thoughts of Spain to make me feel better. This in turn led me to look at a painting that appears very nearly completed but was set aside months ago when other projects demanded my attention. Here in my studio the painting has sat quietly, awaiting the day when I would put it back on my easel.
Remembering the warmth of Spain and the excitement of traveling to Sevilla for lots of flamenco and the Feria de Abril last year, provided me with a much-needed boost on this icy day. As I went through my Moleskine notebook from the trip, I found a folded paper towel “note” in the back pocket that I’d made for myself when I’d left my journal back at the hotel.
With that, I thought that I might say hello and show a few leaps in the progression of the painting – from scribbled napkin to the piece that may finally be brought to completion! (Fingers crossed.)

Here is the scribble:

I sifted through my thousands (yes – thousands) of photos I’d taken at the feria to assemble the image – as well as make notes for many other paintings of smartly dressed gentlemen on horseback and dazzling flamenco-attired ladies in all their multi-colored grandeur.

More often than not, when beginning a painting (that is not to be painted ala prima), I will make a drawing and add the drawing to the canvas – or, at least, make the initial drawing, carefully, directly on the canvas. Here I toned the board with a rich golden-orange that is the color of the earth at the feria grounds (That golden-orange dirt is inevitably part of your outfit after just a few minutes strolling around the feria), scratched in a quick drawing with a tortillion, and then hopped in…. making a hot mess of a start.

Here is the hot mess:

Here it is as a luke-warm mess:

(As a side note – I loved painting the horses and have started a painting featuring them as the main event.)

There are things that I knew I wanted to alter and tweak, but had not found the time to finish this off. Though each time I look at this unfinished painting in the studio, I have warm feelings of walking around Sevilla and feel very happy and fortunate to have had the experience of going to Feria de Abril. I wish that I were going again this year, but sadly, scheduling does not allow it. I am hopeful for a 2016 visit. In the mean time, I will rely on painting and drawing the images (and maybe a little sangria and sherry) to transport me back.

Sitting here with the painting now back on the easel, I am seeing more and more that I want to adjust. Perhaps I’ve been premature in deeming the piece “nearly completed”? – But at least she is now back on my painting radar (which gives her a far greater chance of actually being completed).

The painting, in its current state (which may or may not be very close to completion):

Feria 1

I will try very hard to remember to post the completed painting when I am finished.

Until then, I wish you all warm and inspired days!


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