Monday, 8 February 2016

Seville 2016

What a fantastic trip thanks to our ever-generous hosts, David and Herme Bachmann, some good weather and great companions.  The UK contingent consisted of Haidee-Jo Summers, Pete (the Street) Brown, Karl Terry and me.  The locals were David, Eric Davis and Robbie Thompson.  Karl and I went for 5 nights and the others 4 nights and we all had one night in Granada, which meant 2 painting days in the Alhambra and a lot of driving for David.

The evening we landed, Haidee, Karl, David and I went straight out and started.  Haidee produced an exquisite study of one of the horse-drawn carriages in the square.  I managed a little 10x8 of the Giraldillo (pronounced something like 'Hiraldeeo') hotel and restaurant.  (The Giraldillo is the weathervane on the top of the Giralda - once a minaret for the city's mosque when the moors were in power but subsequently converted to a bell tower.  It has become an icon for Seville).

Giraldillo Hotel from the Square 10x8

We then went to the river where I did 2 small pastels of the Triana Bridge as dusk came on.

Peter flew in the next day (Monday 1 February) and by then we had gained entry to the Royal Palace and Alcazar Gardens with our 'painter's passes' and had a go at painting them.  I tried a small pastel of a fountain with archway behind to see if it would work in oil and then committed to a 14x11 oil:

Hercules Fountain - 9x7 Pastel
Hercules Fountain, Alcazar 14x11
By the time we were on our third painting and had had a quick bite to eat we heard that Pete had arrived so went to paint with him in the cathedral square.

The gang - joined by Eric Davis at right
I decided to do a quick pastel and then head for the river - on my own because the others were still painting.

From Cathedral Square, Early Evening. pastel
The sun was beginning to set behind the Triana Bridge and half way through my painting all the lights went on!  I tried to re-adjust and somehow this is not too bad:

Triana Bridge, Sunset 8x11
The next day we set off very early for Granada and took a bus up to the Alhambra where there was the usual business of issuing us with our special passes (for which we paid only half the tourist's charge for entry) that last a month.

We went straight to the Partal Gardens and the Torre de las Damas.  Foolishly I tried a pastel first so that by the time I came to paint this oil the others were moving off to try something on the Sierra Nevada side.

Torre de las Damas 10x14
I followed round the walls to a point just short of the Medina where you can look out on this view with the mountains in the background.  I used the pitch where Pete and Karl are in this photo:

They were moving off just as I was setting up.  I tried to do justice to the scene but it was hard to follow the 4 really stunning paintings that  D, H, K and P had just completed.  Still, this was a really enjoyable subject:

Sierra Nevada from the Alhambra 10x12
At that point the others went down to paint in the town but I went round the back of the Carlos V palace to get this view of one of the Alcazaba buttresses with the city below:

Steps To The Alcazaba 8x10
 I managed to find our hotel, down by the river and not far from the main square.  My room on the first floor was just right for one person, with balcony onto the atrium, shower, loo and basin, etc all for 38 euros.  We had the usual hilarious night on the town with Pete and Karl entertaining us.  The Bodegas Castaneda serves the best drinks in town because every time you order drinks you get tapas as well!  Then we had the giant-cream-and-meringue incident recorded by Haidee:

The next day David and I took an early bus up to the Alhambra and had a wonderfully peaceful tour round the Nazrid palaces, including the Court of Lions.  Totally mind-boggling.  Back in the Partal gardens we had another go at the Torre de las Damas.
Torre de las Damas, Alhambra 14x11
I then walked round to the Generalife and looked back across the valley to the main part of the complex:

Alhambra from the Generalife 8x10
On the way back from the Generalife I turned and did a quick pastel of it from the wall between the Torre de las Infantas and the 'Tower At The End Of The Street'.
Generalife from Alhambra - unfinished pastel
I had promised David that I would be at the Placa San Nicolas at 3pm but could not resist entering the Alcazaba and wandering round the battlements there before descending to the city and taking the bus up to Placa San Nicolas.  The others were finishing their masterpieces but the sun had become covered and so I never got the view that they had had the day before, of the whole of the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevada behind it and had to content myself with this evening view of the Alcazaba section.
Alcazaba from Placa San Nicolas 11x14 (unfinished)
I walked down to the centre where Peter was finishing yet another of those Pete the Street masterpieces and we all piled into the car for the long drive home.

It was very windy on the 4th (Thursday) so Haidee and I headed for the Alcazar gardens while the others braved it by the city hall.  I found a spot near the Carlos V pavilion with my back to the Senador Del Leon:
In the Alcazar Gardens 14x11
Haidee did a lovely fountain view just round the corner and then we snatched a quick sandwich before heading to the cathedral square to find the others.  They had gone off somewhere else so we decided to do a small contre-jour study of the fountain in the cathedral square.
The Cathedral Square Fountain, Seville 10x12
We finally caught up with them in the square with the statue to the sculptor Juan Martinez MontanĂ©s in it.  Eric and Robbie had joined them so 7 of us lined up to paint:

This is my rather rushed effort:

Montanes Statue 14x11
Haidee had to be whisked off to her plane and then the rest of us enjoyed a lovely BBQ in Eric's rooftop flat.  It was too cold to use his huge balcony for sitting so we huddled inside while Eric cooked outside. Another 3 bottles of Rioja were polished off but there was no time off for hangovers as we were up early on our final morning for one last go in the cathedral area.

I did a little pastel of a carriage and horse before deciding to whip out my mouth organ and try a bit of busking next to the painters.  After several tunes and the princely sum of 2 euros in my hat I thought better of it and did one last tiny pastel before we headed back to pick up our bags and fly back to a miserably cold and wet UK.
Last Pastel Seville