The Art Studio

The two large garages at the far left of Las Salinas looked very menacing with their large regulation ‘Spanish green’ metal doors. As we turned the rusty key in the very small padlock a feeling of trepidation welled up inside as I wondered what might sit behind them. The doors were on rusty runners and were filled with soil suggesting their use to be infrequent. We had to remove the debris before we could pull the doors open just enough for us to squeeze through and into the darkness we went. Trying to adjust our eyesight from the bright sunshine outside, the darkness made it impossible to see anything clearly. As our vision improved we could see a large tractor and various other olive farming implements.

When we became the owners of Las Salinas we discovered that one of the two large garages was used by Anqel, our local farmer, who kept his tractor and other olive picking equipment in there. Being a large space with a high ceiling I knew it would be perfect for me to paint in and hang my work and very early on in our plans this became the Art Studio.

The green doors of the large garage where Anqel kept his equipment
The green doors of the large garage where Anqel kept his equipment

Fina had told me at our first lunch that the body of a still-born baby had been buried under a stone in my art studio many years ago, before it was an art studio and she wondered if anything had ever happened in the room while I was painting. Fina told me the baby was one of the last sons of Nativity and José Maria, her great grand parents, and was still born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. The only way to get to the cemetery in Alcaudete was by donkey, carrying on his back the coffin of the dead baby for maybe 2 days over the mountains and through the roads. It had to remain a secret because if the policemen discovered this, then Nativity and José Maria would have to go to jail.

Well actually, something had happened.

It was a warm day in September and I was in the studio, on the floor, working on a large canvas of the landscape, lost in the creative process. The purple and the yellow of the sky called together as the sunset slowly exploded colour onto my canvas. I sat watching the paint meld together, wishing for the yellow and purple not to argue and become brown, when I was aware, and then out of the corner of my eye could see, a man in my studio. I removed my eyes from the colourful liaison in front of me and looked up, and there, dressed in black with a large hat was a man I did not know. He walked through my studio, looking me in the eye as he went, and within a few seconds had disappeared. My heart raced, although I was not scared, and time froze as I tried to organise my thoughts and distinguish what I had seen. Could this have been José Maria from 100 years or more ago?

I looked back at my canvas, the colours had not argued, but sat happily waiting for me to continue working with them. And as I continued to paint the words of Fina came back to me as she had previously told me a medium who had visited Las Salinas had divulged that the baby was not dead when it had been buried.

Sunset looking towards Dos Hermanas, the balcony of Don Rafael
Sunset looking towards Dos Hermanas, the balcony of Don Rafael

Published by Steffi Goddard Artist

Contemporary artist, painter of large exciting abstract paintings, contemporary faces, women and the female form and anything that inspires me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: