Art and the Poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca


Federico Garcia Lorca is one of Spain’s best known poets and now a popular icon.  Born in 1898, he lived the first ten years of his life in Fuente Vaqueros, which is close to Granada in Southern Spain.  He moved to Madrid when he was in his early twenties and  joined a group of avant-garde artists that included Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel.  The group, collectively known as the “Generation of  1927,” introduced Lorca to Surrealism, a movement that would greatly influence his writing and poetry.

Lorca was an active socialist and his controversial political views as well as his generally bohemian attitudes would ultimately cost him his life and during the Spanish Civil War,  Lorca was captured by Franco’s Nationalist Army and executed.   His works, and even his existence, remained a taboo subject in Spain for nearly four decades after his death. However as a result, Lorca has become not only famous for his exemplary poetry, but for his martyrdom at the hands of a fascist dictatorship. His works were suppressed in Spain for many years but have had a monumental influence on the poets and authors of Latin America and the world over and he is often credited with being the first author to introduce Surrealism into literature. His work has a lasting impact on Spanish poetry and Lorca has influenced many of my abstract paintings with his interesting use of words, often written in a surrealist or abstract voice.  Here are two of my abstract paintings complete with Lorca’s words.

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Echo

The flower of dawn has already opened

(Do you recall the depths of evening?)

The spikenard moon pours down its cold scent.

(Do you remember the gaze of August?)

 

The Cheating MirrorThe Cheating Mirror

Green branch barren of rhythm and bird.

Echo of a sob with no pain or lips.

Man and Woods.

I shed tears beside the salt sea.

In my pupils are two seas singing.

 

My Abstract Painting Meets ILU Fitwear Equals Amazing Yoga Clothing Range !


 

Spring Equinox Spiritual Exploration

I am so proud to have the above painting used for the design on a yoga and fitness clothing range.  The painting was from an abstract collection of work called ‘Spiritual Exploration’ and was originally painted in watercolour on paper.  I had no idea how this would work on a clothing range, but now the range is complete and I am thrilled with the way it looks on this collection.

The collaboration between myself and ILU Fitwear has been an exciting journey to see how artwork can be used in this way and because of the nature of the printing process, each item is different and unique.  It’s like wearing an original piece of art as no two pieces are the same.

Here are some lovely photos of the range, modelled by my daughter Chloe of My Happy Body and photographed by Emma Jacobs Photography. The range can be purchased from either myself directly from Cortijo Las Salinas but if you can’t make it to the cortijo this year then Chloe has some in stock or you can go direct to the ILU Fitwear website.

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Intuitive Art 5 day painting in 5 minutes !


I love to paint the land and the sea, especially if I can be outside in the elements and with nature.  However there is another side to my creative work which gives me freedom to just apply paint, texture and colour without any thought for the outcome or with any ego attached to the potential saleability of my work.  This 5 minute film shows the development of a large piece created over 5 days.  It took many changes along the way and the finished piece hangs in the yoga shala at Cortijo Las Salinas.  Hope you enjoy the film and, as always, love to hear your feedback.

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Chakra Healing through Art


 

Our 7 main chakras are located located from the top of the head to the base of the spine and each chakra has its own set of attributes.  They are wheels of energy and are something you are able to sense within yourself. If your chakras are either too closed or too opened this can leave you vulnerable to illness, fatigued, deep body pains particularly in the back, neck, shoulder and hips, poor sleep patterns and insomnia and low tolerance to stress and stressful situations, therefore it is important to nourish them daily with yoga asanas, pranayama, meditation, Reiki healing and creativity.

Art can be used as a therapy to help unblock our chakras and at a recent yoga retreat at The Spanish Oasis Yoga Retreat we painted some small canvases to aid with our emotional and physical healing using chakras and their associated colour and symbols to help support our personal healing and spiritual growth.  With clear and free Chakras we can become more in touch with our creativity and this in turn nourishes the soul we become more aware of the self and observant in our own life, and this can provide clarity to one’s own dharma (soul purpose).

In particular the Svadisthana chakra, the second chakra located just below the navel, is connected to our desires, sexuality, feelings and emotions and our creativity.  With an open Svadisthana chakra your creative energy will be free flowing and you will be full of life and ideas but if this chakra is closed then you will feel stuck and blocked and unable to be creative or make creative decisions.

These photos illustrate the fun my group had painting with me, some were painting for the first time for a long time, with amazing results.  With a healthy Svadisthana chakra anything is possible !

Pintura Rapida – Speed Painting


 

During the Summer months in Spain, a regular event is held in various towns throughout the country where artists are invited to participate in a competition called ‘Pintura Rapida’ or ‘Speed Painting’. This event is open to professional and amateur artists where they are to paint, in a given amount of time, either the landscape, city, streets or people of the area. My local town called Alcaudete hosts this annually and this year I decided to enter, along with between 70-80 other artists from all over Spain.

It was an extremely hot dusty day in August and I arrived early at the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) to have my canvas stamped and registered to prove I had not started the piece previously. I was given my complimentary breakfast and lunch vouchers and set off to find a quiet and hopefully cool spot to begin my painting.

I found a lovely solitary place which had some shade and set up my canvas ready for the challenge that lay ahead. It was so peaceful being alone amongst the nature with only the strong smell of fennel and a few cats for company. I made quite a promising start, I knew I had to get the paint on to the canvas quickly as we were only given until 6pm that day to finish, it was already about 11.00 am. The view I had chosen was of Alcaudete Castle in the distance with the landscape cascading around it and so the paint flowed onto the canvas.

However as morning became the afternoon, it was more and more difficult to concentrate as the heat started to affect me and made me light headed as my chosen spot was now in full sunshine. I am quite used to painting ‘en plain air’ but not in the intense heat of August, and as the minutes flew by I knew I probably wouldn’t have my painting finished by 6 pm.

The promenade in ‘El Parque’ was filled both sides with artists and their work displayed on easels and I tentativley place my unfinished piece amongst the most incredible paintings. The judging then took place and the winners were announced and they collected their substantial prize money which had been mainly donated by local companies. It is an amazing experience to see an outside exhibition with so many talented artists work on display.

At the end of the evening I took my painting back to my studio and completed it the next day. I realised there is certainly a technique to speed painting which I don’t have. My work is based on layering and has an emotional reaction to what I am painting. There is no formula to my style as I paint what I feel as well as what I see. I also need a certain amount of drying time before I apply the next layer or textures, this tecqnique doesn’t really work when speed painting.

So I definitely need to ‘skill-up’ if I am going to enter again next year and maybe find somewhere with a bit more shade ! I finished my piece back in my studio and I am actually quite pleased with the finished painting, it certainly gives the impression of a hot day in August in Southern Spain.

IMG_9038Finished painting – Contemporary Landscape, Alcaudete, Spain

Goddess Art


I have just recently said ‘adios’ to my two very special friends who spent a week with me at Cortijo Las Salinas painting goddesses.  It was such an amazing week as we meditated, danced the Five Rhythms, laughed, created body maps and cried, did some creative writing, Haiku, told stories and painted life sized goddesses.  As our stories developed so did our imaginations and we began what became a 5 day ‘lock-in’ to my studio as we began the painting process and our goddesses emerged.

After our meditation and story telling session, we began by drawing around each to get our own life sized body shapes, then the paint went onto the canvas and the goddess journey began.

First layers are always interesting and its important to clear as much of the blank canvas as possible.  Using the intuitive process painting technique, we allowed our intuition to guide us, along with our meditations and story writing.

The paintings developed and flourished as our goddess painting became a part of our personality.  My goddess was Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, beauty and eternal youth.

We even used ourselves as the paintbrush !!

Details of the finished Goddess Aphrodite.

It was so sad to finish our paintings as the whole experience was so intense and emotional for us all.  However the next goddess ‘paint-in’ is in the planning already !

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l-r      Goddess Tanit, Goddess Aphrodite, Goddess Hathor

by Alice Mason, Steffi Goddard and Terre Cerridwyn

Intuitive Art


I have been living my dream of being an artist and I have a wonderful art studio which is large and bright and has lots of space to be creative.  I have been painting for over 20 years, however just recently I wasn’t really feeling very happy or fulfilled with the art I was creating and I was struggling to find new inspiration and ideas even though I am surrounded by beautiful nature.  I tried many things, like simplifying my work to become more abstract, changing the colour palette from my usual colours, and trying to ‘let go’ a bit more to become a bit looser whilst trying to shake off some of my Fine Art training.  Painting had become a big effort and although I like to make a daily connection with my studio my I would find myself procrastinating to avoid the moment of entry due to these creative blocks I was having.  In fact I would even do the ‘chores’ in order to delay the moment of entry.  I was definitely feeling a little stressed and very un-centred.

I then made a chance discovery, something called Intuitive Art or Intuitive Process Painting.  It is an expressive method of creating art whereby you begin with some meditation to clear the mind, say some mantras, do a bit of yoga, play some music, light some inscense and then allow yourself to be free with the paint on the canvas using your hands, feet, and anything but a paintbrush!   There are no rules, no expected outcome, no ego to create blocks whilst thinking ‘it should look like this or like that’, or ‘a certain standard is expected of me’, or ‘I need to be able to sell it!’  You just let your intuition guide you.

It was like being a child again as I used various tools for mark making, experimenting with colours and shapes.  It was so exciting to watch the painting take its own course and direction over a few days, never knowing where things would go.    As the daily layering process continually changed the direction of the painting until finally my intuition told me it was now complete.

Art is a healing therapy and I discovered that this amazing practice is healing on so many levels.  So if you are coming to Cortijo Las Salinas this year to spend some time painting with me, expect something a little different as we paint using our intuition and leave the ego behind.




A Retreat for the Creative Heart


In a few weeks I shall be working, once again,  with 2 wonderful artists here at Cortijo Las Salinas.  Terre Cerridwyn will be flying all the way from California and Alice Mason will be zooming over from Brighton, UK.  We shall be sharing a week of creative art, dance, nature walks, great food, lots of laughs and making the most of the opportunity to explore our creative selves.  This week is open to anyone who wants to join in with something very special, and maybe find out something about the wonderful self we didn’t know.  Terre has a website page with full information and timetable for the week, but for now here are some photos from last year.

Liquid Gold – Landscape


February is the only month it feels like Winter here in Spain as the temperatures drop quite considerably, especially at night time.   The olive trees disappear under the swirly rain clouds. Then the rain begins, preparing the trees for the next crop of liquid gold.

Landscape art oil on canvas olive trees and rain
Liquid Gold Lanscape – oil on canvas

LoveHugs have their own website !


The first LoveHug was created over 10 years ago when a gallery approached me and asked me to paint some paintings full of hearts, i.e. heart art.   Since then I have created over 100 LoveHugs, and continue to do so and for every LoveHug sold I donate a percentage of the selling price to charity.  The charity I am supporting for 2016 is The Eve Appeal.  I have also previously worked on collaborative fundraising charity projects creating 2 large LoveHug canvases for The British Heart Foundation for auction, for the Eve Appeal and Byte Nyte. If you would like a personal commissioned LoveHug painted for someone special in your life or for a special anniversary or celebration please get in touch or browse the new website dedicated to LoveHugs where they can be purchased online.

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