Somewhere in Spain, on the Costa Blanca, in the middle of mountain chain at about 600 meters above sea level, there is a little village called Tarbena. I have been there many times, as it is a picturesque place in a spectacular setting � heaven for land and townscape artists � and I have presented some artworks featuring it in my different art sites and blogs. The place was originally an agricultural community, with many olive groves, almond trees and cherry orchards gracing the countryside., but in the meanwhile, with all the tourists passing by, above all attracted by a famous restaurant run by an one-armed communist,I guess it is as much tourist-driven as agricultural!
Anyway, one day as I was there, I came upon some extremely striking scenes. I saw three men sitting on a bench by a monument in the village square � the church or the town hall, I don�t remember- whose facade was made of a structure which looked like bubbles. The men were sitting lazily around, dozing, chatting, sunbathing, in colourful, comfy clothes. Not far from them, in the main street leading to the square, I saw three women together -their wives perhaps?- standing in front of a house entrance with big black bars. The women were totally clothed in black, standing ramrod-straight like soldiers, and looking more dangerous than them, even without the guns!. I was amazed by the difference between these two scenes, wondering if this was in fact a little glimpse inside Spanish society, at least in little retired villages. The men sitting around, doing nothing apart from enjoying a colourful life, and the women living a busy black-and-white life between kitchen, shop and church� The fact is that along my many journeys through Spain, I often saw similar scenes, this one being by far the most striking one!
That day I was in Tarbena just passing by, and no time to paint from a motif, so I just took some photos with the intention of later making some artwork based on them. And indeed I started two paintings, in ink and watercolour, but somehow, I got interrupted in the process of doing them, before they were really finished, and I never touched them again.
I rediscovered these two paintings a short time ago, as I was revisiting art works from the past. I don�t fancy finishing them now (I hate to go back to past paintings), but well, I think they are far enough along to get an impression of what I described in this post!
October 7th, 2010
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