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January blues? Dream of the summer

There is only one way to get through these cold winter days, bleak and grey as it was in London today. Either book a summer holiday, or dream of one. Or better still, create summer in your home. Christmas is over, New Year is done. What else do we have to look forward to? With this rather depressing thought in mind, I went about stimulating each of my senses with the promise of a forthcoming 2012 summer.

Beloved Cappuccino... this one in Mallorca's Port d'Andratx

Ears: on the CD player, I played the albums of Cappuccino, the ultimate in Buddah-bar cool, emanating from the chic Mallorcan coffee chain, its music reminding me of long evenings spent under the stars in the Marbella version of the cafe chain, cicadas chirping and the warm mediterranean waves lapping upon the sandy shore as I drank wine and ate almond tart. The second and third senses crying out for satisfaction are smell and taste, and what could be better now than to put away the spicy Christmas chutneys and dried up cold meats, and open a good old Spanish cook book. Entering my third day of a Spanish festival of cooking, today it was Andalucian spiced stuffed aubergines, patatas bravas and a good rioja, the summer smells of cooking garlic and a spiced tomato bravas sauce pervading the cold winter air of my flat.

Spanish cooking: Trout stuffed with serrano ham, with chorizo chickpeas and andaluz spinach

Fourthly and all importantly: sight. It’s my summery paintings which get an airing now. Marbella – the town’s long sandy beach, lined with cafes and unusual art deco architecture, the town supported by the stunning backcloth of its Sierra landscape, its buzzing Paseo Martimo reflected into a wide, sparkling expanse of mediterranean sea. On the beach, Henry Moore inspired sculptures soak up the warm rays of an all-encompassing joyful sun, banishing thoughts of winter and reminding all concerned of the joie de vivre of summer.


El Faro de Marbella (with Sunbathing Henry Moore's) (oil on canvas, 2010 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Over the Mediterranean, my mind is racing to Tuscany, and my painting Tuscany Wharf captures the essence of that place I love. Hills rolling elegantly into one another, lush green rolling landscapes broken up by perfectly lined up grape vines and bales of hay, while from beyond the windy road interspersed within the valleys, the glorious towers of San Gimignano emerge, a medieval spectacle, one tower after another, climbing in an apparent ascendancy to heaven itself. And as if to remind me in my daydream of summer of the bleak reality of the English landscape around me, a slice of northern industrial England cuts through Tuscany’s rolling hills, cypress trees replaced with chimneys, hills with terraces, and roses with barbed wire, the polluting plumes emitted by factory chimneys managing to escape, pouring out into the previously clear turquoise Tuscan sky.

Tuscany Wharf (15km to San Gimignano) (oil on canvas, 2010 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Back to Spain for the evening, and as the sun sets over a peachy bellini-tinted sea, a postcard floats in the air recollecting memories of a Spanish summer holiday spent indulging in thirst-quenching sangria, ice cold San Miguel, and an unctuous paella, while the evenings are spent whisked away by the rhythmic hypnosis of a flamenco dancer’s wailing cries, or the swish, ballerina movement of the Toreador’s vivid red cape.

Souvenir of Spain (oil on canvas, 2010 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Ahh to dream of the Summer. Check out more of my paintings at my main site In the meantime, I’m off to dream of summer…and look for cheap holidays online!

Postscript: Today WordPress included my blog in Freshly Pressed! Thank you so much WordPress and for all those who have previously and subsequently supported my blog and posted comments. Your support means so much. Please come back for more artistic jinks at The Daily Norm!

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2005-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. millie #

    LOVE Tuscany Wharf!! I didn’t notice the contrast immediately but it had a huge effect on me when i did!

    January 4, 2012

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