Composition No. 9: Ojén Rooftops
I’ve always loved terracotta tiled roofs, for the same reason I suppose that I love palm trees and the chirping sound of cicadas in the heat – because they remind me of the Mediterranean, of the sunshine, of the summer. And is there a sight more conceivably Mediterranean than a little hill top village, a cluster of white washed walls when seen from the side, and a angular hodgepodge of terracotta roofs when viewed from above?
It was exactly this kind of collective village feel that I tried to emulate when I moved onto my 9th gouache composition in the dying days of my Spanish holiday, and having visited the hilltop village of Ojén up in the mountains behind Marbella. The lower section of the village, when seen from the upper road which cuts through its centre makes for a rather breathtaking spectacle; its terracotta roofs uniform apart from the odd turquoise ceramic exception; this consistent sea of peachy-red marking a wonderful contrast against the undulating hillsides which form a backdrop against the village, rolling steadily down the mountain as they fade outwards towards the sea. I was particularly enamoured by the hills around Ojén, not least because, whether it be by reason of agriculture or just because of the natural lie of the land, the hillsides appeared to be almost spotty on the one hand with olive trees, like the polka dot traje de flamencas of the flamenco dancers, and crossed with horizontal stripes on the other.
Naturally I couldn’t resist but reflect these patternings in my latest gouache composition, the likes of which I present, fresh from my artist’s sketchbook, terracotta roofs (and those odd turquoise exceptions) included. I hope you like it.
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