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My Barcelona, on canvas: Port Vell

Back in 2007, when I had finished 5 years of full time legal studies and was waiting for my professional training to begin, I decided to take advantage of having a certain amount of time on my hands both to travel as much as possible, and to teach myself how to paint in oils (having thus far painted largely in acrylic). The two things inevitably combined, and having travelled to a few cities in Spain and beyond when venturing to and from my family home in Marbella, I decided to test out the results I could achieve in oil paint by working on a series of cityscapes and landscapes based on those travels. You saw my Venice paintings which I worked on around this time. Having mastered that watery city, I decided to move on to a series of seaside cities, and Barcelona was top of my list.

It was therefore as part of that series that I painted this work of the Port Vell. As yesterday’s post showed, Port Vell is part of the expansive marina and beach which now provides Barcelona with a beautiful Mediterranean facade where previously (pre-1992 Olympics) there was only a heavily industrialised port. Being filled with yachts of many shapes and sizes, this painting would have been a challenge for the most seasoned of oil painters, but for me, a mere beginner, it presented even more of a challenge. I was nevertheless pleased with the resulting work, which captures, I think, something of the compact collection of yachts which fill Barcelona’s marina, as well as illustrating something of a transitional weather effect as the sun begins to shine from under the passage of a thick layer of grey cloud.

Seascape VI: Port Vell, Barcelona (2007 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, oil on canvas)

Seascape VI: Port Vell, Barcelona (2007 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, oil on canvas)

Strangely, despite making 7 visits to the city, I have only painted Barcelona twice. While I’ll give you a glimpse of the second work sometime soon, I think that further Barcelona creations are somewhat begging. Watch this space.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography 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. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at

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