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Arrival – Painting the moment when the Mallorca Move sunk in

In the time since we arrived in Mallorca a little over 2 months ago, I have been constantly creating. Such are the benefits of stepping into an intrinsically creative role as Artistic Director of an amazingly dynamic company. But the time for painting for my own personal collection has not been so profuse. Yet I knew that I was going to paint very soon after we arrived. It was in fact on the Tuesday following our arrival on a Saturday evening that a painting first appeared in sharp focus in my mind.

We had stepped out on a walk one afternoon in search of water. Living in a city next to the sea, an awareness of the ocean is continuous, and yet an immediate proximity with the water is not always so easy. Here in Palma, before you get to the sea, you need to traverse roads and parks, jogging lanes and a busy harbour. But on that afternoon, we walked our way through one section of the harbour, passing yacht clubs and huge boats being renovated for the summer, only stopping when we came to the water’s edge.

Arrival (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, oil on canvas)

Arrival (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, oil on canvas)

There, sitting with my legs flopped over the harbour edge mere inches from the surface of the water, I gazed directly into the sinking sun before me as it plummeted behind the hillside silhouette and the outline of Bellver castle sitting atop the city. The sky was glowing more and more yellow, and as the light darkened, the water became more like silky liquid ink, and the reflections upon it were golden. It was in this moment that I allowed myself to dream, to wander from reality into a moment of a pure epiphany; a time in which it dawned on me for perhaps the first time how our lives had changed for the better, and how we had moved to a paradise of Mediterranean harbours, of white gleaming yachts, and sunshine.

And there it was. An image of that same view floated into my mind. It was always intended to be a simple image – just the water, the sun, the reflection, the sunset and the cluster of white yachts bobbling upon the water. Yet in that simplicity there is carried a weighty realisation – that we had made the big leap to a new life and a new beginning – It was the moment of our true arrival.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2015. 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

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. AR #

    So gorgeous. You managed to get the silkiness of the water, while still implying the sparkle as well. The sun is deeply attractive, and there’s such an orderly gaiety about the sails.

    What a sense of wholeness this image carries.

    February 2, 2015
    • You write so beautifully! I wish I could have you write about my art all the time!

      February 9, 2015
      • AR #

        I also love how the prows of the boats pass the midpoint in the painting. With the horizontal division between sea and sky it could have been static but the flying pennons in one direction, and the sense of thrust created by the encroaching prows in the other, bring so much energy. And the way the blue deepens into green keeps the scene from being flat despite its geometric simplicity. Wonderful. I can’t seem to get to the end of this one.

        Thank you for your compliment. I think you write very well yourself. I’m trying to have a career of writing fiction and poetry, but this kind of writing is sheer pleasure, like a kind of meditation. I wish I could fill my house with your sea paintings. Someday, maybe, when I’m a famous and wealthy author, hah!

        February 11, 2015

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