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Posts tagged ‘Cold’

Winter in Madrid

For somewhere as relatively far south by Europe standards as Madrid, it’s a city which gets incredibly cold in the winter. And I mean incredibly cold. True, I have become acclimatised to the balmier climes of the island of Mallorca, where in a mere 3 months of being here, I have begun to believe that there is no such thing as a minus temperature. But how wrong I was on that front. For when the need arose for me to jet off to Madrid last week for work, I experienced temperatures that made me feel as though I was facing an attack of daggers from all sides.

It was my first trip to Madrid for several years, and I was therefore keen to spend the little free time I had exploring the city streets and remembering past memories of walking around the Prado, the Retiro, through the Puerta del Sol and along the Gran Via. But no sooner had I stepped out of my hotel I realised that a few blocks of walking was all I was going to manage before I had to duck inside a warm tapas bar for shelter.

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Ice cold streets, a bitter wind, and temperatures which made my gloved hands feel not just cold but broken… these were the sensations I suffered in this short dip into winter in Madrid. Yet just as clear skies bring a fierce winter by night, in the day, those cold temperatures are tempered ever so slightly by the presence of sunshine, and the photographs you see on this post were taken on a brisk morning stroll as I headed from my hotel to my place of work near the beautiful neoclassical monument, the Puerta de Alcalá. 

Those photos are very evidently characterised by the grandeur of the city – the beautiful roof tops of the Gran Via in the distance, the architectural details of the Puerta de Alcalá and the Plaza de Independencia, and the large palatial buildings and parks which fill the area. Everything is brightened by a pale winter sun and clear blue skies, but as you (hopefully) enjoy these photos, please remember the pain which I had to suffer to take them – they involved taking off my gloves, a sensation which brought to my hands a thousand daggers of pain. Oh what I suffer for The Daily Norm…

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. 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.

Sunday Supplement: Nordic Chills

In the first Sunday Supplement of 2012 which, for those of you who have not seen one before, features one, or a few of my non-Norm paintings, I have decided to pay homage to all things chilly. This is roundly because it has turned awfully cold here in London – ok, it’s not snowing or anything, but having had an unusually mild winter so far, we were all hoping that the spring had come early, and I think most of the budding plants all about were pretty much anticipating the same thing. So in homage to the cold, and in reminding myself that there are always colder places, I have decided to feature my paintings which were inspired by a series of visits I made to Scandinavia in 2009/2010, starting with a snowy trip to the elegant city of Stockholm, followed by an equally frosted visit to the buzzing city of Copenhagen. Upon visiting Stockholm, I was particularly struck by how watery the city is, probably more so because the water wasn’t actually frozen when I visited unlike the city’s Danish counterpart. When I took a boat trip around the archipelago, I was particularly struck by the various lighthouses which could be seen dotted all about. They looked solemn and lonely, stood steadfastly resolute in their solitude, performing their lone task of perpetual warning against sea ships and sailors whose vision is clouded with an icy fog. The result was a series of 5 paintings of lighthouses which were later exhibited along the famous Nyhavn in Copenhagen.

It was in fact on delivering my paintings to the Nyhavn Gallery in Copenhagen that I was inspired to paint my other Nordic work. Simply entitled Copenhagen, the work explores my fascination with the startling modern architecture, whose sharp angles and precise lines seemed to echo and suffuse with the cracking, floating ice which formed afresh each night over the city’s vast waterways. The fresh modernity of the city contrasts with Danish history represented by a furry Viking invading the scene at the foot of the painting, a wooden toy the likes of which you can buy (and I did – much to my partner’s disapproval) in souvenir shops all over Denmark. There too are signs of other Danish feats: Lego characters promenade outside the Opera House, and the city’s emblematic Little Mermaid statute, based on the story of that famous Dane, Hans Christian Andersen, who in my painting sits of the quayside, fishing fresh sushi, the likes of which I had enjoyed for the first time while in Copenhagen. The sushi, to this extent, also represents the city’s cosmopolitan feel, while the plumes of smoke flowing from the very prominent chimneys are testament to Denmark’s industrial prowess, while representing something of a conflict with their very “green” contemporary attitude.

Copenhagen (oil on canvas, 2010 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Wrap up warm, until next time…

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2005-2012. 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.