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Posts tagged ‘Marine’

My Palma: 6 months, 157 buildings and 205 boats

I interrupt my weekly digital exhibition of gouaches in my Ocho Balcones collection to present, with a considerable degree of excitement, my newest oil painting: The Bay of Palma. Started back in April when I found a typical little postcard of this typical view of the sprawling bay of Palma de Mallorca, I couldn’t resist the temptation to paint this city I have so come to love on the largest scale possible. So starting work on an immense 152 x 101 cm canvas, I set about painting what must be one of the most complicated painting projects of my art career.

Just the cathedral alone took endless hours of laboured work and adjustments of proportion, let alone the city which surrounds it and then those dreaded boats. Ah the boats… how I agonised over painting these seemingly innocuous white forms, correcting shadows and trying to paint masts with a shaking hand. But once 205 of them were done, I stood back in pride and admiration at what I had a achieved: a landscape which is both a typical view of this most admired of cities, but which was nonetheless technically difficult to capture, both because of its size and its detail. But I am delighted with the result.

Bay of Palma Water

I am therefore proud to share this painting exclusively on The Daily Norm along with a few shots of some of the many details which fill the work. I hope you like it!

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© 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 www.delacy-brown.com

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 www.delacy-brown.com

Dubrovnik | Day 1 – The Diamond of Dalmatia

Is it because of the delightful haphazard spotting of their black and white fur that the beautiful breed of Dalmatian dogs are given the same name as the Croatian coast of Dalmatia, whose geography comprises a confetti-like sprinkling of small islands of every shape and size? Or just a coincidence of their natural origins? Such were the thoughts running through my mind as our plane swept over and along the stunning Dalmatian coast on the southern most stretch of Croatia last weekend, as we began a short city trip to what must undoubtedly be one of the most deservedly popular attractions on the whole coast – the fortress city of Dubrovnik.

Encased within metre-thick massive stone walls and built upon foundations of solid rock, Dubrovnik truly is a gem set within a ring of solid stone, whose preservation has been accordingly restored, despite various historical threats over the centuries, including most recently devastating bombardment during the Yugoslavian conflict of the early 90s. Today it gleams like a true diamond for all the world’s tourists (and fans of Game of Thrones which is allegedly filmed there – I’ve never watched it) to enjoy. With its uniform collection of terracotta roofed houses, main roads gleaming with shiny marble pavements, narrow streets hung with washing climbing up the city’s steep sides, and the odd sprinkling of lavish renaissance style palaces, Dubrovnik is a visual stunner and a historical enclave – so different from its surrounding modern suburbs, and so consistent in being utterly unspoilt. And Dubrovnik is not just a living museum, but a living breathing spirited city whose location affords it a Mediterranean climate and all the advantages of a coastal resort set with eye-wateringly blue cerulean azure seas.

First glimpses of this most beautiful of cities

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And it was to these stunning waters that we headed upon our timely early afternoon arrival in the city, walking down the shiny central street, the Stradun, from the most Western Pile gate of the city, across to its Eastern entrance which looks onto the uniquely charming old port. Filled with little fishing boats and friendly cats basking in the warm sunshine, the port has all of the delights of a Mediterranean harbour, including bustling cafes serving the very freshest seafood guaranteed to have come straight out of the warm crystal clear waters that very morning. One such serving of squid did not last long out of the water, being devoured by we hungry holiday makers along with several glasses of Croatian white wine and some fresh soft white bread.

Dubrovnik’s Old Port

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Dubrovnik is a city filled with lazy sun-loving cats

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It was to be the first treat of many on a day which gave us our first taster of this incredible city. What followed were walks around the old port and the huge rocks on which the city’s seaward walls are built; afternoon drinks in the bustling market square where the gentle trickle of the Amerling Fountain is soporific accompaniment once the busy morning market has closed down for the day; and a walk around the Lovrijenac Fort in the last sunlight of the afternoon, a fort set upon a huge rock just outside the city which, crisscrossed with ancient stairs and nature’s best offerings of wild flowers has something utterly magical about it, not to mention the smaller rocks which sit besides it, looking like animals stretching in the water.

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All this proved, doubly, triply, again and again how uniquely beautiful the city of Dubrovnik is, a fact proven once again as moonlight fell over the city, the architectural details of its most beautiful monuments were picked out in flood light, the jazz bars started bustling with people, and we dined, once again looking over the Lovrijenac Fort, in the knowledge that we were dining in front of one of the most beautiful restaurant views in the world. And all this was after just a few hours in the city. You can imagine how many photos, art works, and rambling descriptions are now to follow in this, my new Dubrovnik season on The Daily Norm. Be sure to come back and savour much more, as I take you on a journey around the jewel of Dalmatia.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 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.

Marbella Medley | Folio 1 – Ripples and Raindrops

Regular readers of The Daily Norm will know that in December in Venice (rather appropriately) I became quite obsessed with ripples. Not so much the kind that occur in the round when you drop a pebble into the water, but the transient unpredictable kind of ripple that forms in a reflection on water, and distorts that reflection into the realms of pure abstract. What followed were various photos in both Venice and Naples, some gouache paintings, and even a woodcut.

So it can be of little surprise to you that when in Marbella last weekend, I hunted around the harbour edge like a magpie to gold in search of those same watery miracles. And I certainly found some. On a day so stunningly sunny it felt like the summer, we took the little tourist boat from Marbella along to Puerto Banus, and in the marinas of Marbella centre and the more famous dazzling port of Banus, I found sufficient ripples to keep me satisfied until my next encounter with the watery wonders of rippledom.

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But even as the weather turned from glorious sunshine to rather depressing rain, the wonders that nature creates with water were still plentiful, and out with my camera I returned, to capture the beauty that can be seen in raindrops on flowers, and the dazzlingly abstract stripes created by raindrops running down a window.

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The photographic results of all these quests can be seen in the pictures shared on this post. And just in case you wanted further confirmation of what magic can be created when a little water is involved, there’s also a shot of a fountain drop, and a magnificent mammoth bubble just to wet your fancy – ooh, see what I did there?

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 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.

Natale Italiano | Naples – Photography Focus: Ripples of the Riviera

I may have thought the ripples and watery reflections of Venice were great, but in the sun-drenched marinas of Naples, we were given a ripple spectacle like Venice on ecstasy. Boats in vibrant primary colours of yellow and red and blue scattering a kaleidoscope of colour into the water, yachts with their proud white masts punctuating the cerulean ripples reflected below, and the sunshine glinting over the sea like a carpet of crystals – this was photographically seductive, ripple-ravishing heaven.

No doubt it was the timing of this visit – a sunny stroll on an otherwise cold December day – which made the experience of dipping into the sensations of the summer all the more special. Breathing air which is tinted with warmth feels like indulging in a glass of heavenly nectar after a day when wretched thirsty work has left the mouth parched; being by the sea when all of the senses have become numbed by the smoke, the rush and the monotony of city life is like a face splashed with freshness on a hot clammy day; feeling the rays of the sun filling the skin with its vitamin-filled goodness is like applying a glinting layer of gold to a dull pot of steel.

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Not only did this reconnaissance with the summer make us feel optimistically alive, and produce some stunning photos of the water, but it also seemed to have the world out to enjoy the weather in unison. And so this little set of photos includes not just the incredible effects of mother nature’s fusion of sunshine and water, but also glimpses of Neapolitan life, as fishermen go about their business by the waters edge, and locals come out from their winter-clad houses to enjoy the hope that the fine weather brings.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 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.