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Posts tagged ‘paper’

Ocho Balcones (No.4): The Longest View

Another Monday heralds the next instalment in my Ocho Balcones collection, the gouaches on paper which attempt to capture the mood and views of my Mallorca apartment. As is typical of many of the buildings in the old town of Palma de Mallorca, ours is nestled quite closely to neighbouring buildings, such that the view from our balconies is generally quite close to our fellow neighbours mere metres across the way. This makes for a wonderfully interesting spectacle on occasions when, in the trend of James Stewart in Hitchcock’s Rear Window, we are able to observe glimpses of the varying lives of our neighbours (and more embarrassing, vice versa).

However, not all our views are thus, and today’s gouache captures “The Longest View”… the street opposite our lounge which gives us an amazing panorama all the way down a small side street onto the little bustling square at its end. And just in case you were in any doubt that the view is from our home, in the foreground, our plants and recently acquired Aristotle-looking bust frame the image, likewise enjoying the vertical strip of old town which can be so admired from our fourth balcony.

Ocho Balcones No.4: The Longest View (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Ocho Balcones No.4: The Longest View (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown 2000-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included on this website without express and written permission from Nicholas de Lacy-Brown is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

My travel sketchbook: One-armed lady

There was an awful lot I could have sketched when I was recently in Malaga. It wasn’t just that I was inspired to paint the landscape interpretation I went on to create shortly after our return, but I also felt the need to flip open my sketchbook and capture the captivating elements of the city. And I didn’t need to look much further than the view from my hotel, the Molina Lario, to find inspiration.

For the rooftop of the hotel is easily its best attraction. With a little pool and poolside bar, the roof allows you to splash around to your heart’s content with the most stunning city view as your backdrop. In fact the view had inspired me before, when last year I created a mixed-technique etching and woodcut print of the view. But not content with that, I decided to return to the same inspiration, focusing in on Malaga’s famously unfinished single-towered cathedral for inspiration. And here is the result. The latest page of my travel sketchbook, all with pen.

Malaga Cathedral, detail (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Malaga Cathedral, detail (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

© 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

Ocho Balcones (No.2): Cables in the Calle

Another week has begun, time continues to traverse its fleeting path through the year, and it’s time for me to present this week’s second addition to my new Ocho Balcones collection: a series of small gouache paintings illustrating the views which I am lucky enough to enjoy from the 8 balconies of my Palma de Mallorca flat.

Today’s view is has a much more narrow field of vision than the first. The balcony from which the aspect is seen is not even in view. Instead, the painting focuses in on a particular aspect of this view from our dining table, namely the electricity (or are they telephone?) cables which are so characteristic of the old town of Palma, and which hang directly outside our apartment.

Ocho Balcones No. 2: Cables in the Calle (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Ocho Balcones No. 2: Cables in the Calle (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

From the first day we moved into this flat last autumn, I have been fascinated by these cables which hang at the same level as our apartment, and which provide a divertingly original aspect to an otherwise colourful view of pastel houses and the typical Mallorquin green shutters. Enveloped in some kind of striped cloth, they almost look like a complex form of flag pole suspended midair over the street. In reality I have no idea what the cables are for, nor what function the striped material has. I only know that I love to look at these structures each day, and thoroughly enjoyed capturing them in this second sunny scene from my new gouache collection.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown 2000-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included on this website without express and written permission from Nicholas de Lacy-Brown is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

The Honeymoon Suite III: Bedroom at the Arai Barcelona

My Honeymoon Suite series was never intended to be a suite of paintings as such – it all started with a moment’s inspiration at La Colombe d’Or which then led to a second manifestation when we moved hotels to Cagnes-sur-Mer. Having therefore established, in that second work, something of a trend, I knew that a third and final addition to the series was inevitable when we moved from France to our final honeymoon destination of Barcelona.

With its beautifully designed bedrooms characterised by exposed brick walls and classic detailings, the Aparthotel Arai Superior in Barcelona certainly provided the perfect backdrop for this third part of my Honeymoon Suite series. However in this painting the real action comes from the Plaça George Orwell, a bustling triangular square set in the heart of Barcelona’s historic gothic quarter, and positioned right outside our hotel bedroom. With its countless elegant buildings, shuttered windows and small balconies, together with its leafy trees filling the space, the square made for an inspirational view to match the indisputably chic interiors of our final honeymoon suite.

The Honeymoon Suite 3: Bedroom at the Arai Barcelona

The Honeymoon Suite 3: Bedroom at the Arai Barcelona, 2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper

© 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

Art on the Riviera: Breakfast at La Colombe d’Or

I wish I could claim to enjoy the kind of artistic notoriety and talent of those celebrated artists exhibited in the stunning collection of La Colombe d’Or and the Fondation Maeght, the latter being the feature of my last Art on the Riviera post. In the second feature of this series, allow me to indulge myself a little by featuring not the work of an artist great, but a painting created by myself.

Except that is not perhaps strictly true… for in sharing with you another of my honeymoon artworks, completed while we stayed at the blissful Colombe d’Or hotel, I am also sharing something of the work of much more famous artist, Fernand Léger. This is because in painting a work devoted to our experience of eating breakfast in the garden of La Colombe d’Or, I could not do so without featuring the stunning 1950s ceramic mural by Léger which is famously installed in the garden.

Breakfast at La Colombe d'Or (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Breakfast at La Colombe d’Or (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Breakfast at La Colombe d’Or captures the random cosiness of the beautiful restaurant terrace as it was set up for breakfast on those sunny Riviera mornings. Still recovering from a heaving night of fine dining, and before preparation of the terrace for lunch, the restaurant at breakfast had much more of a relaxed feel, like a star of the stage before her makeup was applied. The old rusty tables around which Picasso once sat were scattered haphazardly without a tablecloth – this was only placed on the table when a guest chose from amongst them and sat down to eat petit dejeuner in a dappled spot. Likewise the little vintage metal chairs were randomly placed, their normal cushions not yet affixed.

Amongst this friendly scene, the ceramic mural by Léger continued to glimmer in the morning sunshine filtered through the large leaves of the garden’s fig trees, and on the table, an exquisite breakfast of rich coffee, pastries and fruit was served in La Colombe’s iconic branded porcelaine. Breakfast bliss.

© 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

Mallorca Sketchbook: The beach at Banyalbufar

It’s got to be one of the best town names on the island: Banyalbufar, a name which perfectly recalls Mallorca’s rich historical past; the Moorish heritage which laid down the first mountain paths, sophisticated waterways and impressive palaces, and the people who masterfully tamed the inhospitable mountain slopes with agricultural terraces and dry stone walls. It was in the course of exploring and photographing those iconic coastal terraces that my partner and I recently came across Banyalbufar which, owing to its perilous coastal location, more than benefits from its fair share of Moorish terraces. But instead of exploring the town, we decided to head for its far more inaccessible beach instead, taking the countless steps and steep slopes down to the rocky water’s edge.

The terraces around Banyalbufar

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The beach was not the most beautiful I have ever seen, but it certainly had its charms, not least in its sloping boat platform loaded with small vessels ready for their launch directly into the crystal clear waters, and it was these charms which inspired me to open up my sketchbook, and start making a little drawing of the beach in my favourite sketching medium: a staedtler liner pen. This is the result.

The beach at Banyalbufar (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen and ink on paper)

The beach at Banyalbufar (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen and ink on paper)

© 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

My travel sketchbook: Ibiza Town

Ibiza’s charms not only manifested themselves in the photography i featured on The Daily Norm on Wednesday but in a little artwork too. For despite long working hours and a lot of time out and about, I occasionally returned to my hotel before nightfall and one such late afternoon return was accompanied by a precious sunset which sunk over the island’s famous Dalt Vila. This area – the old town of Ibiza’s capital – is the very antithesis of the club scene for which the island is better renowned – a historical citadel clustered around a domineering hill all set within mighty great ancient walls and crowned with a cathedral on top. It was this ancient view that I was lucky enough to enjoy from my hotel, and I could not help but open up my travel sketchbook to capture the old town, in the late afternoon sun, before I got back down to work.

Ibiza Town (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Ibiza Town (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

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.  

Interpretation No. 14 – Deia

How could I not paint Deia? Such was my jaw-dropped awe at this village on the slopes of a rocky Mallorcan paradise that i wanted to rush home and start 40 paintings simultaneously. But while more will surely follow, with time short, I opted for the “something is better than nothing” option and set about painting a small gouache landscape to enter my collection of interpretations. Rather than paint the main cluster of Deia’s buildings, such is the image which frequents the most postcards, I opted instead to paint the surrounding mountains and smaller settlements, finding these to be by far the most inspirational. However catching the mountain light and the vast scale of nature’s backdrop was not easy, and while I am fairly satisfied with this initial attempt, I surely need to try my hand at other views of this incredible place. Until then…

Interpretation No. 14 , Deia (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Interpretation No. 14 , Deia (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

© 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

Interpretation No. 12 – Capuchin Monks, Amalfi

The heady days of Amalfi coast indulgence are now too many days behind me to count – it must be at least 250 rather forlorn days since I sampled the paradise of Amalfi, Capri and Positano during a blissful week on the Italian coast last summer. And it has been almost as long since I last thought to paint the place, even though it was on my hotel balcony on the Amalfi Coast that my collection of interpretations began. It was therefore something of a blast from the past when, opening up sketch book the other day in order to start a new gouache project, I discovered a half finished gouache painting based on the Amalfi Coast, left sadly uncompleted.

My feeling with paintings is that each painting has its time, and even when a project goes unworked for some time, it should always be left until the time is again right to continue it. A painting should never be destined for the bin. So when I reopened this hitherto unfinished work, I so enjoyed the breath of fresh Italian air that gushed open my opening it that I decided that the time was right to finish it off, even if it meant completing the Amalfi scene here in my new home of Mallorca.

Interpretation No. 12: Capuchin Monks, Amalfi (2014-15 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Interpretation No. 12: Capuchin Monks, Amalfi (2014-15 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

The painting, which will be the 12th in my collection of gouache interpretative landscapes, was actually based on an old engraving we picked up in Amalfi just before catching a boat back home to Positano. Being a city renowned for its ancient homemade papers, we could not resist buying a print on Amalfi’s finest, and as soon as we found this image, I was captivated. There was something about the alluring tranquil activity of the Capuchin monks depicted, one tying back a vine and the other reading before a view of Amalfi, that made me want to recreate this idyllic scene of the joie de vivre for modern times.

The original engraving we purchased in Amalfi (c. 1880, artist unknown)

The original engraving we purchased in Amalfi (c. 1880, artist unknown)

A gouache interpretation was born and now, thanks to my rediscovery of the image, it is completed. I am pleased with the relative simplification I have achieved by repainting the scene in broad flat gouache colours, and I have to say that the colour has certainly brought this 19th century engraving back to life. It could almost be modern day except that, sadly (or not for those rich enough to stay there), the Capuchin Monastery of Amalfi is today the swish Gran Hotel Convento di Amalfi, a place from which this view can still be very much enjoyed, albeit sadly without the monks.

© 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

Art-in-Amalfi – Painting 3: Positano III (cluster on the upper road)

Following hot on the heels of my photographic post on Positano’s upper mountain passages is the third of my Positano paintings it inspired. Unlike my previous two works of Positano, both of which included the sea and the beach as prominent compositional elements, this one concentrates solely on Positano’s mountainous backdrop as it focuses on a cluster of houses on the town’s upper mountain road. With its resulting rocky background and not a slice of sea or sky in sight, the group of pastel houses collected onto the mountain side is even more striking set against these dark and looming surroundings, emphasising just how striking a sight is created by a small town built upon the steep sides of huge imposing mountains.

I kept this painting as simple as possible, and even though the mountains have the appearance of craggy complexity, the brain is doing most of the work here – for in reality I have painted neither shade nor light into the purple mountain – only the impression of texture as created by the strategic placement of green detailing indicating where the mountain’s verdant plant life would be. It’s an effect which I find altogether pleasing, and a simplicity which ultimately does all of the work which a more detailed illustration would provide. Yet in this simpler form it seems altogether cleaner and more contemporary – and for that reason I love it.

Positano III (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Positano III (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

© 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 www.delacy-brown.com