As England soaked in an August when early autumn usurped the rightful place of summer, I spent the last two weeks with my head still firmly in the sun-baked sands of Ronda in Southern Spain. Never has a homecoming from Spain proved so hard as the unapologetic plunge by 20 degrees from 35 to 15. And never have the grey dirty streets of London or the impossibly cramped antisocial conditions of the tube proved so unattractive when compared alongside the almost-tangible memories of Andalucia’s rolling golden hills and cerulean blue skies, memories that remain so vividly present behind my minds eye, almost taunting me as I stagnate in my unenviable choice of permanent home.
As always, I have sought to address this mental imbalance by reacquainting myself with the place where I was at my happiest, taking up my paints and paintbrushes and capturing a few spare moments in a weekday evening, to sit down and paint my memories. In so doing, I have completed my third painting of Ronda; another in the “Interpretations” series which sees me reinterpreting the landscape through simplified forms and a refocus on the shapes made by civilisation rather than the detail.
This 10th interpretation concentrates on two aspects of “Vintage” Ronda: first the ancient arabic walls which can still be seen on one side of the El Tajo gorge close to the old arab baths; and second a newer but still historic car, the likes of which we happened to find parked in this exact spot when taking photos of the arab ruins. When I saw it there, I could not help but recall my interpretation of the landscape in Italy’s Positano, painted with a yellow vespa in the foreground, and I knew that with this red vintage car, the perfect partner work had been born.
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