Updated: Oct 9, 2020
My whole approach to my artwork (and outlook on life) changed on August 4th, 2018, when I arrived in Malaga for the first time, and was blown away by the heat, street art, beautiful palm trees, architecture and the general excitement in the city. Despite having visited northern Spain several times previously (and having fallen in love with Barcelona), I had still never been to the south.....Andalucia. I had been initially inspired to visit many years previously after watching Andrew Graham Dixon's 'The Art of Spain' on TV, in particular the episode 'The Moorish South'. I already knew that Malaga was the birthplace of my favourite artist, Picasso, and, combined with my love of Islamic design, the excitement began to grow; planning trips to Granada, Tarifa, Ronda, Cadiz and Tangiers in Morocco. I had no idea at the time of how this trip would LITERALLY change everything and enhance even further my love of decorative tiles and architecture, as well as redirect and refocus my outlook on life.
I stayed in a lovely little town called San Luis de Sabinillas, renting the apartment of a Spanish friend of mine. Sabinillas was a small fishing village and has, over recent years had some development; however, it remains quaint, relaxing and is family friendly. The town runs along the beautiful Mediterranean coast and attracts some British and northern European visitors yet retains an authentic Spanish feel to it, in stark contrast to the huge, sprawling resorts north. The locals are very friendly and helpful, and there is a good range of bars, restaurants and chiringuitos - Almijara was my favourite!
What you notice very quickly are the beautiful mosaic water fountains all along the Paseo Maritimo, a lovely palm tree lined promenade along the town's seafront. (FOR ALL PHOTOS, PLEASE SEE THE PAGE 'BLOG PHOTOS'). There are colourful mosaics dotted around everywhere, on huge plant pots and palm tree bases, which give a vibrant burst of colour to the town. Another lovely feature are the artist named streets; Calles Picasso, Dali, Tapies, Miro, Goya, Gris..and the accompanying tiled reproductions of their work on walls adding a further colourful artistic dimension to the town. There was also a particularly lovely Chagall reproduction but I could't find a Calle Chagall!
Across the glittering Mediterrean sea, far beyond the ubiquitous fishing boat bbqs, are the mountains of Morocco - a place I had only ever dreamed of visiting. It gave an exciting and exotic air to the small town which enhanced further the beauty of the tiled fountains and mosaics for me - my imagination was on fire!
The colours, shapes and patterns of the Sabinillas tile work are reflected in my ongoing 'Mosaics' series...oil paint and spray paint on paper, with stencils applied to create a second 'layer of depth' to the work - vibrant blues, turquoises, reds, golds and oranges. They of course reflect the breathtaking colours of the sea and sky and the impermanence of these hues during the divine sunsets.......
My new adventure had begun, my life's direction had changed and my passion to create was inflamed...my desire to explore further was overwhelming.....