Rose Bay at dusk

If you follow me on Pinterest, you will have seen a flurry of activity earlier today on my “Paintings that inspire me” board. Particularly with quite a few Raoul Dufy paintings added to it. And just like that, immediately after adding the images, Pinterest worked its magic. I suddenly had an urge to paint something à la manière de Dufy, and very quickly decided on doing a view of Rose Bay at dusk. During my first two months in Sydney, I lived in Rose Bay and took the ferry to work from there. To walk to the harbour every morning and back in the evening was a true blessing. And therefore, a perfect subject matter.

Rose Bay at dusk

I used watercolour and casein on Arches 300gsm paper. But if you want to know a bit more about the process, well, have I got a treat for you! Below is a little film that documents it all. To make it I used an app called “Miniatures Pro” and set it to take one frame per second. And as for music, it’s Dustin O’Halloran’s Prelude 2. Trusty iMovie glued it all together in style. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did painting and putting it together!

 

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Tilt-shift

With less than a month to go for my 2.5 week holiday in Spain, this video just got me even more excited. It’s a tilt-shift time-lapse. What happens is the lens makes everything seem really tiny, as if it were a miniature scene. The author of such a beautiful video is Joerg Daiber, and you can find out more about him here.

I have just updated my porcelain bullring post with another FANTASTIC video by Mr Daiber. Happy Friday!!

Porcelain bullring

After Spain winning the Eurocup on Sunday, my Spanish patriotism has blown out of proportion. This means that for a while I will adore every single Spanish cliche possible. I now wear my trademark Spanish flag bracelet every day, listen to flamenco non-stop, and every time I watch the Spanish news about the country’s Sunday win and subsequent celebrations, my eyes are filled with tears of joy!

Obviously, even my ceramics have been affected by this sudden surge of LOVE. My latest piece is actually another bullring. This time, I’m very proud to say that I made it from scratch and in extra-white porcelain.

UPDATE

This is the second time I update this post! However, when you’ll see the fantastic tilt-shift video below, you’ll understand why.

Happy Birthday Rocio!!!

Today is my amazing sister Rocio’s birthday. The thing with my sister is that she’s the least tech-savvy person I know. The Internet refuses to work in her house, she doesn’t have a smartphone and sees Facebook as the Devil. In spite of all these slightly annoying facts, the truth is that my sister is EXTRAORDINARY. She’s the one who showed me the infinite possibilities drawing/painting can give you: from making my own paper dolls, to designing dozens of paper dollhouses, not to mention discovering the joy of silk painting, making my first stamp with a potato, doing calligraphy with a wooden peg, and planting the seed in my new love for sewing. She taught me all these things, and by doing so, opened a world where art and crafts have ended up being a very important part of who I am.

Love you sis xxx

Christmas in Quebec City

My interest in Quebec City was born a couple of years ago on a rainy day in London in October (as they usually are). I was in Trafalgar Square and the front door to the iconic Canada House was actually open. Couldn’t let this opportunity pass so in I went. Through a majestic hallway, I found myself in a 19th century atrium, with wooden panels and decorated with paintings in a  Krieghoff style which depict Canada in the 18th century. I saw there was a sign than indicated that there was actually a book launch on the first floor which was just about to begin. Simply couldn’t believe my luck so I raced upstairs and managed to grab a glass of Niagara wine before heading into the presentation hall. The book was Death or Victory: the Battle of Quebec and the Birth of Empire, written by Dan Snow.

Before moving to Canada I was extremely ignorant about my new country. Very little, if anything, is taught at school and aside from the various Olympics (Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver) I really didn’t know much else. What’s more, I thought Quebec was a separate country from the rest of Canada. And to make matters even more convoluted, in Spanish, the word “America” refers to both North and South America, and the term “North America” refers to the United States.

So there I was, in a gorgeous building, listening to a gorgeous man (Dan Snow is gorgeous) talking about, quite possibly, one of THE most important battles ever fought in history. Dan was extremely passionate about the subject, being half-Canadian himself. We were silent as he explained the gazillion coincidences that occurred during the campaign before the battle (the battle itself was over in just a few minutes) that enabled the Brits to win. Equally extraordinary were the consequences of the battle and how it shaped the world as we know it today. It was after this talk that the idea of Canada started growing inside my head. I KNEW I’d made the right decision to move here when a year later, on my first flight to Toronto from London, who was seated a mere 2 seats away from me on the Air Canada flight than Dan Snow himself?!

But back to Quebec City, I spent Christmas there with my mother. After having spent a few days in Toronto first, she appreciated the old architecture and history of Canada’s first capital. We visited the Plains of Abraham and I really didn’t do much research as to where the battle was held. It’s a park, AND covered in snow and I hadn’t a clue as to where to start – nor the energy, it was snowing and minus 20.

Some of my pictures were taken with Instagram and others with just the camera on my iPhone. The problem is that did I mention it was snowing and minus 20? And iPhones have touch screens, so I had to take off my much-needed gloves before each shot. Taking pictures with Instagram takes longer and so I was unable to do that many of the fancy ones.

Quebec City has obviously inspired me in many ways, but all I’ve been able to draw since coming back are scribbles that a 3-year-old would consider beneath him – perhaps the cold that has accompanied me like a faithful sidekick since last week has eaten up my ability to produce visually appealing paintings. However, in lieu of one of my works featured in this post, I actually have something better. Much better.

Dominic Boudreault is an extraordinary photographer from Quebec City who has had the sheer brilliance and patience to create beautiful timelapses. Below is the one he did of Quebec City.

And here’s The City Limits, which features Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, New York, Chicago and Quebec National Parks. Truly magnificent works of art.