Marina and I have been here at the Centre D'art I Natura for five days now, and the stress of travel has worn off completely, giving way to the peaceful rhythms of painting, walking and of course, eating...which is quite a highlight here, with dinners of incredible Catalan specialities, served at 9pm.
I'm following several different ideas in my work, inspired by so much that is interesting and beautiful here, including the textures of the old slate walls, and the many varieties of plants and wildflowers that are unfamiliar to me. I'm enjoying using the water-based and dry media that I brought along and so far I feel that these materials are a nice change from oils, with potential for complex textures and surfaces about the same.
Yesterday we went to the market town of Sort to stock up on groceries and wander around. Our ride to and from was from Lluis, the director here, who had a meeting to attend. So we ended up being there for hours... but it was fine. It's not a huge place at all, but we spent a lot of time walking around, and with the relaxed pace of life here it is easy to while away hours having lunch and coffee. I loved the grocery store...my language skills are not great, and it was a game to figure out what various products were. ( I ended up buying a packet of yeast that I was sure was some kind of cheese. )
The other artists here besides myself and Marina are a video artist from Catalunya and a young man from Egypt whose studio we are going to visit in a few minutes.
The rest of the world seems rather distant, but today I am thinking about the last time I was here, in September of 2001, and on the 11th received the terrible news from the US. September 11 is a Catalan holiday which makes it a little extra strange.