.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018
  memories: spain
Near Mount Teleno, Maragater√≠a, Spain 

The night I came back from my month in Spain, deep in jet-lagged sleep, I had a vivid dream. It was a dream without action, plot, or characters, and only the vaguest suggestion of place. I did have the impression that I was looking out over a landscape that was mostly arid and flat, with some mountains in the distance. So it reminded me of where I had been staying in the Maragater√≠a region of Spain, but everything was veiled in radiant light--bright and glowing faintly gold--and no features of the land were distinct. 

In the dream I was just being there, just looking and observing, surrounded by an atmosphere of air and light. I had a feeling of an ancient place, of simplicity, peace and spirituality. When I woke up, I knew that the dream was a gift from my subconscious--a beautiful distillation of my time in Spain. 

I loved that gift because re-entry into ordinary life after from a deeply experienced trip tends to be overwhelming, and when I woke up that first morning at home, I had something powerful to hold onto. It seemed to me I felt less confused than I often do in the first few days because of that. The conscious mind remembers so many events, locations, people, and visual impressions, as well as the accompanying feelings, thoughts, and ideas. That's a lot to bring home, in addition to dozens of photos, artwork, maybe a rock or two--so much to process, especially if it's left to the conscious mind. Memory(and if you're lucky, a dream) can do a better job of making sense of things. 



small works on paper done in Spain: graphite, earth pigments, gouache

As well, painting intuitively, without pushing particular ideas, allows you to access your personal feeling of the essence of a place. I value the small, intuitive works on paper that I did in Spain as fragments of experience I was able to capture. They remind me of the simple buildings of the stone village, of the rugged terrain, of colors and textures of the region. But I know that for more developed work, it will take longer for the process to unfold. Over time, some memories will stand out as more meaningful, more powerful in their combination of visual impressions and emotion, and become part of my visual language. It's also true that even a very important experience may come through only in small and subtle ways, in mere glimpses of the stronger truth held inside. 

The dream I had about Spain was very powerful, but also ineffable; it will take time to express anything of what it offered me. Memories are a bit more accessible in the meantime. The painting below, which I finished after I got home, seems in its minimalism to embody the feeling of simplicity and calm I associate with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, which is a constant presence in the region. I also sense the aridity of the environment and the simple geometry of many of the local buildings in this painting. 



Liminal, 48x36" oil/cold wax on panel

Soon I am off to my winter home in New Mexico, to be followed by a few weeks in San Miguel Allende for teaching. There will be new influences as a result--which is good, but I worry a little about losing the the connection in my heart and mind to this special place. Yet I can't believe that my time in Spain will not shape what lies ahead in my work. It was too powerful an experience not to do so. So we'll see what evolves...
 
Comments: Post a Comment



<< Home

       www.rebeccacrowell.com




     September 2005 /      October 2005 /      November 2005 /      December 2005 /      January 2006 /      February 2006 /      March 2006 /      April 2006 /      May 2006 /      June 2006 /      July 2006 /      August 2006 /      September 2006 /      October 2006 /      November 2006 /      December 2006 /      January 2007 /      February 2007 /      March 2007 /      April 2007 /      May 2007 /      June 2007 /      July 2007 /      August 2007 /      September 2007 /      October 2007 /      November 2007 /      December 2007 /      January 2008 /      February 2008 /      March 2008 /      April 2008 /      May 2008 /      June 2008 /      July 2008 /      August 2008 /      September 2008 /      October 2008 /      November 2008 /      December 2008 /      January 2009 /      February 2009 /      March 2009 /      April 2009 /      May 2009 /      June 2009 /      July 2009 /      August 2009 /      September 2009 /      October 2009 /      November 2009 /      December 2009 /      January 2010 /      February 2010 /      March 2010 /      April 2010 /      May 2010 /      June 2010 /      July 2010 /      August 2010 /      September 2010 /      October 2010 /      November 2010 /      December 2010 /      January 2011 /      February 2011 /      March 2011 /      April 2011 /      May 2011 /      June 2011 /      July 2011 /      August 2011 /      September 2011 /      October 2011 /      November 2011 /      December 2011 /      January 2012 /      February 2012 /      March 2012 /      April 2012 /      May 2012 /      June 2012 /      July 2012 /      August 2012 /      September 2012 /      October 2012 /      November 2012 /      December 2012 /      January 2013 /      February 2013 /      March 2013 /      April 2013 /      May 2013 /      June 2013 /      July 2013 /      August 2013 /      September 2013 /      October 2013 /      November 2013 /      December 2013 /      January 2014 /      February 2014 /      March 2014 /      April 2014 /      May 2014 /      June 2014 /      July 2014 /      August 2014 /      September 2014 /      October 2014 /      November 2014 /      December 2014 /      January 2015 /      February 2015 /      March 2015 /      April 2015 /      May 2015 /      June 2015 /      July 2015 /      August 2015 /      September 2015 /      October 2015 /      November 2015 /      December 2015 /      January 2016 /      February 2016 /      March 2016 /      April 2016 /      June 2016 /      July 2016 /      August 2016 /      September 2016 /      October 2016 /      November 2016 /      December 2016 /      January 2017 /      February 2017 /      March 2017 /      May 2017 /      June 2017 /      July 2017 /      August 2017 /      September 2017 /      October 2017 /      November 2017 /      December 2017 /      January 2018 /      March 2018 /      April 2018 /      May 2018 /      June 2018 /      August 2018 /      September 2018 /      October 2018 /      November 2018 /

       Rebecca Crowell