November 2010 – Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50cm
This is definitely the last of the Autumn paintings! It feels distinctly wintery now & I can see snow on the mountains inland. All it’s done here though is rain heavily or hail for just about the last month. Usually I prefer to paint from as recent as possible inspirations, but they’ve been a bit lacking which is why I ended up looking back to an afternoon in the park at the end of October. I think it must have been one of the last warm & sunny days. I’ve begun to feel more & more distanced from that time & so in the end I really wanted to get this painting finished- it didn’t seem right any more! Now I think I’d better just admit that winter’s here & move onto something else!
This is the first time I have finally got round to attempting a painting of (part of) Donostia/San Sebastian. (This sometimes confuses tourists who aren’t too sure about going to Donosti when they really wanted to go to San Sebastian, but the latter is simply the Spanish name for the former Basque one.)
This view is from a park & so although for a city Donostia is very good for having lots of trees in general, what I have chosen to paint here is the extreme treed view! Most places you experience here involve streets & tall appartment blocks. But I like the fact that in a city you can still find these places despite all the continual construction. Obviously this has an impact – for example 15 years ago I used to hear wrynecks (that’s a type of bird in case you weren’t sure) in this area every spring but they no longer seem to pass through. I also remember seeing some sort of pine marten, but not now.
In this park though, you do still see buzzards & booted eagles, so at least something remains & I hope it continues to do so. There is something special about being in a city & looking up to see an eagle.
Recently I have noticed mothers showing their small children the Christmas tree with all its lights & decorations. It’s nice to see people sharing these moments with their children & of course there’s something a bit magical about it, but it made me think how important it is to try to also take that approach with less typically “special” things & to point out the magic in those things to children as well.
At the school I teach in we have one or two hours in our timetable where you have to be available in case someone is away. This means you can be sent to supervise any class, of any subject, from two year olds to eighteens! (I should say that if you get sent to two year olds there is generally someone else there as well.)
Today I got two year olds & one little boy wasn’t very happy, so to distract him from wanting his “ama” (mummy) I picked him up & showed him all the trees blowing in the wind & pointed out the colours, the clouds, the rain drops so on & it was lovely to see how he became quite absorbed with it all. Unfortunately there isn’t usually much time for that sort of thing in a school situation especially when you’re dealing with lots of children!
Monte Urgull en una tarde otoñal
!He escrito demasiado aqui! Entonces no voy a traducir todo – solo decir que este es lo que se ve desde el parque de Puio. Me encanta como Donostia tiene muchos arboles y que estos sitios siguen existiendo a pesar de toda la construccion. Claro que hay consequencias negativas para la naturaleza entonces aun mas importante respectar lo que todavia existe.
Mont Urgull un après midi d’automne
Cette vue est du parc de Puio à San Sébastian.