Early Spring near Gorramakil

2013 April - Early Spring near Gorramakil

April 2013  Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm

After finishing the previous painting I’ve revisited the same place a couple of times when there’s been the  opportunity. Since then  I’ve been revisiting it more often in my imagination when I’ve been transported back via the proccess of my painting !

On a totally different subject – I managed to “like” my own painting the other day! I was simply trying to click on one of the “likes” as far as I remember, to see what they were. How embarressing! Has anyone else had this problem?  I think I then got rid of a load of other peoples’ “likes” along with mine when I tried to delete it!! Sorry if it was yours!


A late afternoon in Autumn – Etxalar

October 2010 – Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm

I seem to be having a problem with cameras at the moment, so this painting had to be photographed using a mobile phone! It looks a bit whited out on the left but it’ll have to do for now because I was determined to post this in October!….Next day …I got one of my sons to take a photo so have replaced the previous one. This one seems a bit dark on the other hand, but that could just be the screen!

Part of the challenge of making this painting was in taking a very typical subject matter (in this case a Basque village) & at the same time to  retain my own vision & approach.  

Una tarde de otoño – Etxalar

!Tengo un problema con mi camera entonces he sacado el foto de este cuadro con el mobil! Creo que los colores no han salido muy bien.

Uno de los retos de este cuadro ha sido de tomar un sujeto muy tipico (en este caso un pueblo vasco) y a la vez guardar mi vision y enfoque personal.

Un après midi d’automne – Etxalar

Comme  j’ai un problème avec mon apareil j’ai pris la photo avec un portable . Je ne sais pas si les couleurs sont bonnes.

Un des défis de cette peinture a été de reprendre un sujet très typique (dans ce cas un village Basque) en gardant tout de même ma vision et mon approche personelle.

Mendaur & the first signs of Autumn

October 2010  – Acrylic on canvas 65 x50cm

The mountain of Mendaur is a well known landmark in the area of the Bidasoa valley & the area around Doneztebe. At the beginning of October the forests are  still pretty green but you start to see a few  subtle changes in places. Much of the bracken has turned reddish,  providing a contrast before the trees too take on a similar colour. You can see tiny purple Autumn crocuses flowering in areas of grassland & if you’re lucky you can find some field mushrooms or parasol mushrooms to take home for dinner. It’s also the time for gathering chesnuts in certain places. There can often be a very warm south wind, which generally brings rain afterwards.

Mendaur y los primeros signos del otoño

Mendaur es muy conocido en el Bidasoa y por los alrededores  de Doneztebe. En los principios de octubre el bosque todavia està verde aunque se ve los primeros cambios subtiles de color. El helecho ya està rojito, lo que contraste con los arboles, antes de que ellos tambien  van a cambiarse en  unos colores algo parecidos.

Se ve pequeños flores de crocus en la hierba y de vez en cuando unos champis. Es el momento para recoger castañas. Muchas veces hay viento del sur que, como todos sabeimos , seguramente va a traer la lluvia.

Mendaur et les premiers signes de l’automne

La Montagne de Mendaur est bien connue dans la région du Bidasoa et autour de Doneztebe (Saint Esteben).

Au début d’octobre la forêt est encore verte mais on commence à remarquer les premières signes de couleurs qui changent. Les fougères ont déjà des tons rouges, ce qui contraste avec les arbres avant qu’ils ne deviennent rouges à leur tour.

On voit des fleurs de crocus et parfois des champignons, qui pousssent dans l’herbe. C’est le moment pour récolter les chataignes. Il y a souvent un vent du sud qui apporte la pluie.

In the beech forest

June 2010 -Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm (19.68 x 27.56 inches)

After the last painting  I needed to do something slightly freer. For ages I have been wanting to paint the experience of being in the forest. On a hot day in early summer there is a sensation of other wordliness as you are in the still coolness,  created by the canopy of fresh green, vibrant  with  the sunlight filtering through. The carpet of dry leaves & the velvety mosses seem to absorb all sound other than birdsong.

There are fallen trees in various states of decay which create microcosms for various plants, insects & fungi. Close to streams you find  beautiful ferns. Sometimes it can seem hard to believe that these sorts of places do still exist – I hope they don’t become just fairy tales & myths.

Aside from deforestation by felling, with the planet warming up beech forest is going to be declining at lower altitudes .

El palacio de Aizkolegi

May 2010- Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm

This building is situated on top of a small peak & surrounded by a vast area of beech forest. I can’t seem to find much information on it other than that it was built at the start of the 20th Century for Pedro Ciga.

There’s something I find  appealing & a bit romantic about ruined buildings- for some reason they seem to open up the imagination & you can enter into some sort of a time capsule. It’s quite an incongruous setting for any building & I rather like the way that nature is claiming it back.

On the other hand, it must once have been a very elegant building & it seems a pity for it to be allowed to just fall apart. I wonder if it will ever get renovated. My idea for it is that it’d make a good  artists’ residence  & a place for  scientists to study the surrounding ecology.

At least that’s when I’ve  stopped  imagining sitting  out on the terrace with a nice glass of wine, good company & watching the sun go down on a warm, balmy evening  just as the bats are starting to come out & you can hear  the first owls… Of course, we wouldn’t be going to work tomorrow or the next day & how we  do the shopping doesn’t come into it  either.

Aizkolegi & white asphodels

May 2010 – Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70cm

This painting shows the peak of Aizkolegi which is situated in the uppermost part of the Señorio de Bertiz. The Señorio de Bertiz is  a protected area predominantly full of beech forest. The foreground shows the area outside of it, with the boundary being along the upper ridge of beech forest. It was given to the Navarra government in 1949 by its previous owners, Pedro Ciga & Dorotea Fernandez. It was declared a Parque Natural in 1984.