We just returned from a wonderful road trip down into the very deep south of Spain as far as Cordoba. Starting out from our home in France, we travelled along the south side of the Pyrenees, almost to Cantabria, along stunning mountain roads. We saw huge Eagles soaring above us and then, as we headed down onto the plains, found storks sitting in their huge, ungainly nests that are perched precariously on top of church towers and electric pylons.
We were travelling in the footsteps of the Moors and the early Sephardic Jewish community, staying in wonderful medieval castles and wandering the streets of old towns like Siguenza, Cuenca and Toledo. But what left its mark on me more than anything else was the incredibly diverse and majestic countryside we passed through. From the brilliant colours of La Mancha where the earth is a deep terracotta red contrasting with the vivid green of the spring wheat fields that takes your breath away, to hundreds of acres of regimented olive trees covering every spare inch of land in the countryside of Andalucia just to the South of Cordoba.
When we came back I started to draw some very simple little ink impressions that this wonderful trip had imprinted on my memory and from those drawings I have produced a few small canvasses, which condense some of those memories. Semi abstract and completely different from the large-scale mountain paintings I have been doing since Christmas, these pieces have given me enormous pleasure.
For me experimenting like this is absolutely vital for refreshing my creative energy.