We had a wonderful time at Casa Ana in Spain where we painted the inspiring Andalusian landscape and from where we ventured out to whitewashed villages and surrounding hills, enjoyed local Flamenco dancers on the sun-filled terrace and tasted local wines. After getting all the travel paper work sorted and actually arriving at Malaga airport, it was time to relax and think of painting, leaving all worries of the last year behind. It is an easy task when you are greeted by sunshine, blue skies and our smiling host Anne and her team.
After a scrumptious breakfast we set to work the next day and painted in the village square by the old water fountain. While we mixed paints, measured up buildings and decided on shadow colours, Sunday ceremonies with cakes were taking place all around us, not omitting offers of some delicious morsels. The following day was equally social when Dean arrived with his two ‘pack horses’ to take our painting gear and guide us together with Anne to a nearby rocky plateau with amazing mountain views. Our drinking water was gathered from a naturally sparking spring on the way! As always during the duration of my courses I gave daily watercolour demonstrations to get things going and to help with particular painting aspects like perspective, colour choice, working from sketches etc.
Apart from painting the narrow village streets and traditional old buildings with their balconies and wine growing roof top terraces, we also visited the old town of Capileira, where the white buildings with their flat roofs and numerous attractive chimneys cling to the precipitously steep mountain side. A lovely place to sketch, have a leisurely lunch and do some light shopping. The day was suitably finished off with a sip of sparkling wine and two local Flamenco dancers who not only performed for us, but also explained the ancient and colourful origins of this exciting dance form.
On our penultimate day we hopped again onto the minibus and were off to Fondales, another picturesque village a little lower down from Ferreirola. The little square offered views in all directions, down alley ways, into intimate corners amply adorned with flowerpots, narrow entrances with steps leading up to more buildings seemingly on top of each other. Maria’s teashop provided us with snacks and drinks to keep us going until dinner time when we indulged in yet another gorgeous meal. But before we tucked in we had a wine tasting hour, learning all about the wines of the area. Needless to say this was not just educational but also highly enjoyable.
And so our last day arrived - much too soon! After another pleasurable day’s painting we had an informal show of some of our weeks work. It was extremely gratifying for me to see the amount of creativity generated during just one week. We celebrated with a last glass of pre-dinner Champagne followed by our last exquisite evening meal.
With big thanks to Anne who owns Casa Ana, and who made us feel more than welcome and to everybody else who made our painting week so extremely enjoyable.
"Delicious food, great painting locations and outstanding hospitality"
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