Archive for June, 2010

Cortijada Los Gázquez welcomes JOYA Resident Artist Melissa Marks


Volitia Claps and Flings, 2003, 17″ x 55″, color pencil on paper

We are delighted to have New York based artist Melissa Marks as resident artist for the next two weeks here at Los Gázquez.
I’ll be posting further news as to her progress in the next few weeks. If you would like to see more of Melissa Marks work you  can see it on her web site and ours here and here.


Volitia Waits Beneath the Falls, 2001, 14″ x 22″, color pencil on paper


Joya Resident Artist #24 / Lluís Sabadell Artiga / 10/21.10.2010


Cortijada Los Gázquez and Joya are delighted to announce the forthcoming residency, in August, of Catalan artist Lluís Sabadell Artiga.

He is an artist which we at Los Gázquez admire greatly and indeed we are collaborating on imminent events from the autumn. We will let you know in the near future. In the mean time these are Lluís’s words about this piece ‘Process Work Nø 2′…

‘With the same idea as in the work Process Work No.1 we wanted to interact with the environment, rather than making a static work. Then we saw some horse excrements completely covered by white butterflies. The image hit us and wonders at the same time. Seing those delicate white butterflies all lying on the horse excrement so black was a surreal and poetic image, but also a lesson on life cycles. Once again the nature offered us a -objet-trouvé that only had to be stressed. To do this we used a very minimalist shape, an image of something well-ordered, which give a misleading reading: on the one hand a proposal apparently only aesthetics, on the other hand, the fact for some scandalous, of using excrements and on the other to stand out the processes that occur in the cycle of life: excrement were precisely those who did come butterflies’.

Materials: Stones and horse excrements   Size: 400 x 400 cm.   Year: 2008   Where: International Meeting EcoArt in Nature- Anversa, Italy.



‘Inside-Out, Upside-Down and All Around’ part 4 / JOYA artist Cristina Sáez

Sáez sunrise

Sunrise on the day of the summer solstice. What you are seeing is a triple exposure created via three ‘pin-holes’ in the camera obscura, each a different angle…

Sáez sun-up

and the sun rises above the Sierra Larga in front of Los Gázquez. JOYA resident artist Cristina Sáez has photographed the internal workings of the camera obscura on her large format camera, the results she will process on her return to London.

It’s a strange phenomenon to recognise the image upside-down more than you would expect from seeing the same image the right way around. On the inside you are given two perspectives, the rational, conforming to the rules of gravity, and the distant image, converting the terms by which you conceive them.




JOYA Resident Artist Heather McReynolds / On Medium Specificity

McReynolds Sketchbook

‘I love the flexibility and possibilities of working with oil paint. But when I came to do a two week residency at JOYA I decided to use watercolors for a change, less gear, highly portable. At  first I found this ‘new’ medium terribly difficult and over worked and muddied the colour tones of the landscape I was using as a point of reference.

Over a few days I discovered that watercolor requires an entirely different approach and a much lighter touch than oils. How to adapt this to my new practice? I found that if I determine my palette first, selecting only a fewer tones, then I wet the paper and working very quickly, but very intentionally and ignoring most of the visual information, I find the colors and shapes that create a distillation of the landscape. With no second thoughts, no revisions, watercolour is truly a medium for the essence of things’.

Heather McReynolds

McReynolds watercolour


Comments (3)

‘Inside-Out. Upside-Down and All Around’ part 3 / Joya artist Cristina Sáez


First Results

These are the first results of the internal manifestation of light within Cristina Sáez’s Camera Obscura, an installation she has made as part of her JOYA residency here at Los Gázquez.

What you are looking at is the outside view of the landscape at Los Gázquez projected inside the JOYA studio. Because light travels in a straight line the internal image is rendered upside-down.

camera obscure drawing

What Cristina Sáez creates with the phenomenon we think is really quite beautiful but you will have to wait until the weekend to see some of her photographs. Keep following the blog and BTW, please feel free to add comment at the end of each post.


Comments (2)

JOYA Resident Artist / Heather McReynolds

McReynolds 1American abstract oil painter Heather McReynolds declared from the start that she wanted to use her time as a resident artist here to ‘get to grips with watercolour’.

It’s a medium that both Donna and I are very fond of for many reasons. It’s light and portable but best of all, it being a transparent medium, it is more akin to light and the colour of light as opposed to say oil and acrylic which are opaque mediums and only reflect colour and light.

And so many people have a fear of watercolour as an unforgiving medium. Well, this is just not true. If approached the right way it is extremely flexible.

Like so many abstract painters Heather McReynolds uses landscape as the progenitor for her more abstract paintings. And at Los Gázquez this is where she has started until returning to her studio.

McReynolds 2

Naturally there are a million and one ways to apply pigment and watercolour is no exception. What is important to remember  is that in watercolour the pigment is transparent and naturally brilliant and it relies on the natural brightness of the paper it is being applied to. More natural colours like ochre are more opaque.

McReynolds 3And, as Heather McReynolds has discovered as she has begun to control the medium in her favour, there is a sumptuous delight to be garnered from applying watercolour to very wet paper and letting the colour bleed. It needs to be controlled and in time depending on the paper and the colour and light etc. it can be manipulated in your own favour.

McReynolds 4Here Heather is showing our other artist in residence Cristina Sáez the results of waking up before sunrise and rapidly painting the influence of the sun over the landscape here at Los Gázquez.

If you are interested in watercolour and would like to see more then I would recommend the following artists from the 20th Century…

Wassily Kandinsky, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Klee, Otto Dix, Eric Ravilious, Graham Southerland, Paul Nash, Gwen John, Pierre Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, Arthur Dove, Milton Avery, Charles Burchfield, Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Joan Miró, Robert Delaunay, Emil Nolde, Lovis Corinth, August Macke….

See, they all do it.



‘Inside-Out, Upside-Down and All Around’ part 2 / JOYA artist Cristina Sáez

Camera obscura test

My rather blurred photograph shows Joya artist Cristina Sáez demonstrating how the ‘pin-hole’ in the camera obscura works and how light travels only in straight lines reversing the view, turning it upside-down. You might just make out the blue sky at the bottom of the card she is holding up.

The following two pictures show how we made the construction…

camera ob-const



‘Inside-Out, Upside-Down and All Around’ / JOYA artist Cristina Sáez

camera obscura1

Joya resident artist (with the casual assistance of myself) Cristina Sáez, has built the camera obscura installation here at Cortijada Los Gázquez. The three holes you can see are not the ‘pin holes’ directly but they are the access points to the glass window to make and experiment with the ‘pin-hole’ dimensions and angles.

camera obscura 2

This is the interior under construction. You can see clearly that even a 30 cm diameter hole in this bright Andalucían sunshine already captures the upside-down view to the outside world.

Keep following our blog to see more results during the rest of the week…



What some very nice folk said about us…

solstice 2010

As the sun sets on the summer solstice here at Los Gázquez we thought you may like to see what some very nice folk wrote about us…

GUEST BOOK (just click on it and see)



Notes From Spain Pod-Cast #77 ‘La Cortijada Los Gázquez’

Followers of our blog will know that Ben and Marina from Notes From Spain were here just last week for a visit. And whilst they were here, amongst other things, they interviewed yours truly for one of their famous pod-casts. This time it was about our art and ecology here at Cortijada Los Gázquez.

It was a genuine pleasure to have them here and if you would like to listen to Ben and Marinas pod-cast just click on the image above or listen by visiting their web-site by clicking on this link below.

Notes From Spain Pod-Cast #77


Comments (2)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »