Archive for March, 2011

Creative Course / Book Arts / 6th-13th August


To coincide with the residency of New York artist Eva Mantell, Cortijada Los Gázquez has created a ‘special’ creative course which will be complemented by her presence as part of the Joya: arte + ecología residency.

We are calling it a creative course in observation and invention, a sketch book builder. Each creative guest at Los Gázquez will be given a hand-made blank sketch book. The idea is to nurture such skills as documenting the external world with keenly observed drawings from around Los Gázquez and to encourage ‘digressions’ into the internal world, finding creativity through invention.

For example Conrad Martens. He accompanied Darwin on the voyage of The Beagle as expedition artist, continually making drawings from places visited and things seen. Possibly most famously JMW Turner created nearly 300 sketchbooks in his lifetime with 30,000 sketches in pencil pen and watercolour.

In this instance your sketch book will be your travel document, the depository for your considered observation and your imagination.

As with our other creative courses they are all inclusive with the exception of collection from points of disembarkation. The price is 850 euros per person and to secure your place you can make a reservation by contacting Simon here



SUNTRAP / progresses


SUNTRAP, the drawn installation by New Yorker Melissa Marks for Joya: arte + ecología is progressing fantastically. All daylight hours within our revolving weather patterns are consumed with the installation. One moment atop scaffolding the next sat on the ground Melissa builds her wall drawing from a single point and we have watched as it has creatively expanded to fill the space…


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Creative Course / 30th April - 7th May / 2011

Botanical Illustration 500

An informal week of walking, field studies and studio work allowing the artist to explore new flora and new approaches to representing flora in their art work or photography.

Our explorations will be of endemic and regional plant species. By looking at each slope, hollow, knoll and valley individually, we will identify a mosaic of different habitats. Some open, some closed, south facing or north facing, damp or dry we can aim at discovering the structurally diverse habitats which can be found here. The field studies aspect can be adapted to cater for anyone with mobility issues as a diversity of flora can be found on our doorstep as well as further afield.

And Los Gázquez can entertain you in a purpose built artist’s studio replete with natural light and plenty of space. Materials can be ordered in advance of your arrival or brought by yourself. ‘Botanical Illustration’ is a course for all who share this common interest, professional or ‘pastime’. The atmosphere is intended to be warm and congenial, the subject, in the right season, spectacular.



Creative Course / Art Forms in Nature / May 2011

Art forms in nature 3 500

This is an ‘applied arts’ programme where one can explore the nature of form and pattern occurring in the natural world. One then has the opportunity to consider and develop a practice of manipulating these forms in preparation for ‘applied or ‘decorative’ arts, be it for wallpaper, ceramics, furniture, graphic design, textiles, etc. The choice is yours.

Plant life, geology, climate, light, insects and more are all the traditional haunt of artists in their search for design. Consider the capital of a Corinthian column whose form is dictated by the folding leaves of the acanthus. The filleted fish bones pressed by Picasso into wet clay for a plate. The symmetry and organic form in the prints of Ernst Haeckel and his observations in nature.

Here at Los Gázquez we have an abundance of pristine nature to explore. From atop the forested or craggy slopes of the sierras down to the barrancas and ramblas in the valleys below, the gentle but fascinating study of life and physical form is a place you can draw inspiration and exercise your creative mind.

Angie Lewin 5 500The Joya: arte + ecología artist in residence will be printmaker and illustrator Angie Lewin.

She will be talking about her work her inspirations and techniques along with being your ‘mentor’ during the course. The actual course will be run by Cortijada Los Gázquez.

If you would like a place on this popular course then you will need to make your reservation early by contacting us here.



Joya: arte + ecología / University of the Arts London Fine Art MA

Uof-the Arts 11 500


For one week 9 MA Fine Art students from Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Art will undertake an intensive period of research and development at Cortijada de Los Gázquez focusing on what site specificity, sustainability and collaboration can mean to the artist in the context of rural Almeria. Participants will extend their normal practice into a new environment, developing site based research skills, whilst at the same time exploring the collaborative potential of being in a group, working with a shared space and shared resources. A week of practical experimentation, alongside workshops and critical discussion will lead to proposals for site-based works (which may or may not be realised in the future.)

[The project is led by Trish Scott and supported by Rebecca Fortnum, MA Fine Art Pathway Leader, Camberwell College of Arts].


Through practical experimentation and critical discussion participants will address the following research questions, arriving at a model or proposal for a piece of site-based work.

What constitutes ´site specific´ work?

What are the conceptual, practical, ethical and ecological considerations of working site specifically?

How can collaboration be used as a tool to develop work?

How does collaboration affect authorship and ownership?

What responsibility do participants within a group have to each other?

What forms might a  ´site responsive´ collaborative project take?



Paint Safari / fotografía


Below the Moorish fortifications and Monastery at Tiscar in the Provincia de Jaén you can find the multi coloured badlands of El Altplano de Granada. This is a desert landscape at about 800 meters above sea level, as dry as a bone save the olives grown in the valley bottom fed by the rainwaters from the Sierra de Castril behind.

This is a landscape for painters and photographers reminiscent as it is of Arizona or New Mexico and the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe.

If you would like to come and join us look here.