Here’s the reblog of Alhambra Linocuts by Catherine Cronin, an artist whose work I enjoy. Her recent posts of drawings of the Alhambra, helped me finally post some photos from my trip to that amazing site last spring.
I’ve been thinking, for a while, of finally posting a few photos of the magnificent Alhambra in Granada Spain that we visited last spring. It seemed that winter would be a great time to see those images. It’s been unseasonably warm in Toronto off and on, but today is the perfect cold day to recall the warmth of Spain. I also received a nudge to finally post these photos from Catherine Cronin’s blog, Cat Among the Pigeons Press. She’s an artist whose work I love and who recently posted drawings of the Alhambra gardens. She’s also got some great linocuts of the Alhambra that I’ll reblog right after this post.
When we were in Spain this spring, we went to The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi spent over 40 years designing the temple, but many other architects, designers and sculptors have been involved in this massive project that began construction in 1882, a year before Gaudi was involved. For details, go to http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/history-of-the-temple/
Here are a few of the many, many photos I took of the temple.
Here’s The Sagrada Familia rising over the trees as we approached through the park. If you look closely you can see a touch of the gorgeous light purple jacaranda blossoms that greeted us in Spain. The temple’s construction is still underway, which was not a detraction for me, but only added more drama to the scene.
Here’s some of the amazingly detailed carvings on the facade.
Blue and green light is cast into the temple from the stained glass on one side, orange and yellow on the other.
Some of the most amazing parts of the Gaudi houses that we saw in Barcelona were the roofs. Instead of having the more usual chimneys and vents which he considered ugly, he created sculptural structures, sometimes covered in mosaics, that served the same functions but that he found beautiful. Walking on the roofs of Casa Batllo and Casa Mila was a surreal experience, particularly on the roof of Casa Mila. Here, we felt in the presence of sci-fi creations. It was quite a mind-altering experience walking among these giant beings, looking down on the roof tops of surrounding houses.
I returned from a trip to Spain last week. I travelled with my husband to Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Granada and Sevilla and saw many beautiful sights, ate fabulous food, felt the sunshine and warmth of the weather and the people. While away, I didn’t do any drawing or writing other than keeping track of our excursions in a journal. But I took many photos that I’ll show you over the next while.
One of the most moving experiences for me was seeing the architecture of Gaudi who I felt was one of the greatest artists whose work I have seen. In Barcelona, we visited Casa Batllo, one of the houses he designed in the early 1900s. What impressed me the most was that no detail was too small for the architect. He paid attention to everything–from the large shapes, the stained glass, the mosaics, down to the shapes of the handles on the doors. Here are some photos inside Casa Batllo that I took.
Last Thursday, March 26th, I went for a walk, winding up in The Beach. The Beach is a neighbourhood in Toronto at its south east end. And, yes, it includes at its southern edge a long stretch of beach along Lake Ontario. The day was grey and drizzly, but it was above zero celsius and after the extreme cold of February, I was happy to walk in comfort. I hadn’t been in The Beach for many months and was surprised to see various structures I’d never seen before dotting the sand. This is one of them–a beautiful installation that’s one of several that were built around the lifeguard stations. I later learned it’s part of Winter Stations, and was one of the winners of a competition to design winter warming stations, that stretched from Kew to Balmy beach. I believe the pieces were to be removed before the 26th, so I was fortunate to see three that remained. This one is called Driftwood Throne. The architect is Daniel Madeiros and the builders are Sunrise Carpentry.
I was travelling in Newfoundland, Canada for several weeks this month. In St. John’s, the province’s capital, we went to The Rooms. It’s a beautiful cultural space uniting Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, heritage and artistry. We felt the power of architecture to positively influence well-being when we were there. The photo is taken from the 4th floor–you can see the spacious feeling the building creates.