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December 1, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - 6

This is the final blog post from my travel sketchbook.  The remainder of the pages are filled with a few photos and relevant business cards.  One beautiful day we took the Metro close to Barceloneta and set off for our longest walk of the trip.  We walked along the waterfront of the peninsula, past the gorgeous boats, and all the way out to the W Hotel for lunch. 


There are lots of outdoor restaurants adjacent to the hotel, and we stopped for a late lunch and a rest.  During lunch I "sketched what was in front of me,"  my internal guide for drawing all through this vacation.  Then we continued our walk along the entire beach front where people were enjoying the warm day. 




Another day we decided to walk around the western part of Eixamples, to see the area behind the University of Barcelona.  There are many galleries in the area, and we enjoyed visiting them and the Museu del Modernisme which has one floor of furniture and another floor of paintings and sculpture.  They had a Ramon Casas exhibit that I wanted to see, but was disappointed with the museum lighting.  Before we left I sketched a terracotta sculpture of Antoni Gaudi.   



On our last day we visited the Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts, where Picasso, and Gaudi attended art school many years before it moved to a new location.  The space is now occupied by a small museum featuring the art of the faculty from the school.  It is located in Llotja (The Maritime Exchange) and from there we enjoyed walking through Born-Ribera, and from Barri Gotic, all the way back to Eixamples.  I loved this sculpture.   


I started my sketchbook with a painting of Maurice Sendak's Micky in his bread dough airplane, and also added Mickey flying home to the last page.  We loved Barcelona and our very leisurely exploration of this beautiful city.




November 22, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - Part 5

Our trip to Montjuic, specifically to visit Fundacio Joan Miro:

We were surprised that the Metro connected directly to the funicular and disappointed that it was also in a tunnel all the way to the top.  But when we got to the exit, we had beautiful views of the City.


An early Miro painting and one of my favorites.  I sketched it in the Museum and then painted it from a photo.



One of several Miro sculptures around the Garden.



Drawing what was in front of me!  While having coffee in the outdoor Café garden I sketched the part of the Miro museum building that was in my view. 


It was a beautiful day and there were many wonderful Miro Sculptures on the outdoor patios on the upper floor of the beautiful building. 



We had a lovely visit and walked all the way back to Eixample from the Funicular exit, stopping at Placa Reial yet again for a late afternoon glass of wine.


November 18, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - Part 4

I came home from Barcelona with a sketchbook full of ink drawings, but only half of them were painted.  There weren't enough hours in the day!  But I did have phone photos to use for my watercolor washes.  This is the Gracias Clock Tower - which sits in a lovely village square in Gracias, within walking distance of our hotel.  There were children playing and adults sitting on benches, but we were on a much longer walk so we sat for only a few minutes to enjoy the ambience.



Our hotel staff didn't recommend that we walk to Gaudi's Park Guell, but we reminded them that we are New Yorkers and my husband takes 4-5 mile walks around Central Park several times each week.  But we had an online reservation for entry so we couldn't stop for more than a few minutes along the way.  This is the view of the Park from halfway up the hill.  The little heads you see above the columns are sitting on the serpentine bench that are a created from gorgeous broken ceramic tiles (trencadis). 



The back of the bench - photo just because I loved the colors and design! 


We sat on a bench in the shade while I sketched the top of one of the two gingerbread houses at the main entrance of the park.





November 4, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - 3

I am currently in Houston, but wanted to continue to post my Barcelona sketchbook pages.  Today Part 3.

Gracia was just north of our hotel and we walked for hours exploring the tiny streets. 


After miles of walking, we returned to our neighborhood and had lunch at Café Jaime Beriestain.  We loved the restaurant and returned later in the week for an equally good dinner.  This plant was right across from me as I ate.


Roman ruins under the Barri Gotic Cathedral are 4000sq meters for a population of 1000 .  There is an excellent audioguide to this fascinating glimpse of ancient Barcelona.  There are walkways suspended over individual sections of the ruins, which can be seen in my photo below.  The winery was extensive and wine was their largest export.



I sketched the objects we saw in the museum - some of my favorite shapes.



I reread Zafon's book The Shadow of the Wind while in Barcelona.  One evening I read that the main characters were meeting in the Cloister of the University, and on our long walk to the Ancient Medical Complex, we went into the main building of the University of Barcelona (started in 1450) and sat in the Cloisters.  It is beautiful!



We then walked through several of the buildings from the Ancient Medical Complex (15th-16th C), although the anatomy amphitheater was closed.  We sat in the Garden between the buildings and before leaving went into the Biblioteca Barcelona which was created in these buildings.  I sketched only two arches from the colonnade which surrounded me in the Garden.


November 1, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - 2

I am determined to create a vacation Travel Sketchbook when we are on trips, yet I find that I constantly have to remind myself to draw by having internal dialogues each day.  My primary goal is to draw/paint a minimum of one page per day.  I arrived in Barcelona after an overnight flight with horrible bronchitis and no appetite, so as we struggled to remain awake, we returned to our favorite Tapas restaurant just 2 blocks from our hotel.  As I sat there, tired and sick, I knew that I needed to start drawing, and reminded myself "just draw what is in front of you."  So I did.




The next day we walked through Barri Gotic, stopping for Brunch Tapas in the Plaza in front of the Cathedral.  Once again, I decided to just sketch what was in front of me from our outdoor restaurant. 



October 12th, Columbus Day, is a National Holiday in Barecelona, and we spent the day exploring Gracia - walking many miles in the process.  As we returned to Passeig de Gracia we saw the Casa Fuster hotel in daylight.  WOW! Another gorgeous example of modernist architecture in our neighborhood. 



We sat in the small park across the street and I sketched the sculpture in front of me while my husband did the daily New York Times crossword puzzle.   He is fast, so I have to plan my drawing time accordingly.


I will upload drawings from three more days later this week - while I'm at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  And I still need to add a watercolor wash to other paintings.  I have at least two more Sketchbook blog posts.

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