A Story About Falling in Love With Spain
Here is a great story illustrated with art by Lynda who writes the story about her development as a painter. She has a three week exhibition coming up in Barcelona so if you are around at that time then get yourself there, Lynda will be delighted to see you.
A Love Affair with Spain and Horses
By Lynda Cookson
Having emigrated from South Africa to Ireland in 2001 I found I missed hot-country colours. I had visited Spain as a twenty year old backpacker way back in 1974 and would quite happily have stayed there if life’s path had let me, so I snapped at the chance to exhibit my work in Spain at Barcelona’s Sala Barna in 2005. Selling a painting was just one of the highlights of my two-week trip – I lost six kilos from spending eight hours each day tramping the streets, getting lost and loving the places I found by accident, gazing at the architecture and absorbing the sights, sounds and language of the city … and still I didn’t see everything I would have liked to see.
The markets in particular are my favourite places. Bustling, colourful and noisy with non-touristy everyday life. They’re a people-watcher’s haven and I ate like a queen – fish, salads and fruit. One day I was amazed to come across a wooden box teeming with live snails for sale! That’s not something I had seen in my life before.
Jose, the art director at Sala Barna became a temporary mentor to me and taught me much about abstract work. How, I’m still not quite sure because his English was a few words only, interspersed with many ‘um’s’ and ‘er’s’ and my Spanish consists largely of the sound of dictionary pages being madly turned in search of each word. It must have been the telepathy of abstract artists!
The turning point in my career as a painter happened in Barcelona that week. I found the most amazing book, in Spanish, rich with images of wild and spirited horses. I fell in love, knew I should try and find the same book in English somewhere, but was unable to put the book down until it securely belonged to me.
I went home, picked up my brushes and stopped trying to be a conventional painter. I acknowledged that art comes from the heart and soul, switched on the music which makes the blood in my veins sing … and now happily paint free-spirited horses which charge around the canvas in rebellious and powerful colours. I paint other things too, but the horses are my love and my life as a painter.
My artist’s statement is part of my life’s philosophy and explains my need to work with many layers of paint, whatever the subject I am painting. I am interested in what I call the ‘behind music’; the masks of protection and the layers of learning people develop and build up through their lives; and how they learn to live with those masks and layers; and how they achieve their wisdom.
The ‘behind music’ is all the parts of a symphony concert in their separate forms, all the patterns of sound, the individual notes, the individual instruments, the emotions elicited, the energy expended and the people involved, which unite to make the complete piece of music so beautiful, soul-reaching, acceptable and exciting to the masses of people who listen to it.
Happily I have a three week solo exhibition coming up in Barcelona at the Sala Barna with the Opening Night on Friday 26 September 2008. It’s the end of my contract with them and I would love to meet as many people there as possible … because the more people I meet then surely the more excuses I have to return to Spain again and again and again.
To join us at the exhibition in Barcelona on the evening of 26 September or to let me know the best places to find non-touristy Flamenco dancing please …
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call me on +353 (0)91 571 983