Saturday, 28 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Behind her and dwarfing everything are the higher Seirra Neive
Thursday, 19 March 2009
As an aside the interesting thing about writing a blog in English when on the internet in Spain is that the Spanish spell check has apoplexy.
Here’s an article that should be appearing in Andalucia life Magazine in April. Thats if I reach the deadline. Many thanks to Denise Raines from Zed Media and Phil Harwood from Ascot Studios for their very professional support.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started to become interested in the Costa del Sol, (aside from watching Sharpe on the TV.) I was invited down to help my girlfriend Barbara with her apartment. Until then, my journeys took me in the opposite direction, exploring the Turneresque qualities of the northern light, in Scotland, Ireland, the Outer Hebrides, Norway and the Netherlands.
As for the Costa, having watched Marbella belles and being informed by a hairdresser in Bolton that the sand on the beaches in Torremolinos was brought from the Sahara, I wasn’t fully convinced that the Costa was the place for a discerning artist.
However, stepping into Andalucia for the first time at Malaga airport I could feel the warmth of the wind from Africa. Within a day I was off with my painting gear in search of something new. Within a short drive from the coast if you choose to travel inland towards the Sierras, the scents of the Oak and Pine forests fill the air mingling with the perfume of oranges, juniper and jasmine. If you go a few kilometres further up the steepening slope you will find that the effects of Spanish mass tourism disappear. Parking the hire car you only need to walk a short distance or a few kilometres in order to bask in the sunshine and the glory of a natural meadow. The meadow rich in warm wildflowers and their perfume lie between two venerable beings; an ancient oak copse with Home Oak and Cork Oak and an equally ancient Olive grove. Walking onwards you reach the ridge line. On one side to the south and far below is the coast, the sea and then Africa which is indistinct, lost in a haze of heat and Sahara dust. If you choose to turn and look North and inland or gaze along the escarpment a string of white villages shine like stars in the blue green haze of the forests. The coastal belt below is very busy, a white slither of a linear city, a constant development of roads, traffic noise and building sites.
I sat down to draw these stunning views and to face a new challenge. Last week I was seeking out the subtle shifts of light; now I was drawing the opposite. For the light and its heat floods through and over everything, seeking out shadows, distorting and bending images and reshaping the architectural and natural spaces. Until by midday it had become a full frontal force of its own and Andalucia was lost in a solid wall of shimmering silver. At which point shelter had to be sought.
I descended the rough, stony, white, slope following the goat tracks back down the Sierra making repetitive mental notes at my lack of experience in this climate. I was miles from anywhere, no hat, little water, wearing shorts and sandals and had paint drying quicker then I could use it. Half way down the path I went into a dry gorge with some shade from Fir trees. I was amused at the lizards hopping everywhere until I came across a large creature which looked a bit fierce. It had wonderful curved horns and stood stock still blocking my path and staring me out. I had wrapped my head in a green paint cloth to keep out the suns heat and the Ibex must of thought what is this green and red thing walking towards me. After a few minutes it bounded down an almost vertical rock fall on the right of my steep track and I carried on my way. Reaching the car across the amazing meadow grasses I swigged down the water I had left behind and navigated my way through dust clouds from the unmade road past a number of solitary little brown dogs towards what I hoped was chilled San Miguel land aka the coast.
Some years later now and I am still in awe of Andalucia and its light show. Like a kaleidoscope this changes as summer golds, turn to autumn blues, then to winter greens and on to spring yellows. It’s a wonderful place to be an artist.
Having developed this experience I would now like to share it with others by offering workshops and day sketching painting opportunities.
"Rob Miller is a British Landscape and seascape artist, a colourist, who studied art at the University of Bolton; Robs work captures a moment or a situation. The movement of light; a mood caused by weather; the simple pattern of nature; the situation of a building or the marks made by animals or humans on the land. He looks at these and then creates on canvas or paper a sense of place so that the viewer can still recognise what they see and yet examine it through a new creative perspective. Rob works in both his studio and on location the meadow, the high mountain, the urbanisation, the riverside or the sea, working in oils, acrylics, watercolour and mixed media.”
Phil Harwood. Ascot Studios
Rob draws his inspiration from European artists such as De Stael, Picasso, Turner, Rembrandt and Cezanne. He is also influenced by the Spanish poets Lorca and Neruada, along with the French poet Philippe Jaccottet and the Englishman Ted Hughes.
Robs work has developed over the last twenty or so years and is now in many private collections in the UK, Spain, the USA and the Netherlands. Since concentrating solely on his painting Rob’s new work is being currently bought by art dealers in the UK through his British agent Phil Harwood at Ascot Studios UK.
Robs work can be seen in a number of venues in the UK and Andalucía and by arrangement with the artist.