This is a watercolor of la Plaza de la Paja. (The Plaza of Straw). The name, Plaza of Straw, comes from the 15th Century, a time when straw was sold at the Plaza.
La Plaza de la Paja is located in an area known as Madrid de los Austrias, in the historic center, within the neighborhood of La Latina. It was an important market in the 13th and 14th Century. Nowadays, it is a great place to have a bite to eat or to just hang out.
Overlooking the Plaza, is Sacramento Church. Since 1980, it is the Military Cathedral of Spain known as Catedral de las Fuerzas Armadas.
These 19th Century constructions are either painted or covered with exposed brick. The narrow wrought iron balconies accentuate the buildings in this neighborhood so beautifully.
The antique gas street lamps that once lit the neighborhood with soft glowing lights are so picturesque.
Can you see a door on the back wall? This jewel is one of Madrid’s secrets.
Through this door, are the Gardens of the Prince of Anglona, one of the few examples of the noble gardens from the 18th Century of Madrid. If you are ever in Madrid, do not miss this hidden garden.
It was an overcast grey day, and the tree branches were still nude. Even so, anyday in Madrid is a good day to paint.
Here is the finished watercolor in the light of day, shown against the brick color so typical in many parts of Madrid.
Thank you for reading this little story about Madrid de los Austrias.
I like to paint the things that are around me and these are typical Mediterranean wildflowers that grow in a field near my home in Madrid, Spain.
The Fallen Angel Fountain is located in the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain. Ricardo Bellver first created the sculpture in plaster in 1877. The figure is mannerist in style and is inspired by verses of Paradise Lost by John Milton. If you have ever read Paradise Lost by John Milton, you can tell that this sculpture depicts the beginning of the epic which starts in the midst of things as epics typically do.
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This is a postcard size watercolor which goes back in time to 1997. When I heard about this park, I went to visit it right away with my watercolors. I wanted to paint a piece of the wall. I walk by this park once and a while and the fountain itself looks the same.
On January 1st 2021, I painted the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain because I knew everyone would be sleeping at the time I went there. On any other day it would be impossible to paint there. The Puerta del Sol is a very busy Plaza.
This is a very small watercolor as you can see. I wanted to make sure I could finish it in one day. It’s not easy painting at the Puerta del Sol.
I do as much open air painting as I can. It’s important to me to see the colors as they are so that when I make a large watercolor or oil painting, I remember the colors from real life.
Happy New Year Everybody! Let’s make 2021 as good as it can possibly get.
This is the fountain of the Tritons (fish-tailed sea gods.) It’s a very large fountain with a double dish and a large pond. The Almudena Cathedral can faintly be seen in the background.
The fountain of the Tritons was made for the Renaissance garden of the Island of Aranjuez, where it was located in 1657. Since then it was moved to the Gardens of Campo del Moro and has remained there to this day. The Fountain of the Tritans is considered the oldest monumental fountain preserved in the capital of Spain.
One of the things that I love about Madrid is painting outdoors. Everywhere you look is something I want to paint.
Normally the Triton Fountain is much more beautiful with the water shooting and spraying up into the sky. There is no water shooting up into the sky, there isn’t even water in the pond. Most of the fountains in the city of Madrid are turned off. I’m hoping to see them on again in 2021
I like to to show the watercolor next to my hand as a size reference. Also I like to show it against wood to bring out some of the colors. I have a little clip of the painting Click Here.
Here is a little clip of the watercolor and the garden CLICK HERE.
This picture that somebody took of me from above kind of shows the immensity of the garden.
Its curious name is due to the fact that in 1109 the Muslim leader Ali Ben Yusuf camped his Moorish army in this place. The story is much longer, but I’m going to keep it short.
Have a great day,
I really like this fountain a lot. It is incredibly beautiful with the Nymphs holding up the dish with dolphin-like sea creatures at their feet. This fountain has always had water shooting out of the spouts as far as I remember. I was looking forward to painting the doves that bathe on the rim of the dish. When I got there, the water had been turned off for so long that a family of feral cats was hanging around in the pond and there was a recent litter of kittens. I’m almost afraid to see what it looks like now.