Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is the Catholic Cathedral of Madrid, simply called, La Almudena. It is dedicated to the Virgin Almudena, the patron Saint of Madrid, Spain. I went to an outdoor terrace to paint it.
I was sitting outdoors painting in a terrace in the area called Las Vistillas which means the Views.
I had been planning to paint the Almudena Cathedral for a while. I had a perfect view of it from where I was sitting.
Here you can see part of the Almudena Cathedral.
When you are painting outdoors, you never know what might interfere with painting. Well, it was a really hot day in September so the waiters put out the terrace tarp for all of us who were sitting outside in the sun and the tarp blocked half of my view. I had to stop right there.
Almudena Cathedral September 2015
That’s alright though, I got something like a ghost image. Since then I found a shady spot to paint the Almudena again from a street view. So I’ll go back one day and paint it again.
I like to paint small watercolors of colorful flowers and transparent glass filled with water.
Bouquet in Crystal Vase 1994
These small still-life paintings date back from the 90’s to the present 2016.
They are all post card size 5.5”x 7.5”or smaller. I started off making this size in the mid-eighties to send as post cards.
Almond Blossoms in Raku Pinch Pot
Almond Blossoms are really nice to paint. In the spring there are a lot of these trees in Madrid. I sent this watercolor to my Mom. When I go to California I see it on the wall.
Sweet Pea Flowers in Purple Vase
I remember visiting someone who had sweet peas growing in their vegetable garden, I couldn’t resist taking some home to paint them. I’m going to have to get some sweet pea seeds.
Red Bottle with Ceramic Dish and Irises 1999
The Red Bottle is one of my favorites. I bought it in the mid-eighties at the Salvation Army in the Gaslamp Quarter when I was living in sunny San Diego. I’m always on the look out for beautiful glass bottles and vases.
Red Bottle, kumquats and Sugar Bowl 1998
This watercolor is wet on wet with my favorite red bottle.
kumquats and Glass Bottle with Pinch Pot 1998
What I like the most about glass are the reflections; especially clear glass with water in it.
Red Bottle with Red Flowers 1998
I paint a lot; not everything turns out. It doesn’t matter. I like to include everything I see around my model.
Bougainvillea in Purple Vase 2011
I go to California often, almost every year. I like to paint the flowers in my Mother’s garden. Bougainvillea is so fun to paint.
Bougainvillea in Crystal Vase 2011
Sometimes I paint the motif twice. Here I changed the vase. I like this vase; I like the fact that you can see the stems and leaves in the water.
Roses in Crystal Vase 2011
Here is the vase again with my Mom’s beautiful roses.
Glass Bottles on Shelf 2012
I like colored glass. They have everything I like, color, shape, transparency and reflection.
Red Roses in Greek Vase 2015
Someone gave me this vase. I think it’s beautiful with the vertical grooves imitating a greek column. This one got sent off in the mail.
Red Roses in Glass Vase 2015
I like to do more than one painting to try a different view.
Poppies in May 2016
When the spring comes around, I go a little crazy. I can’t stop painting. Spring is such a bright season full of color and warmth.
Poppies, Daisies and Roses 2015
You can really see the difference of the light in the spring.
Red Glass Bottle with Orange Poppies 2016
These are California Poppies and wild flowers. I brought the seeds from California and planted them here in Madrid. I recently sent this one to my Dad.
Small Red Bottle with Wild Flowers 2016
I wanted to paint my model with the reflection in the mirror and on the table.
Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers 2016
This is the latest small watercolor. A friend told me that the color of this bottle is chartreuse.
I’m glad she told me. I had never heard of that color. Thanks to her the title isn’t yellow bottle with wild flowers, but Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers. 🙂
The Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain is my favorite park. Here are a few open air watercolors from the collection of Fountains in the Retiro Park.
The Faun Fountain in the Buen Retiro Park Rose Garden – Madrid, Spain 2007
This fountain is called the fuente del Fauno. It’s located in the Rose Garden at the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain.
The sculptures integrated in the fountains are fascinating! I should have included the Faun above the dish but I usually focus on the Dolphins.
The mythological creatures on the same fountain have opposite poles, angelic and demonic.
Fuente de Amorcillo or de Cupido
This one is called Fuente de Amorcillo or Fuente de Cupido. Again, I didn’t paint the top and ommited cupid from my watercolor. I was more interested in the base. Next time, I’ll paint the whole fountain.
Fuente del Faunito, Rose Garden in the Retiro Park – Madrid, Spain 2005
There are only two fountains with figures in the Rose Garden, so I paint the same figures over and over again. I just love to paint them.
Fuente del Faunito in the Rose Garden at the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain 2010
Here is the Faun Fountain at the Rose Garden again; a frontal view.
Fuente del Cupido in the Rose Garden at the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid Spain 2015
This is a view of The Cupid Fountain from an angle. Painting outdoors is a great experience; those of you who do open air painting know this and those who haven’t done it yet must put it on the bucket list.
Open Air Painting at the Rose Garden in El Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain
I like to get a picture of the painting in process with the model; it’s fun to see them together.
I’m catching up on posting. This is an open air watercolor I did in the winter of 2015. The fountain of the Galapagos is located in the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain. It is from the series of Retiro Park Fountains.
I’ve always liked to paint my Grandmother. She is one of the few people who sits still for a few hours regardless of how the painting turns out.
Maria de Laguno 1982
This is one of the first sanguine pencil drawings I did of her in 1982 in her living room in Madrid.
Maria de Laguno 1982
I took my watercolors with me everywhere I went to capture a moment. Here we were sitting at a terrace having a coffee after visiting the Prado Museum.
Grandma’s Studio 1983
She had a beautiful, luminous studio in the city center; it was great to be there with her and all of her students. Here, she was touching up a student’s painting.
Maria de Laguno 1983
I love to hear stories she tells about her life. She used to talk a lot about her grandmother’s life too. It was fascinating to hear about how things were so far in the past.
Maria de Laguno 1992
She has the most amazing personality and I wanted to capture it. This watercolor is from 1992 when I visited her 10 years later in the month of June.
Maria de Laguno 2015
As I was looking through my watercolors I noticed that 35 years had gone by between the first drawing and this watercolor from 2015. This is the day before she moved from Spain to Brazil. She is 97 years old in this watercolor. My Grandmother still lives in Brazil and is 98 years old now. She is a great Artist. I wish there were a record of all the paintings she has painted.
This year, the spring was like an explosion of colors. We had a lot of rain and the flower season was abundant and long-lasting.
When I start a watercolor, I point the paper at the model. The paper is thick, 640 GMS. I tape it down with normal carpenter’s tape because I will finish this watercolor before the sun goes down and the light changes drastically. I wet the paper with a brush, wait til it soaks up the water and wet it down again. I don’t always do this, but I want the flowers to blend in with the background.
The paper is completely wet, but not soaking to the point where the paint runs. Then, I start laying in color where I see it, trying to get the form as exact as possible.
When I establish where the vase and blossoms go on the picture plane, I focus on my favorite part, respecting the whites and emphasising color.
Here, I start paying attention to detail, painting a la prima from here to finish of painting.
Spanish Spring Blossoms in Talavera Vase 2016 on Easel. It is still taped down. When the tape is taken off, it has a white border which gives it a nice touch if you let it show in a mat.
It’s almost Spring and the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain is full of Color.
I went to the Retiro in the first week of March to paint a specific fountain near the old zoo, called Antigua Casa de Fieras. I couldn’t go into the area because it was taped off, but I could still see it, so I was able to make the watercolor I wanted.
This is one of the many beautiful fountains in the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain
The Retiro is one of my favorite places to paint.
Fountain by Antigua Casa de Fieras 2015 Watercolor on Arches 300 GSM – 5.5 in x 7.5 in – 14 cm x 19 cm