Sunflower Fields in Cuenca

November 23, 2011

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They are both in Cuenca, which is in Spain and famous for its houses that hang from the rocks. The city was built on a rock in times of war to get the best possible defense.

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The view must be good up there  :-)

The photo by Mario modesto is under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Casacolgantecuenca.jpg    

In that part of Spain water is scarce, and sunflowers can grow on little water. In a garden a sunflower can reach almost two meters in height, with large flowers measuring ten inches or more across, but in a field, as part of a crowd, they stay small.

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There comes a storm, but it won’t bring any rain. It just looks as if, and in Spanish they say “Cuatro gotas”: there will be just four drops of rain:
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And as to the hanging houses of Cuenca, below you can see them as part of the broader view with a bridge in the foreground. I don’t remember how far down the valley is, but it is really far, and looking down into the abyss often makes foreign visitors feel dizzy.

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This photo published at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Cuenca-panoramica4.JPG/1024px-Cuenca-panoramica4.JPG   was released into public domain by its author Zarateman

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Photo Abstractions: Arabella

October 25, 2011

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I would have liked to put in more of that blue ink, but had to stop trying.

“The day she met Hugo” is its present title but it changed as the picture kept changing.

Originally Hugo was a character in a Cambridge English proficiency test described as a big poor shaggy type looking for a place to stay which he found eventually with one of those organizations that employ volunteers as guinea pigs to test drugs.

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“Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell”.

The title is a quote from Macbeth 4.3, and it fits. Maya green frame would have been better. That vertical white line on the right is accidental, probably produced by sloppy resizing.

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“Yes, it was a VERY big spider”

But these are experimental, and I must find a way to keep them from losing their original definition.

The title is based on one of those household incidents that leave ridicule and trauma.

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“Meeting Hugo”: original version

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“Angels are bright still”: original version.

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Unfinished: “Summertime Mahalia”

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Country roads in Madrid

October 17, 2011

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This is a summer sundown South of Madrid, with the Jarama valley on the distance.

Lots of people find this landscape awful.

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In spring it is all full of flowers almost like a garden, but the flowers don’t last, because as from May on the rains are erratic and create problems but don’t do much good anymore.

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And then, from July on, only the thistles and genista, rosemary and thyme survive. Sometimes a whole hillside smells of thyme.

Photos courtesy ghD

The Town Fair

October 9, 2011

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It was a small merry go round and it was operated by a woman.

She sat on something like a bike and pedaled to make the whole contraption turn. The kids rode on big dragons.

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Masques, none very original, but elaborate and mixed in style. There is  of everything a little, each an afterthought.

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Fortune telling: a spider hole calling itself Tarot Cristina, also offering magic stones for just 1 euro.

It is made of a beach umbrella. Inside there would be a lady that knows how to line up  words tyo make them sound cryptic.

Some take their ideas directly from a dictionary of synonyms.

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There were actors performing skits and pantomimes

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and there was some belly dancing, but not so very nice to watch:

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Landscapes

September 17, 2011

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All three are  made some years ago in central Spain. Landscapes are the best of all worlds, maybe because they obviate the difference between abstract and concrete, since it isn’t possible to draw and paint everything there is to be seen.

And then the light changes.

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Below, from Aranjuez, was received only yesterday in the mail and so I have not yet asked for permission to publish it here. Basically, it isn’t a landscape either —  or is it?

But it is very nice to imagine.

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Yepes Cemetery

September 9, 2011

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Central Spain: a typical landscape: poor, harsh and somewhat dramatic, and  the picture  shows an equally typical cemetery.

I have no idea what tradition there is in this kind of burial ground, only that it looks most depressing and off-putting. The dead are buried in the earth as elsewhere, but on top of each grave there is a marble casket containing nothing: a big, solid rectangular marble box, sometimes expensive looking with sculpted ornaments, but very often damaged and run-down. Marble is not a very tough stone.

The landscape is also strange, but some of us rather like it.

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Etymology at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from O.Fr. cimetiere “graveyard” (12c.), from L.L. coemeterium, from Gk. koimeterion “sleeping place, dormitory,” from koimao “to put to sleep,” keimai “I lie down,” from PIE base *kei- “to lie, rest” (cf. Goth haims “village,” O.E. ham “home, house, dwelling”); see home. Early Christian writers were the first to use it for “burial ground”.

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If I Could Paint

August 28, 2011

I would not try and do an abstract. However, I would not do either what is sometimes called a realist painting, though no two people agree what that could mean.

I think the important thing is not to copy.

So are photos useless?

Most of them, those that are easily forgotten. Maybe the difference between a great photographer and the rest of us is just that we keep too many and cannot decide which to throw out.

But I never take any photos myself. The ones I have were made by friends and relatives.

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There are very few that I would miss if somehow they got lost. In other words, there are only a few that I actually remember. So I would paint what I remember of those and now and then look at them, but just for a second, to get hints.

As to the photo above, I wonder whether that little footpath would come out and the daisies that are barely visible as white points in the foreground. Also, I do not know what that patch of snow white could be, near the horizon to the right. Nor do I know why the line of clouds is not horizontal, but follows the slant of the horizon, which surely can’t really be.***

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I had not remembered that little bush or shrub in the  foreground. I would leave it out.

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*** A month later:

As to why the clouds follow the line of the  horizon: the position of the camera ….. :-D

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