Seville and Cordoba Holiday 2017

Continuing on from last weeks blog on Seville; I have a few more pictures to share with you. We went for a day trip to Cordoba, where you can see the famous Cordoba Mezquita or  Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. Just as it sounds, in a beautiful grand Mosque a Reanaissance Cathedral nave was literally built into the middle of the Mosque in the 16th century. King Charles V of Castille and Aragon, who gave permission for the Cathedral nave to be built, reportedly said on visiting “”they have taken something unique in all the world and destroyed it to build something you can find in any city.” As I do not have a fancy camera I could not take very good pictures inside the Mezquita, but I urge you to take a look at this collection of images here.

In Cordoba we also visited the ‘Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos’ or Palace of the Christian Monarchs. This fortress was one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. This palace is much smaller than the one in Seville; but it is still worth visiting and has beautiful gardens.

Back in Seville, one of the most modern structures we visited was the Metropol Parasol, it claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. It consists of six giant parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, which have a sky-walk and viewing platform atop; the underground levels house a small museum of Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site. The space underneath the parasols can be used for public events. I really liked the organic shape of this structure which offers (via a lift) very fine views of the city and the Cathedral.

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

 

Seville Holiday 2017

I had a lovely holiday in Seville in the first week of April; my second visit to this beautiful Spanish city. We stayed in the picturesque neigbourhood of Santa Cruz, the Old Jewish Quarter in medieval times; a few minutes walk from Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar.

The Cathdral of Saint Mary of the See is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world; its bell tower known as The Giralda, is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Muslim rule. The weather vane ‘El Giraldillo’ atop, is of a bronze woman dressed in Roman attire, both the vane and tower’s names are derived from the Spanish word ‘girar’ meaning ‘to turn’.

The Real Alcázar is the royal palace originally developed by the Moorish rulers; it is regarded as an  outstanding example of ‘mudéjar’ architecture. The term ‘mudéjar’ refers to the Muslims who stayed in Spanish territories after the Christian reconquest and who continued to practise their customs; this term refers to the mix of style between Christianity and Islam at this time in these territories.

The public Park Maria Luisa in Seville is a huge and beautiful green space set beside the Guadalquivir river. The Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, was held partly within the park, and many of the massive pavillions which are now museums date from this period. A particular favourite is the Mudejar Pavilion, which is now the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Sevilla.

Suffice to say I highly recommend visiting Seville, go for its wealth of history, beautiful buildings, friendly people, reliable sun, gorgeous ceramics, delicious tapas, and wonderful wines and sherries. I recommend a refreshing ‘rebjuito’, a cocktail of sherry (Fino or Manzanilla), lemonade or lemon/lime soda and mint. No visit is complete without seeing a flamenco show at the Flamenco Museum. Lasting an hour we were entertained by singing, spanish guitar, both female and male dancers, performing solos and as a group. It was thrilling.

I will be posting a second blog on my Seville and Cordoba holiday soon.

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

 

Weekly Sketch – Playing with collage, Alcazaba of Málaga – 24/10/15

I’ve been playing with collage to try and understand an image I want to make of the Alcazaba of Málaga.  Based on a photograph I took, I’ve been painting the separate elements, cutting out the forms and fitting them together to make the image. This process helps me to understand how the different forms and colours relate to each other, and what is or isn’t working. I already have some ideas now on how I want to take this image forward.

MalagaFortressCollageweb

 

(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Garden at the Alcazaba of Málaga 3 – 23/04/2015

A very different image of the garden at the Alcazaba of Málaga as compared to the previous weeks’ watercolour renditions; this one is a very considered line drawing in fountain pen on textured watercolour paper, inspired by Edward Bawden’s graphic work. I didn’t do an under-drawing, so I knew any mistakes would have to stay. Overall I am pleased with the image, I like the different mark making to describe texture and shape; I especially like the hedged rose beds and the tree forms, however I think the wall at the back is a bit weak – it looks more like a fence! In hindsight I should have continued the brick forms seen in the wall on the right. Oh well, it’s always a learning curve this game we play called making.

MalagaGarden3web

MalagaGardenCU3web

 

 

(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Garden at the Alcazaba of Málaga 2 – 17/04/2015

I really enjoyed sploshing watercolour paint about on this heavily textured paper to make this image of a garden at the Alcazaba of Málaga.

MalagaGarden2web

MalagaGarden3web

(© Catherine Cronin)