Gibraltar’s old buildings in beautiful watercolour : James Foot exhibition April 2016

Regular visitors to this blog will know I have a bit of a fascination with Gibraltar’s old buildings, the slightly shabbier ones in particular. So imagine my delight when I took a few moments to shelter from yesterday’s thunderstorms at the Fine Arts Gallery in Casemates Square and had time for a good look at the James Foot exhibition.

James is an English fine artist who splits his time between his homes in London and Lakonia in southern Greece. He has had a long association with Gibraltar and has held several exhibitions of his work here over the years.  

  

In this exhibition he included a few paintings of Venice and Greece, however the vast majority of his work on show is of Gibraltar. I’m mesmerized by the water in these paintings of Greek fishing boats. So many different shades of blue and reflections – just gorgeous!

  

Enough of Greece though, let’s get back to Gibraltar… I promise that I had no idea about James Foot and his work before going on my strolls around Gibraltar looking at balconies,  doors and windows.

  
 

It does rather seem that we are on a similar wavelength when it comes to our appreciation of Gibraltar’s colonial architecture. 

  
 
Sadly, that is where any similarities between myself and this immensely talented artist ends…

  

Just look at the shadows cast by those shutters! Oh to be able to paint like that!!

   

I fear the photos I took on my phone don’t do these beautiful watercolours justice. (I did get permission from the artist himself to take the photos by the way)
    
I would love to have a go at painting one of Gibraltar’s ornate ironwork balconies, but I fear that after seeing this great work I could never produce anything half as good – just stunning!

  

And look, do you remember the special door at the rear of Holy Trinity Cathedral with the special ‘Books for Seamen’ letter box which features in my Stroll No 5 about doors? Well even that has been reproduced in beautiful watercolours – can you see it peaking out from behind that palm tree? 

  

If you are in Gibraltar and want to have a look at these and the many other beautiful paintings in this exhibition (there are 47 in all), you’ll need to be quick. The exhibition’s open for just two more days. 

I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see this work, thank goodness it rained yesterday and gave me the excuse to stop and take shelter at the gallery!

For more information on James Foot and his paintings, do have a look at his website.

Art on a Thursday evening

  
This evening saw the official opening of the Gibraltar Fine Arts Association’s National Celebrations Exhibition 2015, a showcase of Gibraltarian artistic talent (and there is a LOT of talent round these parts!). Organised by the Fine Arts Association and Fine Arts Gallery in Casemates Square (below), this is the second exhibition of its kind and is a great way to see many interpretations of the Rock and it’s people. It kicks off the beginning of a week of celebrations of the Gibraltarian national identity and the right to self determination ending with National Day next Thursday, 10th September. 

  
The competition was open to all artists from those already well established on the local art scene to others perhaps starting out on their careers. There was a good turn out on the exhibition’s opening night in the atmospheric Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery with representatives from the worlds of business, politics and of course the arts.

  
When opening the exhibition officially, the Minister for Culture, Steven Linares quoted a visiting artist from Almeria who had been astonished at the wealth of talent in a relatively small area. He stated that when an art gallery had been opened in Almeria, where there is a population of over one million, just 15 or 16 artists had exhibited their work there, yet in Gibraltar (with a population of just 30,000) there are over fifty good quality artists.

  
The theme for the contest was ‘Our Gibraltar’, the result being that the vast majority of the work showed images of the Rock and its people. There were dramatic paintings of the Rock in all it’s splendor, views of the beaches, seascapes, architectural images and views of the town centre. 

  
The exhibition included work in oils, watercolour, pencil, ink and collage, there was even one picture which had been created on an iPad! The competition was won by Leslie Gaduzo with his view of Waterport Road. He can be seen here with some of the other winners, the sponsors, organisers and the Gibraltar Minister for Culture.

  
If you should find yourself in Casemates Square between now and 15th September I’d really recommend a visit. I’ll leave you with my personal favorite; Alameda Gardens Phone Box by Linda Alcantara.