Sunday Sevens #29 1.5.16

Hello there, happy May Day to you all. I hope the sun’s shining where ever you are and that you’re enjoying a good Bank Holiday weekend. 

A message has just popped up to tell me this is my 100th blog post – how did that happen??

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog. It features seven photos from the last seven days. To find out more about it or to join in, pop over to Natalie’s blog.

Med Steps…

Well my Med Steps training has continued this week as we are now less than two weeks away from the Med Steps 5 Challenge on 14th May. There was a bank holiday in Gibraltar on Thursday (one of our usual training days) so training has had to be fitted in around the family a lot more than usual. My first trip up was on Monday and as you can see from the photo above it was very cloudy. That made for great stepping conditions, it was cool, there was no sun and there was a double bonus of climbing up into the cool, damp cloudy conditions at the top – just when you need it most. There was no one else about; I had the whole Med Steps to myself. The wild flowers were looking gorgeous even though there was no sunshine. They are so beautiful up in the Upper Rock at the moment and probably at their peak before the hot summer sun scorches the ground. I can feel a wildflower post coming on – only problem is I don’t know most of their names…. I’ll need to do a bit of research.

More Med Steps…

My BIG Med Steps training session had to be done  yesterday morning. I decided to forego my Saturday morning lie-in, and set my alarm so I was well on my way up the steps by the time the clock struck nine. I was also on my own and I’m very proud of the fact that without anyone with me to egg me on, I managed three times round solo for the first time. I’m feeling quite proud of myself but am feeling a little bit achey as I write this. The countdown is on now though so I need to step it up a gear next week I think…..
Watercolour class

Last week I had a bit of a go working on a looser style as I painted some bird of paradise flowers. I had another go at improving them this week but it didn’t go well so I gave up and started preparation work for my next project. You may remember from my post on doors that I had a go at painting one of the old doors I had photographed. I really enjoyed doing that so I decided that now is the time to start work on my next architectural painting based on a photo I took a while ago of a particularly beautiful window in the town centre.

The painting so far…

 

I found myself with a bit of time yesterday between climbing the steps, doing the washing and heading out to a kids birthday party, so I decided to crack out my paints while everyone was happy entertaining themselves. I’d been practicing how I was going to paint the reflections on the window panes – something I’d never attempted before. I had a lot of fun with it and am very happy with the result. I just hope I don’t make a mess of the rest of the painting now!!

1st holy communion season


Gibraltar, being a predominantly Catholic place, is currently in the middle of Communion and Confirmation season. My two eldest are of the ages that their school friends are celebrating these milestones of growing up. Being a non-Catholic family it’s not something we do, but it’s lovely to see their fellow students in all their finery heading into church for this big event. For those of their friends who were receiving their Holy Communions on Wednesday, the weather was beautiful and allowed for sunny photo shoots with friends and family in the park. They looked lovely.

Off the beaten track

Considering how small Gibraltar is, I find it amazing that even after almost seven years of living here, I am still discovering new things. On Friday I took a slight detour off Main Street along a side street I must have walked past hundreds, if not thousands of times during our time here and found these windows up above my head on a residential building.  I have never seen anything like this in Gibraltar before, where the windows have been bricked up and then images of windows painted over the bricks! That’s certainly one way to liven up your facade!

Cake!

Another discovery on that street was a lovely little cupcake shop. It would have been rude to return empty handed from there don’t you think? It tasted as good as it looks. The diet went a bit out of the window, but I reckon I burned it off on the Med Steps the next day 😉
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a great week!

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.