Monday, July 6, 2009

This Weekend: Asturias, Spain

Hello All. Before I hit the road and move on again tomorrow, I had better do this post and officially "catch up" to where I am, while I can. The next week will have me on the move quite a bit and I have a fair bit of work to catch up on too. This weekend was simply a washout, due to extreme jetlag. No good brainpower left for work !

So I looked around this town of Aviles in Asturias region of Spain instead. It is a quaint town in the old parts and it is quite pretty. Featuring old terrace buildings and iron balconies, railings, doors, window grates. And old churches and stone buildings. This building to the right was not ancient, but it was very attractive, built in early 20th century as a modern style (for the time ?) palace of a wealthy resident here, it is now the Municipal Conservatory of Music 'Julian Orbon.' It looked quite well looked after too, and perhaps freshly painted. The decorations on the building were very ornate, in subtle muted tonal colors that were very attractive. Building trims in a warm grey midtone, with some mauvey grey colors too. I rather liked this lady with her eau de nil color face, grape leaves and grapes that featured over one of the upper door arches. Many of the windows were covered in interesting (timber ?) rolldown shades as you see underneath the lady's face.
Saturday morning shops were open. As I had left my usual bag of sketch pencils back at home, I found a place here that sold art supplies. I got an assortment of charcoal and graphite pencils, charcoals and related items.

Locals eat lunch around 1 - 230PM here. I have struggled a bit to get adjusted to the timetable that food is served here, and being from another timezone probably did not help. I skipped lunch and took a walk. I had the sketch stuff and also my paint box along. At 230P I found a place to sit and paint. Did that for awhile, nothing too flashy...just some quiet practice painting a few scenes I could see. Watercolors are not my medium of choice, but they are convenient for travel. My skill with them is not strong, I am still learning how to get them to do what I want ! The curiosity of my painting captured a few locals' interest...and they came to see what I had painted (and comment on it too !)

Other than my friendly local critics, the town was empty from 230 - 530P. Then things started to liven up. People out to walk, walking their dogs, walking their babies or older ladies minding children at play, going to see and talk with friends, getting a beer in the cervezarias (beer pub/cafe). Good Saturday things to do.

I sat and did my painting under some pretty trees with a dense canopy, like a tall grape arbor (and they may have been grapes if grated on tall growing trees I suppose ?), near a church. The church is called Iglesia de San Nicolas de Bari and was originally a Franciscan convent in the 13th century, and apparently the only building outside the city walls in the Middle Ages. The church has an old bell tower I could see also from my hotel room window, shown at right. And the bell is very loud when it rings, which it did today in the morning, when I was sitting in a sidewalk cafe too near at the time, having some coffee and reading the paper.
More tomorrow or Tuesday. I have a few more photos to download of my looks around Aviles and Asturias to add one more post. Tomorrow I have meetings, then off to airport for afternoon flights to get me to London for an overnight en route to Bulgaria on Tuesday. See you next post :)

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