If you want to enjoy art from home during lockdown you can now re-visit my online exhibit ‘Bearing fruit in Catalonia’. It was live on my homepage from 1/10 until 31/12. But to keep it available I have decided to make it into a blog post. So you can enjoy it during the current lockdown.
Bearing fruit in Catalonia
Artist: The Fran
This exhibition was live from 1/10/2020 until 31/12/2020
Drawings and paintings featured in this online exhibition are all available for purchase. Please contact me if you wish to know more.
Welcome to Bearing fruit in Catalonia:
Bearing fruit in Catalonia
In July 2019 I enjoyed a artist residency near Gerona, Catalonia. I stayed at an old hacienda on the slope of a green hill and worked in a old but spacious outside shed. I brought all of my art supplies: ink, markers, oil, paper and large canvasses. But I didn’t brought a plan. I wanted my work to emerge out of me being there, connecting with the land and the environment.
During one of the very scary walks downhill (I can’t see depth because of a ‘lazy’ eye) towards the village I found an apricot on the path. And I was like: what is this perfectly fine apricot doing on the ground? There was only one explanation possible: there had to be a tree. And there was. I was in awe! Apricots are one of my very favourite summer fruits but the ones in the supermarkets back home in The Netherlands are often very mushy or grainy. This one was fresh and sweet and smooth. And still it had been laying on the ground!
That’s when I started drawing:
DRAWN TO FRUIT
The first results were large fruit drawings exploring the different Mediterranean fruits. I wanted them to be the center of attention. I was so drawn to them it was like they had their own gravitational pull. In the end some of them indeed ended up in space:
After those drawings I immediately started painting them on large canvasses. I worked simultaneously on all nine and mixed very large amounts of every colour I intended to use.
The results from three weeks of painting:
LAST WEEK IN INK
The last week of my artist residency I couldn’t proceed on working on my large fruits. I had already stretched my possibilities by mixing my oils with white spirit to enhance the drying time to keep working on them for as long as I could. But the last week I had to let them be so they could dry. That’s when I started drawing again. This time with black ink. Processing all the street scenes and plants and trees in the wildI soaked in during those three weeks:
BARCELONA X THE FRAN
The last weekend of my stay I decided to visit Barcelona and the Picasso Museum. During that visit I became enthralled with Picasso’s apparent drive to not rest before he had explored every angle of his subject. That’s when I revisited my fruit drawings and started redoing them in ink:
Back home I reckoned it wasn’t only art I brought back with me. I felt a difference in my artistic approach as well. I explore different perspectives, aim to understand my subjects on a more abstract level and from time to time I intentionally let them go to be able to come back to them again. Like I did last summer by revisiting the street scene and plant ink drawings from 2019 and turning them into colourful oil pastel drawings:
REVISITING THE LARGE FRUITS IN THE SUMMER OF 2020:
In these two art talks I tell you about how I had to let these paintings go in the autumn of 2019 (because I hated them that much!). And about revisiting them in the summer of 2020 and making them mine again.
So it just goes to show: to be able to bear fruit you may just have to let go of your creations once in a while. Let them live a life of their own, let them grow on you (or not) and to develop the courage to kill (or alter) your darlings.
Thank you for visiting my online exhibition Bearing fruit in Catalonia.
Click one of the green buttons to enter the giveaway
After entering you will receive a confirmation e-mail
On the 9th of August – in the midst of summer – I will draw the winner
THE ARTWORK: APRICOT
For those of you who’d like to know more:
I made the Apricot drawing last summer during my art retreat in Catalonia. Inspired by all the exotic fruits from the Mediterranean and my study of physics I decided to make a series of fruit artworks on earth and in space. The Apricot was the first drawing I made. The whole series of exotic fruits I made that summer was actually inspired by an apricot I found in the wild.
I have always been fascinated by the bright orange colour and texture of apricots. As a child I remember I found apricots way too colourful to eat them. How could something so vibrant be meant for food? And their soft outside texture made me feel sorry for them when I put my teeth in them…
Fascination makes good inspiration for art though. For me this Apricot is summer art at its best. It’s juicy, bright and colourful. I placed this Apricot in space to invite you to look up to the stars and wonder at their magnificence. But not to forget about the apricot while looking at the stars. Fruit has its own marvel. With these Exotic Fruits series I wish to connect the luminaries in space with those on earth. And create awareness of the magnificence so much closer to home.
Last month I surfed a huge creative wave. My output was kind of large: 64 new artworks. 16 of them are these new drawings of Tucson city scenes. What do you think of them?
TUCSON CITY SCENES
These new drawings feature doorways, cacti behind barred window panes, cosy wooden benches between outdoor plants and one deserted castle. Their perspective changes from super zoomed in to panorama like when it comes to the one that’s not necessarily a city scene (the one with the large cacti on the hill).
In a way they remind me of my trip to Gerona. And they inspire me to draw new inspiration from the photographs I took there and the ink drawings I made. Maybe a whole new Gerona oil canvas board series is on its way, who knows!
INSPIRATION FOR THESE NEW DRAWINGS
My friend Robert de Garde travels the whole wide world and makes the most wonderful pictures. His exotic city scenes of Tucson immediately caught my eye. I asked if I could paint his compositions. He agreed and here we are!
I made ink drawings to make the compostions ‘mine’. That means some depth is off, some plants and pots become enormously large compared to their window pane, but hey, this is The Fran Zone haha!
My next step is to translate these new drawings into small oil artworks. I’ve already painted the base layers on A4 size canvas boards. And I intend to finish them with oil paint and oil pastels as well. I’ve been longing to try out oil pastels for a long time and now I’ve finally found a collection of 60 different colours in one package. So it feels like their time has come!
What do you think of these new drawings? Do you have a favourite? Do you think they work well as a set of 16 or do you think they are all small artworks in their own right? Would you pair them into themes (like ‘window panes’ and ‘doorways’)? Would love to know your thoughts in the comments!