|Column in Parque Guell in Barcelona|
As I've mentioned before, I leave Portland, Oregon every winter for someplace that is the stuff of my dreams, and that is hopefully warmer. The Mediterranean is not a surefire sunshine holiday in winter, but it seems to the the stuff of my dreams the last few years. In a week (December 5th) I will be flying to Barcelona, Spain, a place I haven't been in 24 years. The first time I visited this utterly surreal city was a turning point in my life's work. Like so many other artists, I was exposed to the work of Antonio Gaudi. His buildings are as organic as architectural form gets, and are embellished with the most finely rendered finishes. There are vast quantities of ceramic and glass mosaic and some of the most extraordinary metal work ever executed.
|Faviana's Wedding Altar|
I also built a patio for myself in my garden based on the book 'The Tao of Physics', which had a profound effect on the way I see the World. This was my guinea pig for learning how to set mosaics in mortar. For me there is a clear connection to the influence Gaudi's work had on me at that time, and it still does today.
|My Patio Mosaic|
|The Nativity Facade of La Sagrada Familia|
The design was derived from building models rather than plans. I have always been prone to designing my gardens by mocking them up on site rather than drawing them out before hand for similar reasons. You can get a sense of what you are really trying to do rather than trying to flatten it and make it look good on paper.
I read this article before I returned to Spain from Morocco on last years trip. That trip focused on Andalusia and Moorish architecture in the south and didn't allow for time to revisit Barcelona. There are several essays on the blogsite from that adventure.
I hope to document every fascinating detail of what I see now that I am shooting digitally rather than with film. I took about 20,000 photos on the last trip after editing out the bad ones. I will be writing about Gaudi's incredible Parque Guelle, as well as other aspects of his work. I will also be traveling to Figueres to visit the Teatre-Museu Dali to explore the surreal mind of the great artist Salvador Dali. This should make for some very interesting photo essays. Joan Miro, another great Spanish artist who influenced a series of mosaics I built for clients in Portland (see my blog 'The Miro Mosaics') is also going to be featured in an essay.
|Detail of a mosaic I built called Cyphers and Constellations in Love with a Woman|
I am so excited to be returning to experience it all over again, and hopefully this trip will inspire a new series of projects for me. Stay tuned!