Concrete Jam And Ipads


Spode bowl with lemons
Spode bowl with lemons

Judging from the amount of homemade jam, pickles and chutneys that I now have stored in the larder, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I was some sort of Domestic Goddess like Nigella Lawson (I wish) or Martha Stewart. In the past few weeks we’ve been inundated with gifts of cherries, plums and apricots. Not just the odd bag full but crates and crates of the beauties. Up until last month, I’d never made a pot of jam in my life but rather than let kilos and kilos of good fruit go to waste, I decided to try my hand at making jam and chutney. The first batch of plum jam was an unmitigated disaster. Unlike the real Domestic Goddesses, Martha and Nigella, mine set like concrete and all 12 jars had to be tossed straight in to the bin. Determined not to let the culinary failure put me off, I swiftly set about making batch number 2. Batch number 2 was, even though I say so my self, a howling success. Plain plum jam, spiced plum jam, spiced plum chutney, plum compote – every permutation of plum jam that you can think of. Ditto the apricots.

Flowers in jug
Flowers in jug
Aubergines and terracotta jug
Aubergines and terracotta jug
Chinese jug and figs
Chinese jug and figs

It’s very touching the little things that turn up on our doorstep here. I often come back home to find bunches of herbs, flowers or packets of handmade soap, left anonymously by kind souls. It’s these little things that make living here so special and out of the ordinary. And it is partly because of this that Pete and I started up our art school in the village sooner than we had planned. Blown away by the kindness and generosity of our new neighbours, we wanted to help our little community here by giving something back to them. In early March we started giving free art classes to the children in the village. Despite the language barrier we have managed to make some great work with them and they seem to really love it. Classes run for 2 hours every Friday and we work on all sorts of projects with them. The lesson is taught in Spanish and English with a little art history thrown in for good measure. The mothers are now keen for us to give over one evening a week to teach them – our little dream of having an art school in Las Pilas is really starting to take shape. The next stage is to find a studio space large enough so that we can host residential art courses but first we have to do some more work on the house.

Figs and coffee
Figs and coffee
Garlic and wine
Garlic and wine
Geraniums
Geraniums

New windows are being made for the front of the house so the room that we’ve been using as a temporary studio has had to be abandoned while the work is being done. With no more jam to make, or studio to make a mess in, I needed an outlet for my creative juices. This is how I discovered the joys of drawing on an ipad. It takes a bit of practice and I am still trying to master it. These pictures are ones that I’ve made over the past week. The one titled ‘Road from Venta Velero’ I drew this morning. Midday in the height of an Andalucian summer is probably not the best time to do ‘plein air’ drawing. After 20 minutes the ipad was so hot that I feared that it might burst in to flames so I had to abandon my landscape drawing mission and head back home.

Chair in sun
Chair in sun
Olive groves at sunset
Olive groves at sunset
Summer kitchen
Summer kitchen
The Road from Venta Valero
The Road from Venta Valero

54 thoughts on “Concrete Jam And Ipads

  1. What lovely art work! I haven’t had a go at drawing on the ipad but I might just try…They are all great and I think I like the chair best. How nice that you are doing art classes for the children 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m enjoying your drawings Lottie. There is so much energy, and even animation in your still lives and landscapes. I think of Matisse’s “The Dessert” with the bright colors and organic line treatment. Definitely keep it up. What app are you using? And do you have a stylus? Or just your finger on the iPad? I haven’t tried any of that stuff yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jody. The app I’m using is a free one called Brushes. I use my finger and a stylus. I’ve been bitten by the bug now – even this morning I went and changed the last picture – I woke up and my first thought was ‘the sky has got to be A LOT bluer!’ – I’ve had a few mishaps….drawings suddenly disappear etc so i’m learning to save them to photos so that I can at least retrieve them back and carry on working on them. It’s a bit disheartening when you’ve made a picture and then it vanishes in to thin air! 😀

      Like

  3. Gee Lottie how many talents do you have? I admire your ability to deal with and deal out just about anything that comes your way. I really am enthralled by your art. I’m not sure how to define your technique but I like it very much.

    I believe your neighbors are more than thrilled to have you and Pete as neighbors. That is one factor that plays into their generous gift giving. I’m sure that there are not that many ex-pats that have been given so much.

    And you and Pete are generous as well. The art school will reap dividends in ways that you will not have expected. The old mill across the street would be ideal as an art studio if it has good flooring and sound structure. Myabe the owner would lease it or allow some “fixing up” of the building.

    Loved the post as usual and I’m always anxiously awaiting the next one.

    ~yvonne xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are kind, thank you. Yes our little village is like the land of milk and honey – we are very fortunate to have found such a lovely place to live. I’m not sure what is happening with the mill. It seems to just stand there and nobody has started any work on it yet. I suspect that its going to cost a small fortune to fix and do up – I’m glad that it won’t be my bill! There are a couple of places that we are looking at – we need a place either in the village or walking distance from it. I’m sure something will come up, we just have to be patient (something I’m not good at!)

      I’ll hurry up and get cracking with the next post!! XXXXX

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder what Apple would say about iPad flambeau?

    I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but your drawing are excellent, Lottie. Whether done with physical media or digitally, they are very attractive and, I am sure, would look very nice gracing a wall somewhere.

    All the different things you are making with the plums remind me of the Monty Python Spam sketch. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The sooner you can get your art project up and running the better. The artwork is stunning, I especially love the Spode bowl with the lemons. The work has a real Mediterranean feel except maybe the ipad ones but what a skill you’ve shown with that. Congratulations. I hope the work on the house is finished soon.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. David, all of these were drawn on the ipad but some are ‘freer’ than others – simpler designs often work better. My favourite of the lot is the olives at sunset – I drew it in 7 minutes after 3 Gin & Tonics! – well the sun was over the yard arm!
      I hope we can get something up and running for next year. We do need an income, Pete’s teaching pension is not bad, but it’s not enough for treats and luxuries so it would be great to have add another financial string to our bow. Massive Mediterranean hugs back to you! xxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I wouldn’t like to see you slave over a hot paintbrush ( or is it paintpad) while you’re thirsty. I bet you did it in 7 mins in case the drink evaporated from your glass and you needed a refill. What I meant was I preferred those with stronger colours which I thought were actual paintings but if you did them all on the ipad well done.
        Something with a twin or double bed should bring in a nice weekly income for a good part of the year and allow you the freedom to do as you want in the off season. I’ll keep a room free for you both.
        xxx Cwtch Cymru xxx

        Like

  6. Love those iPad creations, who woulda thought?! Can you blow them up and hang ’em up on your walls? Bursts of Andalucian flavors and colors on the walls.. Wow! So exciting, your art classes! I’m toying with an art-and-community related venture myself 😉 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They can indeed be blown up!! I’m not sure to what size, I’m hoping A2. The art classes are the best fun. We really enjoy teaching them and its nice to do something that the kids enjoy. Sometimes more paint goes on them than on the paper but that’s half the fun 😉 xxx

      Like

    1. Girlcrush – I LOVE IT!! makes me feel so young and gorgeous! I’m not going to tell Pete that you’ve got a crush on him too – he’s already got far too many peeps telling him that he’s wonderful – I’m saving your girlcrush ALL for me – Girlcrush right back at ya, Missy Martha xxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just wrote you a stunning reply and whooph, the intraweb went off….yes, drawing on an iphone is well nigh impossible but Mr Hockney has somehow managed to master it – his drawings on the ipad are pretty good too, no, I shall rephrase that – BLOODY BRILLIANT, they are an inspiration to all of us that it can be done! 😀 xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. and I’ve never made Lemon butter…I think it might have helped if I’d had a jam thermometer! I got there in the end though. You’d be very impressed if you saw all the jams in my larder – it looks like something out of a Beatrix Potter book – Appley Dappley springs to mind. Thanks for your kind words, Tricia. Positive feedback is really encouraging. I need to keep on with it, the more I draw, the more relaxed I become. Once we have a studio again, i might convert some of these in to paintings, painting is really what I love. The smell of oil paint is a real turn-on for me! and hay but probably best not to go in to details here 😉 xx

      Like

  7. Oh I am jealous, I wish someone would drop baskets of fruit on my door step. After picking sour cherries from my uncles trees to add to the mini cheesecakes I made, hubby and I decided we need our own fruit tree. In the fall, we will can as much salsa as possible, our favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and I’m jealous that you have somewhere to grow your own fruit trees! Our yard is lovely, private and large enough to feel like we have space but alas, nowhere to grow any trees. We do have two fig trees on the back wall which are dripping, quite literally with fruit. Mercifully the wasps haven’t discovered them yet 🙂

      Like

  8. Another vote for spode & lemons. But the whole collections fizzes like a good glass of well, fizz. Communities seem to thrive in remoter places and the generosity of spirit feels strong here. Lucky Lottie, I dub thee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the dub! 😉 I sometimes think that this little village should win an award for its excellence in social and community mindedness. In many ways it’s a perfect model of how life should be – simple and uncomplicated. Work is governed by the seasons, people share things, there is no bickering (not that I’ve heard) and nearly everyone walks round with a permanent smile on their face. I’m sure that the sunshine goes a long way towards making people happy and content. The other thing that I have noticed is just how un-spoilt the children are. The older ones take care of the younger ones and they spend hours playing outside or chatting to the village elders – they amuse themselves. I’m well impressed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oooh, I like that – I’d like to have that on my gravestone – ‘She was sinfully brilliant with colour’ what an accolade! I’ve got to admit that Pete and I really hope that some of what we are teaching the kids will rub off on them – it would be lovely to think that maybe one of them ends up making a living through their own creative endeavours.

    Like

  10. Lottie, it all looks fantastic. I managed to catch David Hockney’s exhibition in London and I was amazed at what he managed to do with his i-Pad. Well, he has competition! And I so hope everything works out for the art school and the workshops. I have no artistic bone in my body (at least for painting, or singing, or dancing, or….) but would love to have an excuse to visit….Maybe you should give jam-making classes too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Olga, I think I shall give the jam making classes a miss!! Lucky you seeing the Hockney exhibition, very jel about that 🙂 You are welcome to visit anytime and I am sure you could turn your hand to anything, you are a very talented lady. We are also going to set up a print studio, you never know, that might become your forte!

      Like

      1. Lucky You 🙂
        I’m staying here temporarlly in a friends house (cat sitting) and there is also homemade jam of hers and her mother.. it wonderfull :)))
        A splendid project- start to you both!!!

        Like

  11. Brilliant work Lottie. In fact I’m impressed, almost flabbergasted, even gobsmacked that you created these masterpieces using wine…….no……an iPad ! I love the last one !

    I met an Irish friend in the Correos (post office) two days ago. She and her French husband run a small holiday business using 3 Tibetan yurts in the field. Their profit for this month disappeared when their dog got into a guest’s yurt and chewed their iPad to pieces. Crunchy !

    Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH NO!! that is such bad luck – what sort of dog do they have? it sounds like something out of Beano! Knasher perhaps? I blame the guests, they shouldn’t be cooking sausages on their camp fire and leaving the yurt door open wide….bound to cause all sorts of problems. xox

      Like

  12. Hi Lottie, I’m so impressed by your artwork and have tried to choose a favourite but each have their own charm! The sunshine and slow pace definitely brings out the best in you 🙂 And the art school…it will be so rewarding for everybody involved!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. George, you are most kind, thank you 🙂 It’s taken me a while to settle down and get on with stuff but I’m feeling more relaxed now and I think that now the house is in a better state, and the weather is so glorious, it’s given me a new burst of creative energy. I’m smitten with the landscapes here, what I really want to do is focus on them. I’ve started going out in the car and noting places/views that really appeal to me – the colours are so good right now – there are more wheat fields than i had previously realised and the golds and yellows look so gorgeous alongside the patchwork of olive groves and hills. Lots to inspire and delight! 😀

      Like

  13. Everything is an opportunity if looked at the right angle. And you certainly have that down, Lottie. Your studio being off limits temporarily led you to creating these marvelous and vibrant iPad drawings. Hooray!

    Your art school sounds amazing. Build it and they will come, eh? Bravo to both you and your Irish man.

    The jams and chutneys you’ve made are making me drool (especially apricot, my favorite!) and I’m hearing scary growly noises coming from the vicinity of my belly, so I better sort out some breakfast soon. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gotta say, Sis, jams and chutneys not bad, not bad at all. For the apricot jam I even cracked the stones inside the fruit, blanched the kernels, cut in to fine slithers and added to ambrosial confiture….impressed? Hah! You always make me laugh, I love ‘build it and they will come’ we really do need to find a space to build a big studio now, that would be the icing on the cake that I’ve not got round to making yet. xoxo

      Like

  14. Lovely artwork!

    Clearly your passion is in art and creativity.

    I particularly liked the ‘Chair in the Sun’ creation of yours. Somewhere it brings in a serene sense.

    I remain curious. What makes you visualise what you end up creating?

    Shakti

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, Shakti for your lovely comment 🙂 I’m delighted that you like the pictures. In answer to your question, most of my pictures are spur of the moment. For example I will see something and think ‘oh, that’s beautiful, or, I love that shape’ etc etc and start drawing it. Again, I drew the chair that you liked on a whim – i was inside with the door to the garden open and i noticed the white light and the shadows that the chair made. it was a quick drawing. Sometimes I dream about pictures/paintings. I spend time thinking about what I want to make, I suppose pictures are always in my head, it is just finding the time and the right moment to make them!

    Like

  16. Wow….Lottie, how wonderful what you and Pete are doing for your area. And you’re becoming a jam maker and iPad painter. Spain seems to really suit you! So happy that things are coming together. 🙂 xxxx Steph

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slowly but surely! yes, it’s coming together and we LOVE it here. Small set-back this week as we have an invasion of RATS in the house – I could weep, I absolutely hate rats, they give me the creeps. I think we must have disturbed them when we took an old shed down. The thought of one climbing into bed with me gives me the creeps! apart from that, all is bueno! xxxxxx

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s