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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Urban Sketching Barcelona. Day 19: (1 of 2) 48-Hr Open House BCN

Members of Urban Sketchers Barcelona and Inky Fingers at Torre Bellesguard

The last page in my sketchbook / journal
signed by some of the Urban Sketchers in Barcelona 

Mexican Consulate, details. A page from "48Hr Open House Barcelona"

What an amazing day this was! The urban sketchers group was participating in this event called "48 hour Open House" in Barcelona, something that happens twice a year and they were going to sketch these homes and buildings that are not normally open to the public. And I was lucky enough to be there to join in! I had to take a bus to get to the first location and then walk, following my map to the Consulado General de México, designed by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, one of Modernismé's masters. The details were so amazing, I decided to just focus on them and not try to sketch the whole house. It has been so much fun to gather with these artist and fellow sketchers at all these incredible locations I never would have found on my own. 

The Mexican Consulate in Barcelona

Our second location was a walk further uphill to Torre Bellesguard, another "house" - literally, people live in this gorgeous place - in fact I was told that descendants of the original family who commissioned none other than Gaudí himself to design, still do. It was built between 1900 and 1909, at the request  inspired by the medieval castle of Martin I, the last king of the Catalan dynasty, who lived at Bellesguard (beautiful view) until he died in 1410. Gaudí restored the ruins of the medieval palace, now part of the estate and built this house as truly a castle in a combination of Art Nouveau and Gothic styles.

I had a difficult time figuring out where to begin! The sketchers fanned out, finding their perfect spots while I scampered around trying to find mine and taking a few snapshots with my cell phone. It was the last page in my sketchbook so I knew I only had one chance at it and frankly it made me anxious! Again, I opted to show a few details first, starting with the tower that is unmistakably Gaudí with its fanciful color and detail. It's quite breathtaking and difficult to photograph and a challenge to sketch!

I finished up adding a very quick small sketch of the entire home and painted a pinkish panel at the right for my thoughts. But then it occurred to me that it was probably the last time I would see these lovely people and asked a few to write something to me on that panel and it made the perfect ending to my Barcelona Sketchbook. I am so grateful to all of them for them openness, their acceptance and warm welcome. What a great way to travel - meeting other people in a new place who love to do what you love to do and doing to together! Art has no language barrier. Thanks Urban Sketchers!

Remember to click on the photos to see the whole image if it seems cut off.

Torre Bellesguard, details

Torre Bellesguard, front door to the house

In the Garden, tile details everywhere, part of the medieval castle ruins

Unmistakably Gaudí Details

Torre Bellesguard, a private residence designed by Gaudí 

One side of the house


Admiring each other's work
More sketchbooks

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