Six Sketches & the Spanish Civil War

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Thames Ditton/Weston Green – beginnings.
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Berlin – the shadow of Nazism
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London – Scullion with the Red Wedge
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Paris – wandering savagely. Lion of Belfort.
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Barcelona (soldados de chupete)
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Tardienta – the bridge

This will be a brief visual blog. Our creative work has begun, and I’ve been busy in the studio on a series of six painted sketches, which have taken me by surprise. I’ve been wholly mesmerised by Felicia Browne’s visual journaling (as I call it) and thought to respond to her sketches by abstracting her line rather than working figuratively – as I am an abstract artist myself. However, Felicia has had a profound influence on me, and in my conversation with her work, mine has become altered. Our styles have combined to create a series of images, which plot her political trajectory, which we know is what led her to Spain, during that fateful July of 1936.

I don’t know yet if this development will continue in the seven larger works which will form my contribution to the our final exhibition. These six smaller paintings are process works to be shown for peer evaluation at my studios.

Each image borrows from Felicia’s sketchbooks, and from her letters – but there is also a personal take. My collaborator, Jenny Rivarola and myself, both had fathers in the Republican army, Jenny’s father was a “soldado de chupete” (the so called soldiers with a dummies – due to their young age) and my father was a journalist with a tank regiment.

I will be adding a seventh painting to “describe” the border between France and Spain – the snaking pressure point for the Retirada of 1939, but also the entry point for Felicia and her travelling companion Edith Bone, in 1936.

2 thoughts on “Six Sketches & the Spanish Civil War

  1. Great paintings, on the Tardienta connection, I love the fact that there has been a woman mayor of the town for a number of years now, and we have met her on various trips. There is a nice picture of Felicia’s relation Glenda Browne in Tardienta with framed print of one of Felicia’s drawings which was presented to the mayor : https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=mayor+of+tardienta&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwisxubW4-XMAhXECMAKHQzcB5MQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=t19QtpTIrzndGM%3A

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Stuart – isn’t that brilliant. I hope to visit Tardienta myself one day. I saw the photographs of Glenda at Tardienta and indeed one of them formed the basis of this composition – the wedge shape is what remains of the bridge once you go abstract! TY for reading. Sonia

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