A time & place for art and travel

Back in 1991, I had the great good fortune to spend almost a year travelling around Europe.

It was my introduction to some of the world’s wonderful art galleries, as well as to the beautiful landscapes – natural and architectural – of countries like France, Italy, and Spain.

I was travelling on the cheap, with no particular deadlines or itinerary. I had the rare luxury of time – time to sit, to look, to contemplate.

I spent many happy hours with my pen in hand.


Jardin-du-Luxembourg, Paris

I hope this drawing of a statue captures some of the elegance and timelessness of those beautiful gardens.


Rue de Rivoli, Paris

I try to capture mood more than detail, and tend to work quickly. This sketch conveys a sense of the classic Parisian street façade.



Cadaqués, Catalonia, Spain

This shows the picturesque Spanish village of Cadaques, where Salvador Dali spent much time. I enjoyed dipping in the waters and sitting in the cafes here – but don’t have such pleasant memories of the camping ground; it was harder than hard.

20 years later


Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

Last year, I was lucky enough to celebrate an auspicious birthday in Spain, which is home to many magnificent art collections. Think of the Prada in Madrid, the Museu Picasso in Barcelona and the Guggenheim in Bilbao.


Villafranca del Bierzo, Castilla Y Leon, Spain

This drawing is from a little village called Villafranca del Bierzo, which I walked through during a six-day spell on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrims’ trail. One of the pleasures of walking the camino is having time for soaking up the sights and local culture. Not to mention the photo opportunities.

Alhambra, Granada, Spain


One of the highlights of a visit to Spain is the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site in Granada, Andalusia.

A brief description from the UNESCO site:

“Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albaycín, situated on two adjacent hills, form the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The residential district of the Albaycín is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.”

Among the Alhambra’s many majestic sites are the Charles V Palace, the Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazabar, the Generalife (gardens) and its many towers and ramparts.

It was while walking one of these ramparts that a gust of wind sent my newly-purchased Spanish hat flying.
This painting tells the story of my wayward hat and the mosaic of delights to be found there.


Hats off to the Alhambra

I am delighted that the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery is hanging this painting, Hats off to the Alhambra, as part of their Snapshot Series highlighting local artists.

Next Tuesday, November 13, I will give a talk at the gallery on “art and travel”.

I’d like to thank the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery for the invitation – it’s been a welcome opportunity to reflect back on the connections between my art and travels.