I had been invited to Spain by my good friend Elaine Kingett, http://write-it-down.co,uk/spain/ to be part of one of her inspirational writing/mindfulness retreats . After spending 2 wonderful days in Seville, exploring this beautiful city, we left for Aracena.
I could have easily stayed longer, there was so much to enjoy; the superb architecture, the food, the people…I shall definitely visit again.

Finca Buenvino‘ itself is a magical place, set in the middle of the beautiful natural parkland of Sierra de Aracena.   Following their long driveway up through the chestnut trees and cork oaks, you finally round the corner to see the fabulous pink farmhouse, built by them some 30 years ago, and surrounded by rambling roses, lush plants and trees.

There is so much to write about this place and it’s owners and wonderful hosts, Sam and Jeannie… however, the main reason for being here, was to paint and draw, and I did so, very happily. My challenge was where to start and what to draw….

Adding to this journal some time later, I can say that I was spoilt for choice; would it be the magnificent view from the pool, beautiful gardens, people, pigs, chickens or possibly, the sheep? The chickens won, as I loved their crooning sounds and the rooster’s occasional crowing; very soporific in the dappled sun. Next came the pigs…then I needed a swim!
Another day, after such a swim, I sat on a sun lounger, and painted the view in comfort…’tis a hard life! Being able to wander about within such lovely surroundings, and finding things  to paint at every turn, was a joy.

(Whatever the subject, if I’m painting, I set out my watercolours ( a very neat system of 4 stacked circles, each containing 6 colours and shades..very convenient for travel), the screw-top plastic water jar.. filled from my water bottle, and the all important brushes. I mostly use a nice fat brush that goes to a fine point, as it holds lots of water/paint; necessary to make smooth sweeps of colour without the difficulty of the surface drying while you’re dipping, and creating the ‘overlapped’  lines.

If drawing, I like to use a soft 3B/4B pencil, or charcoal, working quickly to capture the shapes and proportions… THEN I add detail and shading,  if necessary; important not to get caught up in that too soon.)

It was a great week, spent indulging some of my greatest joys; wonderful company and surroundings, swimming, walking, painting and drawing, along with the most fabulous food and drink…what more could one want?!