A Quiet Place
Last summer, my friend Luis A. and I went on a trip together to Soria, in North-Central Spain. This painting was inspired by that place and by our travels there. Soria, a province situated in the autonomous community of Castile and León, is known for its majestic pines. Much of this mountainous area is blanketed with “pinares” or pine forests. It was late in the afternoon and the last day of our trip. We had been wandering around the village we were staying in, Duruelo de la Sierra, when Luis spotted a clearing in the distance surrounded by trees.
In a Meadow
We entered the meadow by crossing a wooden footbridge. There was silence except for some occasional birdsong and the soft murmuring of the mountain stream. The stream, I later learned, is a source of the Rio Duero, one of the five main rivers in Spain which eventually flows into the Atlantic ocean. Luis decided to walk a little more and read while I sat down next to the water on the soft grass which was strewn with wildflowers. I wanted to do some studies so I took out my sketchbook and began drawing. Some time later, the distant clanking of cow bells could be heard as the gentle creatures entered the pastureland by way of the same footbridge followed by their “pastor” or shepherd. The sketches I made there as well as a few others and then some studies at home in the studio, served as my source material for the painting.
This event Luis and I experienced and the memory of our summer trip is in part what inspired me to paint this scene, as I remember it.