Painting in Park Güell, Barcelona

Apr 24, 2017

On Saturday I went up to Park Güell to paint. I had been there the week before to do some studies in my sketchbook and scout locations, but wanted to return to work in “plein air” as I’m doing more of lately.

Painting in Park Güell

The location I chose for this picture is in the upper-part of the park, just behind Casa Trias. Casa Trias was designed by Juli Batllevell in 1906 and occupied by Martí Trias i Domènech, a lawyer and friend of Eusebi Güell & Antoni Gaudí. Juli Batllevell’s work is often over-shadowed by the work of Antoni Gaudi, but he has many places worth visiting in Barcelona and in some of the cities and villages nearby such as Badalona and Sabadell.

A Little History

Park Güell was originally intended to be an estate of sixty houses equipped with all the latest technological advancements to ensure maximum comfort, finished off with an artistic touch.  The park is organized in the ‘garden village’ style pioneered in the UK and popular at the time; hence the English spelling of ‘Park’. However, the scheme was unpopular in Barcelona and only two houses were built. This was probably for the best, because now it is a municipal garden and open for everyone to enjoy.

The City Below

This is a small painting I completed as the sun was beginning to set and the pale cerulean sky took on some notes of pink and golden yellow color.  After my work was done for the day, I sat for awhile just to enjoy the view from above. By then the sky was an inky  blue -black color, the lights of the city flickering and shining  in the distance.  The park was peaceful and quiet at that time, the air cool and fresh. The city down below glimmered and glowed with all the life and energy and people, the excitement and anticipation of a Saturday night almost palpable, even from faraway. It was a magical moment and I felt lucky and grateful just to be alive there in that spot, above the city.

Salve

One curious thing which caught my attention upon arriving there was the word “Salve” spelled out in colorful green and blue mosaic on the entrance pillar. I didn’t know the reason for this. However, passing by again while descending,  after spending a few hours  there  painting, now I think I understand the meaning and reason behind those words. I went back down into the city on my bicycle feeling tired but good, my portable easle and the little painting strapped to the bike rack in back. I decided  to visit my favorite bar in Gracia, Bar Virreina, and ordered a caña , or draft  beer, to celebrate the work and to taste the night for awhile.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Robert (Bob) Froh

 

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