Friday, 27 August 2010

My New Project...

A few things to sort out that may take a few weeks first, but then...

Whilst following camino routes to Santiago de Compostela it became pretty obvious that the trails are actually much older than the Christian calendar. I'm convinced they roughly follow very old human migration routes.

The earliest reference I can find about Santiago is that it was setteled by a tribe from the Rhine valley. Routes from all directions seem to converge towards the NW tip of Spain. No doubt from there some people managed to cross the Atlantic long before Columbus had his day.

I am going to explore theories about these routes. Walking only by night with nothing but the stars to guide me - following whatever instinct instructs me. Firstly from Eastern Europe and then the Rhine valley to see if any 'natural phenomenon' directs me to Santiago. Then from Africa. Initially from Senegal. If money allows, I will then try from Ethiopia.

Covering the costs myself and hoping to raise money for charity. I will be making videos to post on an all new, all singing, all dancing website at when I begin.

I'm hoping to raise more cash for more community art projects as I travel also.

I won't be walking all the way. I intend to walk as much as cash allows.

Looking at an October start. May take longer. May not.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fast Forward!

Back to Granada to wait for a big fat cheque to arrive :)

I've only just discovered I've had plenty of cash available since January. I am a bit useless at this sort of stuff. All those nights spent camping out and clocking up debt in cheapo pensions. Idiot!

Never mind. It means start of next project can happen very soon.

Granada. Then Sevilla, then a brief visit to Santiago, then.......

The World is my oyster. A huge adventure :)

New laptop. New digicam. New clothes.

If I return to Spain to settle, it will be in Leon. This city is always incredibly friendly and exceptionally good to me. Cold winters, but beautiful summers.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Next Project?

I've decided what it will be. But, it won't happen until January. No real idea what I'm going to do in the meantime other than survive! Carry on as I am I guess. Picking up occassional commissions and selling sketches on the street whilst trying to raise money for charity (that isn't going to well ATM).

For a year from January I will be travelling all over Europe and Africa :) Making art, film, photography and exhibiting. Paintings, sketches, photographs and more will be offered for sale via an all new website and auctioned on ebay. All profit to go to charity. A bit of a working holiday. I'll be paying for it myself - ultimately, it's all about an adventure for me and self-promotion. I will also be looking for donations to charity and I have an offer to help fund costs of community projects.

Yeah - I know, I've changed my mind plenty of times before, but this one is workable. No flying. All land and water. Walking, buses, car, motorbike, ferry. As much walking as possible. Walking is expensive mind.

In the meantime, it's business as usual. I haven't been to Segovia yet. I met a couple from Segovia here in Leon. They bought sketches. One sketch may well pay for a bus to Segovia. There is actually a pilgrimage route I could walk from there. One last time to Santiago de Compostela???

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A Bag Full of Letters...

Anyone who has been following my blog will probably know what I'm on about.

I have a bag full of letters. I can't get rid of them! I don't want to get rid of them, but I feel I have to. Very occassionally you meet someone who has a very profound effect on your life. Damn them :D

I'm going to take a short break. Visit an island off the coast of Galicia for a couple of days. I'm going to have a letter burning ceremony. Possibly. Or, I'm going to drink a bottle of wine. Wash and dry the bottle of wine. Fill it with letters and a couple of photographs and throw it as far as I can into the Atlantic. Knowing my luck it will wash up on the beach of new boyfriends home town where his dog will find it and deliver it to him. I will then be accused of devising some elaborate plan to interfere.

Now I've planted that little seed in my mind I'm going to have to burn them. Nah, keep them. Burn them. Keep them? Burn? Bin?

Damn you!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Why I Like Leon.

I can't really explain it in terms of why I like the city as a city. It just seems to sort of balance very happily. Old and new. Tradition and convenience. Beautiful buildings for a small city, and the most elegant cathedral I've ever come across. Also the best stained glass windows I've ever come across.

Most of all; good things always seem to happen in Leon (when it doesn't rain). I always get good work, or make enough cash selling on the streets. Today, a young lad asked his uncle to buy a sketch as a birthday gift. I am absolutley chuffed with that. More than any prestigious client name. More than my very own themed hotel in Granada. More than the very nice display I was shown today in the Cathedral restaurant/bar here in Leon (that looks cool as, but...). I was wasting pocket money on Athena shit at that age. My favourite customer to date, and he got my best Leon sketch to date. Five people tried to buy it.

I feel finally retsored from the nightmare of Santiago and Granada. It wasn't all bad - lots of very good also, but only now do I feel like I'm the relaxed, easy going artist I almost lost! I know who I am again. I know where I'm going again. I'm going to take a short break somewhere. Someone told me about a peaceful, beautiful island. Perhaps next week for a couple of days, or so. I need to let go of a dream???

Someone gave me a book. There was a quote quoted. Can't remember who, or verbatim, but something like "It is always easier to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams". Works for me. Not sure if it's good, bad, meaningful, or totally irrelevant. Perhaps it's just a bit of esoteric poetry, or summat???


I do like this city. Hoping I will find enough work to stay here until the start of my next project. Trying to find a man to talk about designing a psychedelic, multimedia, mobile stage for classical guitar performances!!!

I have a kitchen. I can cook my own food. I have a washing machine. I can wash my own clothes.

Leon is positively thriving. It's a fresh, fun little city with fantastic bars, affordable accommodation, plenty of art, nice parks and plazas, a river and a nice relaxed vibe - no Policia Local ripping up sketches.

Policia Local in Granada are fucking the place up as far as I can see. They started using 'black leather glove' psychology to scare people. They only seem to pick on those who appear to be the most vulnerable also. I may return later in the year if I have to.

Plan now is to clear a bit of debt and find enough work to see me through until December when funds become available for my next project. Small exhibition in Barcelona next week may, or may not provide cash also. It's a bit of an experiment really.

Next project? It is either going to happen in Africa, Eastern Europe, or London. Yet to decide.

Saturday, 7 August 2010


Granada. Love it - hate it. When I'm getting commissions it's very good. Selling on the streets is difficult at the best of times. I had decided to stay. Now I'm desperate to escape again.

Thursday evening Policia Local confiscated my sketch. Filled in some paperwork. Fuck knows if a fine will materialise.

Last night 3 of them just walked up to my sketch and ripped it up :( No warning. No asking questions. Before I had a chance to protest it was ripped into pieces.

I give up with Granada for the time being at least. I don't enjoy being made to feel like a criminal when I'm simply sketching and trying to raise money for charities. Other cities in Spain are far more artist friendly. Not sure where to head yet. I know where I don't want to go. I'll probably end up in Leon for a while. I like it there