Nothing Pacific about the Pacific! Iquique Chile 2019
I grew up by he Pacific Ocean in Northern Chile the largest ocean on Earth, two times bigger than the Atlantic.
Its name comes from the explorer Ferdinand Magellan when sailing the mighty winds of the Atlantic, found calm and favourable winds. Thus he named it “Pacific Ocean.” I have never found anything calm about the Pacific. Its always on the move and changeable with large waves and unpredictable. Every time I go back home the first thing I want to do is say hello to my beloved Pacific, I seat by the rocks and admired this magnificent sea.
I feel identified with it. Like the Pacific I am also unpredictable, changeable and can never remain still always on the go.
An insight into my art work and what inspired me.
City of Lota Chile 2014 - oil on canvas - 50x70cm
I’ve captured this scene at Lota in my last trip to Chile while these two algae fishermen were having a rest. I‘ve finished the painting in my studio in England.
At the beginning of each summer, the beaches in Lota south of Chile become full of marine algae known by the locals as Luga (carrageenins). During the summer months the majority of the families that live by the coast become involved in the extracting and selling of this algae. Many young children are forced into this activity to help support their families. They sell the algae to the chemical industry by the kilo and for a pittance.
Every time you eat a creamy yogurt, use exclusive face creams or eat a hamburger, the carragenina component being used is extracted from these algae endemic to the coast of Chile. There is no machine able to extract this prime component essential for multiple products.
When the tide in out, complete families will work for hours collecting the algae.
Since the coalmines closed down in the 1990’s, Lota has been hit hard by unemployment and poverty. Many children leaving school education end up joining the “Lagu” collectors of Lota.
You can see the original photo in my book “Dear Chile”
"Colectores de algas"
Ciudad de Lota Enero 2014 - óleo sobre lienzo 50x70cm
Capture esta escena en Lota en mi último viaje a Chile, mientras que los dos pescadores de algas descansaban. Termine la pintura en mi estudio en Inglaterra.
Al comienzo de cada verano, las playas de Lota se llenan de algas marinas conocido por los lugareños como Luga (carrageninas). Durante los meses de verano la mayoría de las familias que viven en la costa se involucran en la extracción y venta de estas algas. Muchos niños pequeños se ven obligados a esta actividad para ayudar a sus familias. Las algas se venden a la industria química por el kilo y por una miseria.
Cada vez que usted come un yogur cremoso o utiliza cremas faciales o se come una hamburguesa, se utilza el componente de carragenina el cual se extrae de estas algas endémicas de la costa de Chile. No hay ninguna máquina capaz de extraer este esencial componente principal para varios productos. Cuando la marea está baja, familias enteras van a trabajar durante horas recogiendo las algas.
Desde que las minas de carbón cerraron en la década de los 90, Lota ha sido duramente golpeada por el desempleo y la pobreza. Muchos de los niños que abandonan la educación escolar terminan uniéndose a los coleccionistas de algas “Lagu” de Lota.
Valley of the moon - Atacama desert Chile oil on canvas - 50x70cm
I was here last December; I grew up in this desert, which inspired me to make this painting.
It is one of the most visited places in San Pedro and it is located at 17 kilometers of San Pedro's downtown, in the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt mountains) area, is an interesting area with stones and sand formations that per millenia the floods and the winds have given it a series of colors and texture to the desert, it presents an extraordinary attractive by its similarity with the moon surface and the natural coliseo of great dimensions. From a great dune is possible to appreciate the wonderful and surprising surroundings of this zone.Set of landscapes of incomparable beauty and that resemble a fragment of the moon landscape.
The Moon Valley has dry lakes, in where the salt composition of these covers with a beautiful white mantle; escarpments of all green, blue, orange, red, yellow colors surprising with the most diverse and surprising forms and which the sun makes vary its tones in thousand different forms during the day, specially in the twilight hours that reaches its best beauty.
"The Couple" "La Pareja"
This is a scene from the river Seine in Paris which I was able to capture las June 2012. I dont really know who the couple are, what they are saying to eachother that will remain a mistery. I was there at the time and captured that monent in their lives. I thought they made and interesting composition with the bridge and river as the backdrop. The perspective of the bridge was a complex thing to paint. Every painting brings its own challenges the challenge here was a beautiful but a complicated bridge.
"Winter by the river seine" Paris oil on canvas 24"x18
Some years ago I went to visit my brother in Paris for New Years Eve. We had a great time, the following day Paris was covered in a mantle of white snow and it was freezing. We were both suffering from the hangover from hell! The fresh air and the walk by the river Seine did both of us some good. It was a beautiful day. I took some photos which I kept and from one of those photos I’ve created this painting.
“Rocas de Antofagasta” Oil on canvas - May 2014
Antofagasta is a city in the North of Chile in the Atacama Desert where I grew up. I worked on a photo I took while I was there in 2014. My father still lives here and so are family and old friends and I make the long journey there as much as I can.
Recently the city was hit by sudden rain storms which devastated part of the city causing lots of damage as this is a part of Chile where hardly never rains and peoples homes are not designed to cope with torrential storms.
As a child I’ve used to spend a lot of my time hanging about with my friends among these rocks depicted in my painting looking for sea creatures from time to time we would venture into the sea looking for pulpos "octopuses".
"Casita Azul" 2014
I was inspired to do this painting following a visit to the botanic gardens en La Sella near Pedreguer in Valencia province in Spain in the summer of 2014. The whole place is hidden and not easy to find and when you do, you enter this amazing place, an oasis filled with trees of all kinds, plants flowers and wildlife. This little blue house is a converted lecture theatre and lab in a secluded part of the gardens.