The Escola de Pintura Mediterránea de Xàbia (Javea School of Mediterranean Painting) opened an exhibition of 116 paintings to showcase its students as it wraps up another school year.

I was curious as to what types of visions were being created by these students so I visited the Lambert Arts Center to have a look.

Review by Karla Darocas, Hons.B.A. Fine Arts Historian

Most of the artworks were representational pieces ranging from familiar local landscapes, still life to portraits of people and pets. There were a few graphical pieces that swopped realism for a pop art approach that were fun.

The portraits on the main floor where all quite good with a couple that were exceptional. The African girl with the scarf around her head was masterly, as was the small African boy with the cap. There was a still life of bottles with light reflections that caught my eye in the stairwell. 

One artwork mixed a mashed riot of textural manic brushstrokes to make a backdrop wall with a blue door, which then sported a solid flat red scooter parked in front. It offered a deeper understanding of impressionist art on the verge of abstraction.

I was impressed by the different uses of media from pen, pencil, pastel, oils to acrylics and totally amazed at the vastness in the age ranges of the students, which started at six and ended at eighty seven.

One work that stood out from the others because of its technique was an acrylic chameleon crafted via the Australian dot painting style with vibrant colours. 
There was only a few abstract pieces with one verging on Cubist and some of the teen work, which was in the subfloor of the gallery, had a tendency towards a fantasy feel. 

Some of the humorous pieces that caught my attention were very cleaver. One was a cat wearing a vintage aviators helmet, goggles and fly jacket done in pastels and framed. Another was a framed pineapple decked out in sunglasses and a smart bowtie. My friend exhibited an abstract feminist piece with three symbolic market women wearing funny hats.

The children’s art was mostly dedicated to animals from dogs, frogs, birds, kittens, fish to ducks, even a panda. I am a sucker for giraffes and one piece had a giraffe cuddling with her calf and that was adorable. They were all adorable.

If you get a chance to visit this show it will be open to the public until July2nd, 2107.

If you fancy becoming a painter and expressing yourself then enrollment will start again on September 11th, 2017


Remedio Varo (16 December 1908 – 8 October 1963) was a Spanish-Mexican para-surrealist painter and anarchist.

Born in Girona, Spain in 1908, she studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid.

She is known as one of the world famous para-surrealist artists of the 20th Century.

During the Spanish Civil War she fled to Paris where she was greatly influenced by the surrealist movement.

She met her second husband, the French surrealist poet Benjamin Péret, in Barcelona. She was forced into exile from Paris during the German occupation of France and moved to Mexico City at the end of 1941.

She died in 1963, at the height of her career, from a heart attack, in Mexico City.




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I signed up for Karla's Photoscape workshop as it looked a really interesting way to enhance photos and create artistic cards or posters for work. Karla was really friendly and professional. She talked me through everything that Photoscape can do and then watched and guided as I played around with the software. 
 The ability to get 'hands-on' during the workshop was so useful with Karla to show me exactly what Photoscape can do and how it can be used. I would definitely recommend Karla and am already looking out for future workshops which will be useful.  - Sarah Farrell - DENIA 

I just wanted to drop a note to thank Karla Darocas so much for all of her help and support teaching me all about the principles of PhotoScape. In the limited time that I spent with her, I felt that I learned a huge amount. Her own knowledge and expertise were very evident, and it was so reassuring that she was willing to share that so openly with me. 
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Urban art: From the Street to the Museum is a really exciting show that is on offer at the Museum of Fine Arts of Murcia (MUBAM) · From 05/04/2017 to 07/09/2017.

Urban art from wall murals to graffiti street art are popping up everywhere in Spain. It has not only gained appreciating from the public, but it has saved villages (read: ART SAVES SPANISH TOWN AND SURPRISES THE WORLD!) and impressed the Fine Arts circles. Artists from around the world are being commissioned to take what was once only thought of as a mischievous pastime for trouble-makers into the mainstream.

It was an easy 2 hour drive from my place in Cumbre del Sol to Murcia city and parking was surprisingly easy outside the Fine Arts Museum.
Arriving we were greeted by one of the exhibiting artists who was painting just outside in the courtyard. After a brief chat with him, we found out that his name was Kraser born in Cartagena.

When I got home, I found him on Facebook where his biography says that "He attended the School of Art in Murcia in 2000 and moved to Milan in 2009, where he continues to live. Even as a young child he was attracted by painting. He began in the Street Art scene in his early teens. Since then he has participated in many national and international exhibitions. His works have appeared in numerous books and magazines, and he has curated exhibitions of his works at art festivals and expositions. He has also participated in Live Painting events at many european festivals.

The exhibition inside houses a total of 85 works over two floors. They are mostly large format, made in various techniques from spray cans, markers, and air brush.
Among the represented artists were names such as Cope2, CornBread, Obey, Blek Le Rat, Blade, Futura 2000, Dran, Mr. Brainwash, Jonone, Alexis Diaz, and more from different parts of the world including 25 countries like Brazil, France, Spain, United Kingdom, and Argentina.

APRIL 24TH, 2017 - Murcia city will make a big splash in the global art world by inviting one of the most famous and recognized urban artists in the world to make an enormous mural in the cultural center Puertas de Castilla.
Brazilian Eduardo Kobra is known as the first artist entered into the Guinness Book of Records by painting the largest mural in the world, 2,500 square meters, located in Rio de Janeiro at the entrance of the sports complex where the last Olympic Games were held.


This lecture explores the second half to Goya's life and works whereby his overall perspective of life becomes dark and cynical. Now he turns the dramatic Romanticism deep into the monstrous side of the irrational and the dangerous flaws of Enlightenment.

He uses the new invention of "aquatint" (a print resembling a watercolour, made by etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading.) as a form of print making to fuel his revelations and revolutionary expressions in order to lampoon, satirize and mock the institutions, practices and commonly held beliefs of his time.

In 1799 Goya published 80 Caprichos prints depicting what he described as "the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual."
Another collection of 82 prints called the Disasters of War, 1810s, Goya vents his visual voice with protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814.

The scenes created withing these prints are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. Goya expresses the randomness of violence in these prints, and in their immediacy and brutality they have been described as analogous to 19th- and 20th-century photojournalism of the atrocities of war.

They were not published until 1863, 35 years after his death. It is likely that only then was it considered politically safe to distribute a sequence of artworks criticising both the French and restored Bourbons.
Goya created another set of prints - Tauromaquia (the art of bull fighting) between 1815 and 1816, at the age of 69. Bullfighting was not politically sensitive, and the series was published at the end of 1816 in an edition of 320—for sale individually or in sets—without incident. It did not meet with critical or commercial success however.
His late period culminates with the Black Paintings of 1819–1823, applied on oil on the plaster walls of his house the "Quinta del Sordo" (house of the deaf man) where, disillusioned by political and social developments in Spain he lived in near isolation.

The paintings originally were painted as murals on the walls of the house, later they were lifted off the walls and attached to canvas. Currently they are held in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

At the same time, he worked on 22 prints called Los disparates (The Follies), also known as Proverbios (Proverbs) or Sueños (Dreams), again a series of prints in aquatint and etching, with retouching in drypoint and burin, created between 1815 and 1823.

The scenes of the Disparates, which are difficult to explain, include dark, dream-like scenes that scholars have related to political issues, traditional proverbs and the Spanish carnival.

Goya eventually abandoned Spain in 1824 to retire to the French city of Bordeaux, accompanied by his much younger maid and companion, Leocadia Weiss, who may or may not have been his lover.


Goya captures the fissure of the human condition unabashedly in his engravings - "The Disasters of War", "The Tauromachy" and "The Disparates", which are being exhibited for the first time in the Valencia region.

The Museum of Fine Arts Gravina of Alicante (Mubag) is hosting this exhibition until the 11th of June "Goya. Witness of your time", which gathers 138 prints in black and white, from private collections and distributed in a "breakthrough" assembly that invites reflection on issues that are still present after 200 years.

Some of the pieces have been shown in Paris and Turkey, although the selection made by the curators to be exhibited at the Mubag is unique, according to consortium sources, who have emphasized that it is "very difficult to see complete series of Goya's graphics works ".

The engravings are exhibited with the titles written in the Castilian of Goya's time and in an arrangement reminiscent of compartments of confessional, under a dim light and within an atmosphere that invites a reflective contemplation to the spectator.

Of the 138 engravings that are part of this exhibition, eighty correspond to the second edition of "Disasters of War", of which there are very few prints in the world.

In this series, Goya dissects as a true "reporter" and with minute details the horror of the War of Independence, which affected the entire civilian population.

Like a witness, Goya creates pictures of the conflict, not as a direct copy but as fruit of his independent and modern vision before the war in which death is always omnipresent and the protagonists are the victims of both sides.

Also exhibited are forty prints from the series "The Tauromachy" that reflect a controversial issue in the nineteenth century, as in today's society, in which some sectors are questioned about what happens in the arena and other parties around what happens to the bull.

The rest of the works in the exhibition belong to "Los Disparates", a darker series in which Goya combines the representation of reality and his inner world, dreamlike and fantastic to denounce the vices, weaknesses and prejudices of man , such as pedophilia or prostitution.

Here we find eighteen prints loaded with subjectivism and surrealism that question the irrational human behavior from the conception of an artist whose work suffered, by "its authenticity", the censorship of the time.

This exhibition is unique in the way that the three parts are divided then accompanied by the projection of images of current scenes to reaffirm that all that Goya recounted continues to be events that echo today.


This morning my friends and I were very pleased to visit the retrospective tribute to the Valencian painter - Miguel Sala Coll at the the Lambert Arts Center / House in the old town of Jávea.

He was a very famous personality within the Jávea community and a dedicated painter for more than 30 years. Sala Coll's love for Jávea, his birthplace, is played out in oil paints that are reminiscent of the Valencian art school of painting but to my surprise, Sala Coll was self taught.
Obviously influenced by the Impressionist movement, a genre that saw that rise of another great Valenciano by the name of Joaquín Sorolla,who was also very much in love with Jávea during his day.

Both artists were heavily devoted to Costumbrismo, whereby artists of the time created art that had a pictorial interpretation of local everyday life, mannerisms, and customs. This type of "folk art" in the Impressionist style was a winner for both artists.
According to Salla Colla's biography, he was a regular exhibitor at the Sala de Arte Jávea del Puerto and was recognized for his artistic legacy with an award on the 9th of October Prize in 2003.

"Sala Coll was attracted to the art of painting since he was a child, when he made charcoal portraits for the clients of his father's barbershop," explains the biography.

In the summer of 2010, Sala Coll passed away at the age of 83.

I urge all of my Fine Arts students to visit this tribute soon as it closes on the 22nd of April. Note the similarities of the colour palette that Sorolla once embraced. The hint of rose on the water or the sky to just give a light lift to a wave or a cloud. The myriad of blues that push waves and bring out the depths of the Mediterranean. And the rich earth tones of terra cottas highlighted with yellows to bring the splendor of the light that falls on the fields under the majestic Montgo mountain.
Also notice the the robust reflections, which all of the Impressionist adored. Coll's evenings at the Port or the early sunrises both bring to the surface the illusion of light interfaced with reality and cast only in paint.
Sala Coll might have been self taught but he was a master painter. The variety of the styles of brush tips and the brave brush strokes, which up close look like a big mess but when viewed a far, behold visual realistic magic.
In the lower floor of the Salon Lambert, are the charcoal drawings that define his visual sense of form and composition. Displayed on the wall are a variety of sketches that give rise to the interests of the artist.

Artfully Yours,
Karla Darocas