Today, being Sunday, our group of hungry artists struck out on an energetic walkabout in search of a good restaurant where we could while away the hours over good Spanish food.
The restaurant is about 45 minutes from Can Serrat over rocky ground and through brushy trails where we had to walk single file. It sure felt good to get outdoors.
This is all inside the National Park of the Mountain; Can Serrat included. That would explain the presence of so many birds, I believe.
Finally we arrive at the large restaurant which is located out in the middle of nowhere, El Bruc being a very tiny village of only 1800 population. So I was astonished to see so many people here but I'm sure they come from far away to spend the afternoon at this wonderful place: La Vinyanova. Markus, the Professor from Norway, was a room mate of the owner of this restaurant when they both lived in Oslo, coincidently, so we got a lot of personal attention. I'll introduce you to Markus in a moment. He is a tremendous human being.
We arrived at 2 pm and stayed until 6:30 pm. Everyone, it seems, takes the time to enjoy the exquisite food and wine. Children are welcome and really fun to watch.
There's an enormous fig tree in the courtyard of the restaurant and maybe later I'll tell you a little story about it. But for now just notice how old and strong it is. A beautiful specimen.
And here is our group of 13 souls, all contented and merry after hours of feasting on garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, good bread and Catalonian cuisine that included several types of meats, beans, potatoes, salads, tapas and more. Grappa and biscotti for dessert with fruit and coffee. Peasant food and so delicious.
Here are two of the loveliest people; Markus Brendmoe and my new friend Melissa who will be here in residence during my entire stay and beyond. Markus is the most amazing painter and teacher. You can read about him all over the web. He's soooo nice. I'll get Melissa's blog link for you later. She's from Toronto and has studied in Italy as well as here. She's staying 2 months this time and is interested in costume design for the film industry.
And now we're back from our outing and have returned to our tasks. Painting for them and reporting for me.
While it's true I could have just come to Spain and stayed in a private room to paint I wouldn't have had the experience of meeting the good people I've met here or having the advantage of watching them work. They've urged me over and over to join them in painting on the big big canvases; so generous and inclusive that it makes my heart bend. So that's the thing about a residency. You broaden and make new friends. You learn about other cultures. You realize just how big the world is and how many choices you have in your one, precious, precious life.