Saturday, June 2, 2012

Santiago, Chile

Nine from Santiago

I've  been pleasantly surprised here  The city is quite elegant, not too large. The architecture is perhaps a little anytown, with little that I can see that might not be found in any other capital: neo-classical and eclectic late nineteenth century with non-descript modern filling in the gaps, but it is generally well maintained with little mess or graffiti, and the city is well planted with trees.

Santiago: Palacio de Bellas Fine Artes: the blue umbrella, oil on card, 14.5 / 12.5 cm


The people seem pleasant enough, pleasant tempered and gentle,dark haired, round faced. I detect a latent conservatism to them. The school girls wear rather odd over socks over their stockings as part of their winter uniforms, but I can't see other notable idiosyncrasies. There some soldiers on horseback in olive uniforms- elegant.

The city is grid  plan, with occasional crookedness.  I stayed in Bairro Brasil, close to the centre, much peeling nineteenth century and some elegant or fashionable bars, though in the main the city is old/fashioned feel, so that shop displays are quaintly, sometimes sadly simple and the concept of self/service seems unknown, so goods are kept behind a counter and you have to ask for what you want from an assistant.

It rained continually for my first two days, making painting trying. On the third, however, it was dry enough to climb Cerro San Cristobal and look down.

 Santiago, from above, oil on card, 14 / 13 cm

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Not long ago I received some criticism, that the paintings were grey, and that I was "timid with colour". Like most well directed criticism this stung, and instinctively I resented it- it is so often the case that  I, perhaps we, resent and reject criticism most when it is justified.

But with a few days on I decided to try to face the challenge of the criticism, and I have been using colours with more boldness, and less concern that the effect might be vulgar.

The hostel has some wonderful flowers, and I`ve been painting these, in a sort of impressionist style, trying not to over mix the paints and using lighter  grounds. They are brighter and more cheerful. I shall post these these later.



Santiago, Praca Brasil, a red umbrella, oil on card,  oil on card, 13.5 / 11 cm  NOT FOR SALE

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