June 2013 Heather
enjoyed a painting adventure in Barcelona, Spain. She
joined Canadian visual and performance artist, Lori
LeMare, and friends for a week long figure painting
retreat. The artists stayed at Sant Jeroni de la Murtra
or Saint Jerome of the Myrtle - a 15th century monastery
nestled in the Spanish countryside where Christopher
Columbus met with the Catholic King in 1493 after his
second voyage to the Americas.
The monks left Sant Jeroni de la Murtra after its chapel
was burnt during the 1930's Spanish revolution. The
beautiful historic monastery became a private residence
and cultural sanctuary when it was acquired by an
artist, whose family still own it. The daily running of
Sant Jeroni de la Murtra is by Father Jaume, a Catholic
priest who is also an art historian. He welcomes people
of all faiths to the monastery and brings in many
different artistic groups. There is ample studio space
for visiting artists, a gallery, and museum dedicated to
the history of Catalonia.
The artists stayed in austere original monk cells, and
enjoyed painting together in their spacious studio or
plein-air in the arched cloister courtyard. The painting
class incorporated decorative painting techniques with
figurative study, resulting in a large work on canvas
keepsake. They savored delicious rustic fare prepared by
the Latin men who work and reside at the monastery,
siestas and ample time to explore the surrounding area.
Truly an inspiring
experience! For additional information on painting
retreats at Sant Jeroni de la Murtra - be sure to check
Heather's slides of her Painting Adventure in Spain.
Watch Video; Listen to the bell tower toll while
painting in the cloister at Sant Jeroni de la Murtra.