Matictic river

In Norzagaray, Bulacan, there are hardly any bars or other places for recreation. However I discovered a beautiful place by the river Matictic with barbecues and long bamboo tables where families and groups of friends make their meetings, and children go swimming.
I used to take my son to this place every day. I liked to paint the children playing in the water and swimming in the river.
Just two months ago I was taking these sketches on Matictic.We were not aware then of how the world was changing in those days because of the coronavirus. Now, when I write this post from my confinement in Spain, Matictic seems to me a distant and beautiful dream.

More of my posts about Phillipines.


Sketchwalk in Manila

January 18th. My first Sketch meetup of the year, a great chance to remeeting Muf and to meet some of the rest of my dear Usk Manila group to which I belong since 2016; Ched, Gee, Ethel, …,. The appointment was close to the Gomburza Monument, along Padre Burgos ave., in front of the National Museum. We were drawing there until 4 p.m. This was the result.

My post about January 2017 Sketchwalk.

More posts about Phillipines.


Drink & Draw

El ejercicio de la sesión de Marzo de Drink and Draw en el Gondomatic. Intervención en la obra de Yolanda Falagán y mi obra intervenida por ella.
Este fue el resultado:


Stacie Collins

From Nashville (Tennessee) Stacie Collins, Singer, songwriter and harmonist with her husband and bandmate Al Collins, (Jason & The Scorchers), brought the best of rock, blues and country to Valladolid , Portacaeli  hall, In their  European tour

What a great concert!

More about Stacie Collins
More of my posts about  Rithm and Blues and Soul


Vigan Empanada

Vigan is the Philippine’s most extensive and only surviving historic city that dates back to the 16th century Spanish colonial period. But not only in architecture, Spanish heritage is also present in its cuisine. Best known Vigan cuisine  is empanada and longganisa.
Vigan Empanada is  fried to a crisp, with vegetable and meat filling. Rice flour is used for making the crust or the shell. The galapong or rice flour dough is made a day before it is used. Atchuete or orange food color, salt and oil are mixed into the rice though. The dough mixture is then kneaded as thinly as possible on a banana leaf .
Filling is made up of green papaya that is grated, toge or mung bean sprouts, monggo or mung bean and shredded carrots, one whole egg and skinless Vigan longganisa.

Vigan, declarada Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO, es el lugar de Filipinas donde mejor ha perdurado el legado español, la ciudad tiene el casco histórico más extenso y único del país que se remonta al período colonial español del siglo XVI. Además la herencia española está presente en su gastronomía, siendo sus platos típicos la empanada y las longanizas 
La empanada de Vigan tiene su origen y es de aspecto y elaboración similar a las empanadillas españolas. La masa de harina de arroz o galapong se prepara un día antes. Antes de freir, el atchuete, que dará su color anaranjado a la empanada, la sal y el aceite se mezclan con el arroz y se amasa lo más finamente posible sobre una hoja de plátano. El relleno lleva papaya verde rallada, brotes de frijol mungo o munggo, monggo o frijol mungo y zanahorias ralladas. Se añade un huevo entero y longaniza sin piel. Se dobla y cierra la masa en forma de media luna y se frie en aceite hasta quedar crujiente y se escurre. Se acompaña de vinagre con cebolla.

More posts about Food in this Blog.
More posts about Phillipines

Quiero mencionar y dedicar este post a Manuel Ruiz, escritor y crítico gastronómico gaditano que investigó esas recetas de ida y vuelta con Filipinas y a la chef Paloma Arranz pionera en dar a conocer en Valladolid la cocina filipina.


Scenes of Norzagaray

Life is quiet in Norzagaray. The population of this beautiful municipality of Bulacan, near Sierra Madre and fed by the Angat river, is especially welcoming and curious with me. They are not used to seeing foreigners around here. So when I take out the notebook and start drawing on the street, it is a great event for them that breaks with their serene everyday life. I love crossing the Matictic bridge, strolling through the streets between the bustle of tricycles at the time of school leaving, the smell of barbecues at food stalls, the color of fish and fruit stalls, ...

La vida es tranquila en Norzagaray. La población de esta bella municipalidad de Bulacan, próxima a Sierra Madre y bañada por el rio Angat, es especialmente acogedora y curiosa conmigo. No están acostumbrados a ver extranjeros por aquí. Así que cuando saco el cuaderno de apuntes y me pongo a dibujar en la calle es para ellos gran acontecimiento que rompe con su serena cotidianeidad. Me encanta cruzar el puente de Matictic, pasear por las calles entre el bullicio de los tricicles a la hora de la salida de los colegios, el olor de las barbacoas en los puestos de comida, el colorido de los puestos de pescado y frutas, …


Estrellita Luna

Fragment of the portrait made for my mother in law recently deceased Estrellita Luna, in 2012, Watercolor on 21x29 cm. 160g. Canson paper. inspired by the picture by the philippine painter Juan Luna, "Bulakenya".
La Bulaqueña, literally  "the Bulacan woman", also sometimes referred to as Una Bulaqueña ("a woman from Bulacan"), is the Spanish title of an 1895 painting by Filipino painter and hero Juan Novicio Luna. Bulacan is a province in the Philippines in Luzon island and its residents are called Bulaqueños, also spelled as Bulakenyos ( Bulakenya for women) in the Filipino language. It is a "serene portrait", of a Filipino woman wearing a Maria Clara gown, a traditional Filipino dress that is composed of four pieces, namely the camisa, the saya (long skirt), the panuelo (neck cover), and the tapis (knee-length overskirt). The name of the dress is an eponym to Maria Clara, the mestiza heroine of Filipino hero José Rizal's novel. The woman's clothing in the painting is the reason why the masterpiece is alternately referred to as Maria Clara. It is one of the few canvases done by Luna illustrating Filipino culture.
The original painting by Luna has been recently restored and can be visited in National Museum in Manila.


Kiah Kiean Chng

Kiah Kiean Chng is for his peculiar fusion between Asian and Western art, his way of drawing with Chinese ink and his sticks, and his characteristic use of watercolor, one of my most admired contemporary artists. I have been fortunate to paint with him and portray him twice.

July 2018 Porto (Portugal)  During the Urban Sketchers Symposium
July 2019 Amsterdam (Netherlands)
I recommend you visit this link to know the work of Kiah Kiean Chng


Bolivians in Valladolid

The community of Bolivia in Valladolid is quite numerous. In addition to cultural associations, football teams, a dance group, also they have their consulate. There are many Bolivians in my neighborhood and with some of them we have a great friendship. Many of them speak in Quechua among them, In their  meetings they love having beers, playing "rayuela" ... On designated days whole community meets and prepare their popular dishes, bolivian music and dance, ...
With the recent coup d'etat, the Bolivian community is worried about their friends and family after the latest violence and insecurity events in Bolivia.
Opinions are divided on the reelection of Evo president, but no one doubts Morales's achievements during the 14 years of his presidency. President Evo Morales  turned one of the poorest South American countries into the one with the highest growth rate in the region, for the benefit of the people and with the consequent reduction of poverty.
I wanted in this post to upload some of the many portraits and sketches that I made to this community.


Painting with Ángel

At his 4 years old, my son Ángel loves going to the "Guardar Como"  portrait sessions every Wednesday. These are some of the works in which we have both collaborated.

Adela Valentín Rodríguez Actress
El Duende Eléctrico. Musician
Alba García González. Singer- Songwriter
Freddy Varó. Magician
Elena M.Ramiro. Dancer
Carlos Guzmán.Cellist. 

Thanks to Juan Carlos González for the Photos

More on some of these "Guardar Como" sessions in this Blog.


Matt Woods and the Natural Disasters

A great country and American rock concert in  Porta Caeli hall. Matt Woods, composer from Knoxville, Tennessee presents his album and band "Natural Disasters." Guitarist Weston Harris Hill, bass Jeremy 'JD' Mackinder and PJ Schreiner are the components of the band .


A day in Kraków

I took a stopover in Poland on my flight back to Spain from Berlin to visit the beautiful city of Krakow.
These are the sketches and watercolors that I painted there that day on my Moleskine watercolor notebook.
11.30 h.  Rynek Glówny.  Main Square

 14 h.Wszystkich Świętych Place.
 17.30 h. Main Square
My sketches:


Gypsy Sketches

Last Sunday was a very hot day. After arriving at Tordesillas, I decided to stay on the beach and from the shelter of the shade I painted a watercolor of the stunning views of the town.
As luck would have it, this precious stage would have been the one chosen that day to celebrate the peculiar ceremony of evangelical baptism. A large congregation of gypsies arrived to the beach.
Beautiful and inspiring themes to collect in my notebook; I started taking some sketches of the ceremony with the gypsies immersioning in the river dressed in white, the children playing in the water, .... I finished the day portraying a beautiful gypsy girl with her baby. My thanks to her and her family for their recognition and hospitality.

El pasado domingo fue un día de muchísimo calor. Tras llegar a Tordesillas decidí quedarme en la playa y desde el cobijo de la sombra pintar una acuarela de las impresionantes vistas del pueblo.
Quiso la fortuna que este precioso escenario hubiera sido el escogido ese día para celebrar la peculiar ceremonia del bautismo evangelista. Hasta la playa llegó una numerosa congregación de gitanos. 
Preciosos e inspiradores temas para recoger en mi cuaderno; comencé tomando unos apuntes de la ceremonia con las inmersiones de los gitanos en el rio vestidos de blanco, los niños jugando en el agua,.... Terminé la jornada retratando a una preciosa gitana con su bebé. Mi agradecimiento a su familia por su reconocimiento y  hospitalidad.