My name is Carlos Gorrindo Lasheras and I was born in Novallas (Zaragoza). So I am from outside Lagartera, but I married a woman from Lagartera, and thanks to her, I got to know the town.

It may be that the more than ninety exhibitions, fourteen individual and seventy-eight collective ones, have left a record of this still unfinished work of my artistic expression. More than fifteen hundred paintings investigating shapes and colours to communicate my feelings, my points of view, my criticisms of a type of society. This is my work, a way of expressing my life.

If someone is able to discover a state of mind, a pleasant combination of colours, a feeling of rage or serenity, a few square centimetres of decoration, I will be satisfied. This is my work, a way of expressing my life.

Here I ‘m talking to my grandchildren, and explaining each painting to them (the numbers are from my catalogue and first four paintings are oil on canvas):

No. 34  The Fountain Square (1983)

– So you like this one?

– Yes, I do.

– Many of the paintings I’ve done from life have that freshness of loose, quick, unfinished brushstroke… And everyone kept asking me when I was going to finish them. I wanted to finish this painting more, in the style of Antonio López, a hyperrealist painter from Tomelloso.

– And it turned out very well.

– Yes, but it’s a question of time, of dedicating a few more hours to it. In my opinion, there is no creativity, there is no soul, it is pure representation of reality. Painting should be imagination, a conversation with the spectator so that he or she can also add something of his or her own. In short…

– Okay, okay …

No. 319  The Fountain Square (date unknown)

– That’s the Fountain Square.

– But it’s an old painting. It is not like that now.

– The fountain is gone.

– There’s no grass now either because the whole square has been paved.

– And that wall on the left isn’t there now either.

– So how long ago did you do this painting?

– I don’t know; maybe forty years ago.

– How a landscape changes in forty years!

– However, the church tower is the same as it was three hundred years ago.

– That’s what identifies the place.

– I suppose it’s an oil painting.

– Yes, on canvas.

No. 30  Lagartera from the countryside (1979)

– You know that I’m from Novallas. I was born there and left the village when I was young, to study and work. Those were years in you couldn’t go on to higher education if you lived in a village or small town, so we had to emigrate to bigger cities.

– But that picture is of Lagartera.

– That’s right. I met your grandma, who had also left her village to study. And her village was called Lagartera. I’d never heard of it. Until I came across some paintings by Sorolla, who was here and painted “Tipos lagarteranos”.

– Where can you see Sorolla’s paintings?

– In Madrid, in the museum named after him. But let’s go back to this painting. On holidays I used to take my easel and go out and paint in the streets. I’ve painted about fifty landscapes of Lagartera. This is one of the paintings I managed to sell. As I said on the internet, a bar made a copy of this to decorate their premises. I don’t mind that because after a while the paintings move into the public domain, so everyone can admire them.

No. 33  Toleíllo (1975)

– I don’t like this one, says Candela.

– Why?

– Because it seems to be unfinished. You can only see strange brushstrokes in all directions. I do recognise the street. On the wall in the background, you painted a mural with several people from the village.

– That’s right. However, I like the fact that with few and apparently ragged features you can see the street for what it is. And the details are left to the viewer’s imagination.

– I guess you know what you are talking about …

No. 178  Doing the laundry at the Pozo Martin (2011)

– I know this mural.

– It’s in Lagartera.

– I saw you painting it.

– It’s called “el pozo Martín”. We wanted to bring to life old customs that have disappeared.

– They used to go there to wash clothes.

– In the centre there was a well from which they drew water to fill granite basins that had been carved by the village stonemasons. Each person had a sink of their own. They stood with their backs to the well to make it easier to collect the water. Once they had washed their clothes, they would hang them out to dry in the bushes around them.

– In the old days there were no washing machines.

– I made the sketch of people doing their washing, and several people from Lagartera helped with painting it. It is 8 metres long and two and a half metres high.

No. 144  The old mill (2011)

– Do you remember the murals we painted in the village? Well, this is the penultimate one we did.

– It is in “Toleíllo”.

– After our experience with doing the earlier murals, the wall was prepared with a layer of cement so that the paint would hold well and not be destroyed by the rain.

– It shows a river.

– It’s a stream that runs through the neighbourhood where the mural is. Next to it there used to be a mill that moved with the force of the water that flowed down the stream.

– Now it’s dry.

– We are talking about many, many years ago.

– Did you do it as a reminder of those traditions?

– Yes, I did.

Here’s a very nice photo. It shows how we painted this as a team.

Carlos Gorrindo, Lagartera, 2021

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