I don’t remember very well when I started to draw, but I do remember that I was very, very young. My mother often remembers that, as well as drawing on paper, I’d come home from school with the pieces of white or coloured chalk that the teachers would throw away and I’d use the door of the storeroom as a blackboard. As she says, in those moments of creativity, which were long and frequent, I disappeared into my art, and for her, it was quiet, as though there were no kids in the house. In moments of boredom, sadness, and loneliness, drawing was always my refuge.
I’ve worked in several occupations, all related to arts and crafts, conscientiously learning as much as I could about each of them, working with enthusiasm and always delighted to be doing this kind of work. I’ve held exhibitions whenever I’ve had the chance, worked at photography, wood restoration, window dressing, crafts, and drawing/painting, which is where I think I’ve finally found my place, where I feel most at ease and where I can give free rein to my enthusiasm and creativity. Whenever I pick up a paintbrush and get in front of the canvas, I do it out of an imperious need, which most of the time, I don’t even understand myself. It’s like an inner need, something that I know will give me peace of mind, a tranquillity and a feeling that I can’t achieve in any other way. Everything around me disappears, and my concentration takes me into another world, it’s very intimate, incredible, a space that exists just for me? I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it …
Below you can find people, streets, customs… nostalgia, affection, memory of a time gone by, which is mine, yours, ours, everyone’s, and is forever.
Oil on canvas in a range of greys 50 x 70 cm.
I painted this picture, from a photo taken by a famous photographer from Castilla-La Mancha. I was asked to paint it by the son of one of the models in the photograph. I started off painting from a very poor quality photocopy, and the project was about to finish me off with frustration, but then I found a photo of the original on the internet and I was able to finish the project with the result that you can see, which both my client and I liked.
Oil on canvas
This view of the ascent to the church is almost a symbol of identity of Lagartera. I’d like to paint another picture of this view with the old façades, when, in the place of the mural of Lagarterans going to mass, with the kitten on the roof, there was a drugstore. It was part of my youth and I loved the shop, its smell, its antique flavour, there were so many things in it…. Besides, this corner seems to me to be one of the oldest, best preserved and most beautiful parts of our pueblo.
Two steps (Santa Ana Street)
Oil on canvas on wood. 25 x 30 cm, April 2012.
Villages evolve, they evolve more slowly than cities, but little by little, they also lose part of their identity, and a great way to preserve that is through photography and painting, and for me, those two arts are great for retaining those unforgettable images of these streets, where we enjoyed ourselves in our childhood, youth and adulthood.
Oil on canvas on wood, 24 x 29 cm
Another door of our picturesque and beloved pueblo, also in Santa Ana street, going down the street, on the left hand side. The street has lost these picturesque details, it had these nuances, it has lost much of its charm.
The cat flap
Oil on canvas
This was one of those doors from way back, that people easily recognised, it was on the route of the processions and it was totally familiar to us.
Oil on canvas on textured board, 25 x 30 cm, October 2016.
One of the many Lagarteran embroideries that people make less and less every day, and that soon will be relics of the past. I wanted embroideries to be reflected in some of my work for times to come, for other eyes, for other sensibilities
Oil on canvas, 22 x 27 cm.
This is another of our embroideries, perhaps one of the most emblematic, which forms part of our coat of arms and flag. A simple tablecloth, but with that little embroidered detail to remember.
Old Lagarteran lady (Petra)
Oil on canvas in greyscale with natural elements in colour, 35 x 45 cm, December 2017.
This painting was the result of a challenge; it was an old photo, was somewhat deteriorated and very dark. My aim was to recover an endearing image from my childhood, from a time long gone and unrepeatable, where simplicity and naturalness were the essence of life.
Magdalena and Miguel (Lagarterans, and sister and brother)
Oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm.
This is a portrait from an old photo taken by Alison, where they were brimming with youth, joy and beauty. The painting was a little luxury that they wanted to enjoy, and they told me that they loved the result.
Oil on canvas on wood, 30’2 x 40’4 cm, August 2012.
In my retina a beautiful vision, tender, full of colour, participation and harmony. A long time has passed since this image was taken, and they are all adults now, but it still awakens in me the same pleasant sensation when I look at it now, as it did then, when I took the photo from which I painted the picture.
Lagarteran boy (black and white)
Oil on canvas in greyscale, details of colour in laces of typical male costume. 38 x 46 cm, June 2018.
Tradition, custom, something that comes from very far back, and here it’s a custom to take our traditional costumes out of the chests, to air them and show them off, so we don’t lose those funny and difficult moments of dressing the little ones in clothes that used to be worn every day and which are now only worn on special occasions.
Oil on canvas, 65 x 80 cm.
This canvas is from the same series as the little Lagarteran boy in a range of greys, but here he is fully dressed. It was summer, it was hot and his trousers itched. He was two years old, and we had to be patient and pamper him to get him dressed. It took a lot of work to get him dressed, but in the end everything went well.
The Zarzal Stream.
Oil on canvas, 22 x 27 cm
The painting is mine, the photo is by Prado Amor. I asked her permission to paint from it. It was a rainy winter and if I remember correctly it had snowed, and was damp. Everything was green, even the streams flowed strongly, clean and crystalline, it was beautiful to see, it was an invitation to recreate this image, it was love at first sight.
Drawing water from the well
Oil on canvas on wood, greyscale with a touch of colour in the little girl’s shoes, 39’5 x 48’5 cm, August 2019.
Nostalgia, the passing of time, those memories that you don’t want to dilute in your fragile store of memories, and the desire to make a grandmother happy with the endearing company of her little granddaughter, who, many years after this image was recorded, now feels tenderness about a time gone by, when she looks at this picture.
Lagarteran woman embroidering with her grandson.
Oil on canvas 50 x 70 cm.
From memory, and with affection, it was a miracle to get the child to be quiet for a little while. It is different from everything I had ever painted before. It was an experiment, and I liked the result, so I left it like that. It’s very personal. I’ll do more of this type of painting again.
Lagarteran woman looking at the sea
54 x 73 cm, óleo sobre lienzo
It’s a romantic image, full of peace, very relaxing, from many years ago, when we were young.
Before I started painting, I already had this image in my mind, and I had already dreamt of transferring it to canvas. I managed to do it, and I enjoyed doing it and loved the result. Chari is the model.
Paloma Arroyo Oliva, November 2021
If you’d like to know more, or you’re interested in ordering a painting, my email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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