As I walk along the quiet lanes bordered by stone walls I hear the gentle sounds of morning. Cow bells chime lightly, birds stir in the trees, and small streams find their way along the contours of the earth under my boots. The air is crisp and cool on my skin, and my breath forms small clouds. I walk contentedly through the dawn with my recent cafe con leche still warming me, its scent mingling with the dew filled grass in the meadows. I think that the world can not get any more beautiful. A moment later the sun peeks over the horizon, filling the sky with warm pink, apricot and golden colors. The oak trees appear to dance with joy at the dawning of another serene Spanish day along the Camino.
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A lovely church dedicated to the Virgin of Granada dominates the town square of Guillena. It was built at the beginning of the 1400’s in the Mudejar style, which blends Islamic and Christian design elements. I was attracted to the tile imagery set into the white wall of the church. The virgin portrayed is known as “Our lady of Sorrows“. The late afternoon sun warmed my back as I sat drawing her, wondering of her significance to the town. She holds the crown of thorns and a piece of cloth in her hands, as a halo of thorns circles her head. Tears appear on her face as she walks away from the scene of the crucifixion in her royal purple robes. Although this is a sad scene, the portrait somehow touched me deeply.
Why did the people of this small Spanish town choose her to be their patron saint? What are their deeply held beliefs? She seemed to be saying to me that no matter how terrible things seem, you must still walk on with dignity. We are capable of bearing the unimaginable. Things have to get better from here on out. She reminded me of the deeper and more significant meaning of things that happen to us, setting us on our personal Pilgrimages through life. She seemed to be looking to the light on the wall to her left, and traveling toward it. Symbolically, it cast a lovely multi-colored shadow. Do we walk to the light or to the darkness, or do we always encounter both on our journey?
This drawing was rendered in Faber Castel colored pencil and highlighted with a Micron ink pen. I used a Bee Paper Company Professional Series, 93 Lb. Heavyweight drawing paper, 9 X 9 inches. It stood up well to the pressure applied by the color pencils, and had a nice tooth (texture) for layering the color. This is the first drawing that I have done in colored pencil. I liked the waxy textures achieved by the layering of colors, and the variety that can be achieved with only a few basic colors.