Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to earn a living finger painting on the Costa del 'Soul' at Benalmadena

"Fingers, oils on glass" Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)
My Brit buddy John Barrett turns out to be a “Northern Soulie,” a Motown music madman joined by thousands of other addicts of rhythm and blues—Detroit, Chicago, Las Angles, and now Birmingham (and next weekend, Blackpool beginning Thursday).

John teaches 2D art as senior full-time lecturer at Birmingham City University´s Institute of Art and Design.

A seasonal resident of my village, Canillas de Albaida, John flew to Malaga from the land of Brommies for a couple days of heavy Motown and R & B DJ-driven music and dancing, also a reunion with other "northern soulies."

Benalmadena finger painter attracts crowd Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)
As a Yank, I had no idea so many Brits had gone cult crazy over this great black music of America.

No clue.

John´s soul belongs to Motown and the synergistic energies of hundreds, often thousands of soulies happening to together.

It´s true pints of beer also play a role along with raucous costumes producing sometimes outrageous photo opportunities.

"Finger Dipping in Oils" Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)
After a weekend of soaking up the Motown tunes from my high school and college years, John and I escaped the soulies for a photo excursion along the Med at Benalmadena, Andalusia. 

It had rained for three days but 5 November turned out to be sunny, bright, and warm.

John, also a photographer, and I wandered along the Med, stopping here and there, each of us composing, being captured by a moment in time to freeze-frame.

Finger painter at Balmadena, Andalusia
At the marina, I saw a man finger painting in oils on small glass panels, selling three of his works for only €10.

He attracted buyers.
Each he created in no more than a minute.

He was too busy painting and wowing the Brit onlookers for an interview. This was his livlihood in action.

His niche proved excellent: seascapes, landscapes.....mental escapes, Ryanair-sized vacation icons.

"Manual Labor" Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)
The artist would finish the work then affix another plate of glass against it. It was a done deal, ready to buy.

You see the product created start to finish.

You interact with the artist.

You intently study his skills and techniques and in the end many—spellbound by this performance of 2D art—buy his works.

Only €10 for three.

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™

ArtTraveler notes:

After living at the Hotel Queen Mary in Budapest (3.5 stars), I heartily recommend it: old on the outside, otherwise totally modern (23 rooms); 

The owner and staff are affable and speak English and German. Tel: 0036-1-413-3510;;

Visit Andalusia for a walking holiday or week-long sculpture or mosaics workshop. 

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