Fast Painting in Bardallur and Ibi: 6th Prize and Honourable Mention

Busy weekend. We drove north of Valencia to chilly Aragon where I participated in a painting contest in the small town of Bardallur, near Zaragoza. I was awarded 6th prize (out of 7), enough to pay for the trip and materials for a while.

Here I am in the early morn, around 2 hours in at 11 am.
 The final piece at 2 pm. 120 x 100 cm, mixed media on board.

 Lunch on the house. Paella with salad, Cariñena wine, dessert, and espresso.
 Accepting my prize.

This was 1st place, probably 150 cm long!

While we were in Aragon, we stopped to the see the vanquished town of Belchite. It gave me goosebumps. Belchite was the site of a major battle in 1937 between fascists and anarchists/socialists (including many Canadian volunteers of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion).

The city, with spectacular Roman and Mudéjar architecture, was annihilated, as you can see from the photos. Rather than rebuild Belchite when the Spanish Civil War ended, Franco built a new Belchite from scratch beside the bones of the old one as a memorial to the military force he was prepared to use on his opponents. Not a rock has been moved since.

A. teaches a course on the Spanish Civil War this summer. I hope she is able to muster the art necessary to convey the emotional impact Belchite, as a target of war, as a symbol of war's destructiveness, made on us

On the way to Belchite, in the middle of nowhere but wild countryside, we passed a sign that pointed to the "birth house of Goya," a town called Fuendetodos. We had to pull in.
This bust of Goya was erected in 1920 by Zuloaga, nearly as important a painter as Goya. 

Inside the modest house Goya was born in 1746.

A museum a few steps down the road houses Goya's engravings, including The Disasters of War - some of the most radical, brave art produced in the last two centuries. We left feeling alternatively awed by the beauty of the work and disturbed by its message.

On Sunday, I painted in Ibi, Alicante, some 450 km from Bardallur, and knocked this piece off:

It was strong enough to be "selected," but didn't win a cash award.

This won 1st.

This 2nd.


  1. Ivano what wonderful work you are doing. I loved the one you did in Ibi, you are a man of many talents. Hope you health is good and your family life is full of laughter and fun. Enjoy to the fullest for we do not know what is around the corner. Keep safe keep painting.
    Ciao Nora

  2. Hi Nora,

    Thanks for the comment. Nice to find it. The painting and family are going well - both are growing. I hope you're well!


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