4-6 weeks

Nov 25th, 2014, 11:54 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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4-6 weeks

I'm an American artist looking to go to Spain for 4 to 6 weeks and finish some projects I've had on the back-burner for too long now. I've had this dream of going to Spain and making art--cliche, I know--but I've decided it's finally time to make it happen. I want a place where I can get some work done in a beautiful environment--a real Spanish experience. I was thinking Madrid for a long time, but a good friend has been pushing Sevilla, saying how beautiful it is, etc. I haven't put much thought into Barcelona since it has so many tourists and it might not grant me a "true" Spanish experience. What do you guys think? I want a beautiful place where it's quiet enough to work, but where I can go out at night and have some drinks, tapas. I prefer a more Spanish experience. Thank you.

Also, I do speak Spanish.
nellyb is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 12:06 PM
  #2  
 
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Many people in our family are artists and have shown and sold their work. I have been in over 2 dozen photographic exhibits often showing Spain. Also we have friends and relatives in Spain. As you know art means different things to different people and as for a real experience, the existence of people who live in the city is as real as anyone who lives on a farm.

I find junk at the Rastro in Madrid as beautiful as the flowered covered streets in Sevilla as beautiful as the green rolling hills of Galicia.

Is your intention to sell and to what market, or is it just for personal satisfaction?

Here is a tiny, tiny selection of photos I have taken in Spain over the years.

https://plus.google.com/u/2/photos/1...07180197107121
IMDonehere is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #3  
 
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I am wondering what you mean by true Spanish experience and a real Spanish experience. Even more confusing for me is the bit where you write I prefer a more Spanish experience.

Spain is made up of numerous regions each has it's own identity.

IDH: Who is the lady with the flaming cones? It looks like a wine maker I know in Galicia. See link below.
http://www.cepasyvinos.com/wp-conten...01-750x400.jpg
ribeirasacra is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 01:01 PM
  #4  
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ribeirasacra,

Sorry for the miscommunication. Basically, I don't want to be surrounded by tourists at all times, which is my fear about staying in a place like Barcelona. I much rather live amongst locals, etc.
nellyb is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 01:15 PM
  #5  
 
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Ribe
That is elderly cousin who lives in a small town near Santiago who has been a farmer all her life. She uses the flaming cones to start the fire in her oven.

If you looking for land and seascapes, you should investigate northern Spain from the Rías Baixas and Altas to San Sebastian/Donostia. If you are interested in Mudéjar Spain, then the south would be of interest. To me, there are always interesting people and sights in the cities if you walk the cities and find things that you like.
IMDonehere is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 01:28 PM
  #6  
 
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I don't really know, sounds like you need some place more rural when you talk about how beautiful it is. I don't consider Sevilla that beautiful, to be honest, at least not any more than zillions of other places. It's not some quaint burg, and has tons of tourists but is much smaller than Barcelona or Madrid. I don't consider Barcelona more touristy than Seville, it's a very cosmopolitan city with a lot of regular life and business. So I wouldn't make those characterisations, having been in all of those 3 cities more than once. I think Seville is a fun city, of course, with some interesting old areas and lots of tapas bars, for sure.

I think Barcelona is actually more beautiful than Seville, as you have the sea there (not some little river), and the mountains and you can get to Montserrat, for example, in a few hours. Barcelona itself has different levels, you can go up on the hills and see the ocean or the city. And Barcelona is more convenient as you have a great metro system, and you can visit tons of other places from there easily by train.

The time of year you intend to do this obviously matters as Seville will be too hot a lot of the time to want to be there, maybe 6 months. I was just there at beginning of October and it wasn't too bad then, though. But you can be in Barcelona any time (Barcelona in July was about like Seville in October). But Catalonia does have a different history, of course, if you don't want that, go elsewhere.

I don't know that I'd think of Madrid as so beautiful, either, except for a few parks. Maybe you should go some place smaller, like Toledo. I don't know what your plans are, it isn't clear, do you just want to want to finish your projects inside some place you rent? Or do you intend to do them outdoors somewhere. If I just wanted peace and beauty, I wouldn't pick any of those places.
Christina is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 03:13 PM
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Awesome photos, ribeirasacra.

Just returned from Madrid where we stayed in an apartment in the Conde Duque barrio, overlooking the picturesque Plaza Comendadores - lowrise, cobblestone, cool shops, galleries and cafes...the area reminds me of the Marais in Paris. Would go back in a heartbeat for any creative endeavor (for more details check my ongoing trip report).

I'm also a fan of Sevilla and would be very happy there during the right time of year. Very manageable.

If you're thinking of rural, we have several artist friends who have bought second homes in Vejer de la Frontera, a tiny pueblo blanco south of Sevilla. Didn't make it there on this trip, but it's on the list for next time.

Would also check out Girona or Cadaques, but because they're in Catalonia, might not be the 'Spanish' experience you want.
crosscheck is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 05:10 PM
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My 2 cents worth would be, consider: Cuenca, it has a lively arts community, beautiful surroundings, good food and great connections now with the Madrid/Valencia fast rail link.
My other option would be Granada, further south, very pretty and plenty to see.
good luck.
misskdonkey is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 05:28 PM
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I'd throw Valencia and Oviedo into the mix and I agree with missdonkey about Granada. I guess it would help to know if you plan to make art with your surroundings, or work on other art.
rialtogrl is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 05:29 PM
  #10  
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I might have misstated and made it look like I'm interested in someplace rural, which isn't the case. I do want to be in a city, not just one overrun by tourists. Also, relative proximity to nightlife/bars is important. So people have mentioned Malasana in Madrid. I like the artistic vibe of the neighborhood, but would it be too loud at all times? Thank you so much for your help so far.
nellyb is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 05:54 PM
  #11  
 
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What time of year are you going? I would think that makes a big difference. Andalusia - which to me is the most unique part of spain due to the moorish heritage is incredibly hot in the summer - highs of 100 are common and 120 not unknown. So in the summer I would head to the Atlantic coast for decent weather.

You can find non-touristy places in any area of Spain - just avoid the major tourist sights and resorts.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 05:58 PM
  #12  
 
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It would depend which street you're on. Conde Duque (which I mentioned above) is part of Malasaña, but quieter than where the main action is. We had no issues with the noise level in Conde Duque although you could hear people laughing in the cafes at night. The main streets of Malasaña do get loud in the evening...I would say comparable to the East Village in NYC, but with people out much later. Not a problem during the day and probably a non-issue if you're young.
crosscheck is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 07:57 PM
  #13  
 
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Crosscheck thanks for the compliment on the photos. BTW, I live in the East Village and there are literary 15 bars within three blocks of the apartment and that does not include the restaurants. Believe me, the party rarely stops. Not that many clubs, however.

I must admit whenever I see someone write that they want to see the real this or be the locals, I get annoyed. People who live in cities have real existences. Locals do not necessarily want to talk to you unless you have something to add. There are interesting tourists and boring locals.

As far as art is concerned I offer the following quote from perhaps, America's greatest living artist, Chuck Close:

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”
― Chuck Close
IMDonehere is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 09:04 PM
  #14  
 
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IMDonehere, Oops, I just realized I complimented the wrong person on the photos. Again, well done... (and I hope you're not done with me). I love your neighborhood and spent a lot of time there during my glory days when I lived on Thompson St. Also, thanks for the quote - I'm also a big Chuck Close fan (and am to lucky to have met him). Agree with his take on inspiration, although I do believe the creative process is less grueling when you have a great view.

nellyb, Malasaña sounds like an ideal area for you. Not touristy compared to other parts of Madrid...and really nowhere in Madrid is completely overrun with tourists like other parts of Europe. My son is living in Conde Duque/Malasaña now and loves it - there are a lot of students there. But feels like a real neighborhood and the counterculture hipster scene is authentic and fun, not overwhelming. Good luck!
crosscheck is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 10:16 PM
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No problem and thank you, Crosscheck.

BTW, the East Village is becoming unrecognizable.
IMDonehere is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 12:27 AM
  #16  
 
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Take a look at the Alameda/Macarena district in Sevilla. Great vibe, excellent nightlife, tapas bars and restaurants, and a great mix of people, popular with artists etc: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...macarena-spain

Much of the action is in the Alameda de Hercules itself:
https://www.sevilla5.com/activities/...-hercules.html

Some tapas bars in Alameda: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletap...rants/alameda/

And the area in and around close by Calle Feria is very local atmosphere, almost a little village within the city. Famous for the food market and the Thursday morning flee market. A fine intro to the street and the atmosphere: http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/c...evilla/895775/
kimhe is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 03:28 AM
  #17  
 
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I have just read the comment about "my photos" and thought eh????
Glad that was corrected.
I suppose it is the "Galician uniform" that also makes the two women look similar.


To the OP. Read through these threads for suggestions about areas with no or little tourists.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...g-in-spain.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...uggestions.cfm
ribeirasacra is offline  

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