My lease is up in Exeter and I’ve decided that I’m ready to leave this city.
I spent over 10 years ‘living’ in Norwich.
10 years of my life spent hunting for scraps of food and rubbish, whilst desperately trying trying to forget how I’d got myself into such a God almighty mess. It all happened so quickly. Life passed by so quickly, I should be glad that my Mother found me when she did.
At the age of 34, I’m still relatively young. You can bet that I’m no spring chicken, but if you’re going to live like a slob and consume nothing but Steak Bakes and Lager for a decade, it’s best to do it whilst you’re young. I remember feeling terrible every morning when I woke up, with a God-awful hangover and a terrible hunger. Of course the Greggs would never fully satisfy me and the lager would only make me thirstier.
Those 10 years should have been spent travelling the world, instead of creating a reclusive one of my own. With no real career plans, plus a little bit of cash that I’ve picked up from selling real art, I’ve got the will and the ambition to finally leave the country and travel. I want to breathe in air that smells different. I want to experience seemingly endless days of sunshine. I want to eat authentically cooked food from another continent.
My first port of call and home for the next year will be Toledo in Spain. Moving from the UK to Spain is no mean feat, I had to do some extensive research online before I felt comfortable with cancelling my lease in Exeter and finding a place to stay in my new country.
One of the major precursors to both the Expressionistic and the Cubist movement, El Greco was an artist – much like me, that sought a new home from home. Born in Crete, he trained to become an artist and left for Venice at the age of 26 to find his fortune. He was not truly appreciated back then, his use of surreal elongated characters and oddly fantastic pigmentations confused art lovers of the time. As much as it is tempting to drop him into a niche or a school of artists, the truth is that his work at the time belonged to no particular style. His output was of such a unique and individual nature that it’s impossible to place him within a particular group of contemporaries.
Amongst many of the great works that this man produced there are many that still remain in the city of Toledo.
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to visit and learn much from gazing up at these works with my own eyes. The Burial of the Count of Orgaz is one such example of these works that can still be found in this city at Iglesia de Santo Tome. Considered to be one of his only true personal projects, the painting is notable for being completely free of any stylistic features that link him back to his home city of Venice or artistic training back in Crete. A one of a kind piece that has remained intact for well over 400 years, I can only dream that the work that I produce will be remembered and preserved as well.
Through following this great man’s footsteps I’m hoping not to imitate him, but to find a sense of how he became the great painter that we all remember.