Sunday, June 08, 2008

San Paul and the cheeseburger

The painting is by the great Spanish painter Velasquez, and is entitled "San Antonio Abad y San Pablo, primer ermitaƱo". Great paintings don't have titles, they are "entitled". I think the entitlement means Saint Anthony and Saint Paul, the first hermit.

The story goes like this: Paul fled the persecution of the romans, and lived in the theban desert in a cave near a tree. He ate fruit, and drank only water. Every day a crow would visit him, bearing a loaf of bread. But wait, isn't that a cheeseburger? It's kind of difficult to tell in this picture. If you ever go to the Prado in Madrid, look carefully, you'll see I'm right.

It only makes sense. I once spent three days stranded on an island without any food. I thought a lot about cheeseburgers.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

La Albufera

On our recent trip to Spain we visited Parque Natural de la Albufera just outside of Valencia. The Albufera is a large fresh water lake at the shore of the Mediterranean sea.

The Valencia area is famous not just for its oranges, but for rice production. Valencian cuisine is known for seafood paella, a delicious rice dish served in large flat pans. Much of this rice is grown in the area around La Albufera.

We got stuck in a small town named El Palmar on a Sunday afternoon. We had a 3 hour wait for the next bus, and nothing to do. After a late lunch of Paella and bottled water, we sat by the canal and watched the tourist boats. These are small wooden sailing and motorized craft that give lake tours for about 20 Euros.

I got in some good sketching time. It wasn't a bad way to spend the afternoon.

© 2008 Raoul Rubin