This piece started off as a doodle on the plane on the way home from Madrid. On one of the last days there, I was in Toledo with my family. We arrived early that day by train and it was so cold but by the afternoon, it was sunny and warm and we were able to walk around the city and take everything in. The lighting was so perfect that afternoon that I was falling behind the group, taking pictures of every street, palm tree, and every alley but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t get this one street out of my head; it zig zagged, it had small flights of stone steps leading down, and with the sun coming through from the other side, I definitely needed to draw it.
I started thinking about all of the things I’d seen during my stay and I wanted to include everything. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to smash all of the random things I loved about Spain into one picture, so the arrangement of everything took the most time.
I had seen all of the beautiful flamenco fans in shop windows and I thought that it could be a good spot for my street scene and then everything else started filling in around it. I love tangled, organic shapes so the olives and oranges felt like the best choice to wrap around the fan. I drew my staggered buildings but I still wanted more movement in the piece so I included the colorful monk parakeets that my sister and I had seen in Retiro Park.
When I felt like the piece was finished, I was surprised that I was able to include all of these small moments from my stay into one scene. It’s exciting when you can take a bunch of little things from your experiences and make them into something whole. It makes you think about how each moment really adds up.