Way back earlier this year, when I was preparing to walk the Via de la Plata in Spain, I was counting my pennies and trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet. I hit upon the idea of a postcard subscription: people could sign up to receive 2, 5, 7 or 10 postcards – original drawings – of scenes from my journey.
I’ve been back from Spain for six months now, and because of the excitement of the arrival of my new etching press, followed by various festivals and Open Studios, I’m only now really thinking about and processing my pilgrimage.
So here, finally, in sequential order, are the postcards I drew. I am afraid the lighting conditions were not always ideal when I took the pictures of the postcards; I’ve done my best to restore the correct color as much as possible.
Seville: the first waymark, at the cathedral
Seville: a courtyard in the Alcázar
Seville: the Giralda
Seville: the Macarena
My process often looked like this. A sidewalk cafe and a glass of wine are an aid to inspiration!
Italica: mosaic from the Roman ruins
Just past Guillena: tower in the midst of fields, early morning
Castilblanco de los Arroyos: view of the town from the albergue
Monesterio: I felt the town needed a new stamp for the pilgrim credencial that would reflect the town’s status as the jamon capital of the world (or so it claims).
Real de la Jara: view of the town from the castle. I accidentally left this postcard behind on my bunk when I left the albergue in the morning, and I assumed it was lost. I was very pleased to learn that its intended recipient did indeed receive it, thanks to the good samaritan who found and mailed it.
Villafranca de los Barros: this church was diagonally across from the pension
Torremejia: Roman statues used in the wall as building material
Mérida: remains of the Roman aqueduct, Acueducto de los Milagros
Aljucen: street scene
Alcuescar: odd character carved next to the church door
Alcuescar: statue “La Misericordia” in the monestery, seen from the side
Roman bridge, between Alcuescar and Caceres
Cáceres: couple on a bench in the plaza mayor, with the walls of the old city behind them
Cáceres: bust of a woman on a building wall in the old city
Casar de Cáceres: storks on the church roof; there were dozens of them
Casar de Cáceres: the waterspouts around the roof of the church were quite entertaining
Mailing a batch of postcards!
Oliva de Plasencia: cat on a stone bench
Caparra: the Roman arch. The Via de la Plata goes right through the arch
Pico de la Dueña: the highest point on the route, with windmills and a cross of Santiago
This marks the end of what I actually walked; I finished walking in Salamanca. I took a bus to Zamora and spent two days exploring that city, where I drew my final postcards.
Mailing postcards in Salamanca:
Zamora: church on the plaza mayor, opposite my pension
Zamora: statue of penitents
Zamora: a suit of armor as a weathervane atop church tower
Zamora: a very operatic-looking statue of Mary Magdalen