After eating some delicious paella up at a place next to Lesseps Metro station (see the sketch included below for reference) I decided I needed to see the Sagrada Família at last. It’s been a long wait for me, and I was astounded when I got there, as it truly is an epic undertaking, and not one that I will talk about in this post, because I didn’t sketch it that day. After squeezing through crowds and peering through trees in the park opposite for the best possible view, I found a spot I liked, sat down, got the Stillman & Birn ‘Beta’ sketchbook out and felt the first “plop” of warm summer rain. Now I’d heard somewhere that the rain in Spain fell mainly on the plain (which may be true but I don’t wish to be inaccurate) but either way it meant sketching this cathedral would be much more difficult, robust and hardy though the Beta paper is (and it really is; it’s an excellent book to travel with, and the pages fold very flat). So I decided to up sticks and do one. After spending a bit of time in the FC Barcelona shop next to the cathedral (mmm, football shirts) I metro’d it to the Barri Gotíc. About a hundred million people were out shopping; Barcelona is a shopping paradise, even I was getting sucked in (I saw some wicked adidas trainers), but this day was getting away from me and I had to sketch stuff. A couple of Gaudís, a bowl of paella and some flags wasn’t going to cut it for my first full day in Spain. It was still raining, so I stopped outside the famous restaurant Els Quatre Gats (“4 Cats”; I imagined the Two Ronnies in here giggling about headwear for cutlery). A professor back in my department in Davis had told me about this place, its connections to Picasso and the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc, and I’d promised I’d sketch it. I popped my head inside, and one day would like to sketch the interior, but I stood outside and sketched the entrance. I had to squeeze tight against an opposite wall to stop rain from hitting my page, a small narrow balcony about me providing my only shelter. The streets and alleys here are narrow, I remember being told that when it’s hot these narrow streets are a great place to cool down, they are so shady. Not much rain cover though! But I managed it, and here it is, Els Quatre Gats.
I didn’t eat here though, sadly. I was still full from my paella from earlier on, and here it is. Looks tasty, doesn’t it! It was ‘Paella del Señorito’.
Incidentally…you can buy a print of this Quatre Gats sketch at my Society6 site… http://society6.com/PeteScully/Quatre-Gats-Barcelona_Print