Barcelona ... La Pedrera

"La Pedrera" aka Casa Mila, designed by Antonio Gaudi in 1906 ... I've wanted to visit this place since studying it in my first architectural history course, circa 1985. It didn't disappoint, this place is really incredible. After taking several exterior photos, I settled in for a sketch, trying to capture the undulating lines of the facade. Really had to trust my eyes while laying out this drawing ... the changing scale, the perspective ... too much for my little brain to process. Wish I had another shot at the sky - the intention was for a rich, but clear wash - but it kind of got away from me somehow. That's watercolor for you - just when things feel like they're clicking along something goes awry. The facade is amazing, but not unexpectedly so ... I suppose I was prepared for it, having seen so many photos and drawings over the years.

The ROOF, on the other hand, really blew me away. Apart from the substructure of brick arches, which created a fascinating series of attic spaces, the culmination of the building (it hardly seems adequate to just call it a "roof") blasted my puny expectations out of the water. It's a crazy, elevated, roller-coaster landscape with gaping holes like volcanoes dropping into the courtyards, twisting marshmallow stair towers covered in white tile fragments, and chimneys that rise like little groups of medieval warriors. I spent far more time up there than I had anticipated, because I simply didn't want to go anywhere else. The views of the Barcelona skyline were tremendous, the breezes were wonderful, and there was even a little music playing, as they were setting up for what must have been an incredible and elegant party.

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