Green Spain

#journeythroughlandscape – romance of loneliness

The rocky northern coastal region of the Iberian Peninsula and the Basque people who live there create an atmosphere that is a blend of both European and Asiatic. Known in the UK as ‘Green Spain’ thanks to its cooler, wetter climate and tree-covered mountain ranges, it is an intriguing area. The Basque culture’s mysterious roots, the ruggedness of the coastline and the beckoning Atlantic wilderness all feed the imagination.

Travelling through the region’s mountainous Picos de Europa national park a few years ago, I was captivated by its remoteness and beauty. Villages are few and far between, so the feeling of space and mental freedom are amplified. The spectacular landscape would encourage any artist to attempt to capture both its beauty and the romance of loneliness that emanates from an all-pervading mist that hangs in the valleys throughout the day. Snow-capped peaks rise into the clouds in mid-summer, and cattle roam freely on the lush pasture. Ramshackle shepherds’ huts and barns litter the landscape, making perfect subjects for study.

Playa De Amio
Rocks, sand, sea and sky [Cat: 22/06, Playa De Amio, 12 x 16” / 30 x 40 cm, Watercolour on board, 2016]


Peter Town is a born storyteller gifted with an ability to translate both everyday quirks and deeper philosophical musing through his work. Often using strong lines, vibrant colours and symbolism in his pictures, Town has combined a long and successful career as a designer and entrepreneur with a vibrant artist portfolio. Many of Town’s paintings use strong shapes and primary colours, such as the Stairs series, whilst others are quieter and more contemplative as they represent a more tranquil inner space. His abstract series of prints and paintings represent works where the narrative is more ambiguous but ever-present. He sees landscapes, interior spaces and natural forms as abstract shapes and colours and transcribes these onto canvas. Having studied at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham in the era when Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Jim Dine wielded their influence, Town went on to the Royal College of Art. Taking advantage of his brilliance for being able to communicate ideas through illustration, Town went on to have a hugely successful career over four decades as a designer. Throughout, he has continued to paint and to develop his artistic style through drawings, acrylics, photography, and printmaking.