Paintings inspired by everyday life in an Andalusian town

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Chris Richford in front of some of his paintings at the Parquesol. / ON

British artist Chris Richford is currently exhibiting a collection of the work he has done since arriving in Spain at the Parquesol restaurant in Torrox Costa

Jennie Rhodes

British artist Chris Richford is currently presenting an exhibition of his painting at the Parquesol restaurant in Torrox Costa, until April 30.

The collection of 15 oil-on-canvas works includes street scenes from Chris’ adopted town of Vélez-Málaga, as well as the “campo” and beaches of the Axarquía.

Chris, 64, has lived in central Vélez-Málaga for three years, having been drawn to the area during various visits to his sister in Torrox. “I like the Spanishness of Vélez. It’s near the coast but still very Spanish,” he says.

Travels

Before settling permanently in Spain, Chris, who worked as a computer programmer in his native Gloucestershire, lived for a time in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and Macau, the autonomous region on the south coast of China. “I’m drawn to places that I don’t know much about,” Chris says of his reason for living in the two relatively off-the-beaten-path locations. When it comes to the Costa el Sol, the same could be said of downtown Vélez-Málaga.

He painted while living and traveling in Southeast Asia and says his inspiration was “street scenes and the hustle and bustle of everyday life”. He is also drawn, he says, to the sense of community and family that is important to the three places and the ties they have had since Portuguese and Spanish colonial times respectively.

Chris says he has always drawn and painted and remembers “drawing in the kitchen while my mum was cooking dinner. She gave me a roll of wallpaper to work on the back of because my designs used up so much paper.

As a young man, he exhibited at Cheltenham but largely abandoned his art when he married and started a family. However, after a separation and with his children grown up, Chris says he rediscovered his passion for painting and joined a group in the Gloucestershire town of Stroud. In time, and like fellow Gloucestershire native writer Laurie Lee, it would be the light and warmth of Andalucia that would attract Chris.

His styles have changed over the years but this exhibit is oil on canvas. Chris also paints in watercolor on paper. He explains that during his stay in Southeast Asia he was producing “more abstract and geometric forms”, while his work here in Andalusia is “more representative” and this is the work he exhibits at Torrox.

He specifies that all the paintings are for sale and cost less than 40 euros. The exhibition runs until April 30 at the Parquesol de la Carretera Almería restaurant in Torrox Costa, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

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