“What a wonderful idea to retell Spain's most passionate stories for us in English. As always, Karla's new book, Passion & Pride at the Prado, is written in her very knowledgeable and exciting style. She always explores and explains the most beautiful art. It really is a must-read for lovers of Spanish culture, as it opens up a world of understanding for your Spanish heritage. The seven stories in this book are charged with a mixture of emotions and offer a variety of insights into the deep historical roots of this great country.
My favourite stories? The Lovers of Teruel is a sad and beautiful true love story. It is one of those stories about an impossible love that comes between the class differences between rich and poor. The painting that shows the story is beautiful, and I hope to stand in front of it one day in the Prado Museum.
I also found the story of The Conversion of the Duke of Gandia very interesting. A must-visit is the Palace of Gandia and you will understand this trip better after reading the story. The painting that accompanies this story is also incredible. Looking at it again now in the Prado, I will understand its meaning even better.”
* Diana from Javea
"Fabulous online Zoom lecture on Antoni Gaudi with Karla and looking forward to the rest. I found it interesting, informative & entertaining and absorbing. I have been a fan of Gaudi for years but never had he, or his work, been described so well.
I am so happy to have found SpainLifestyle.com because of living in Spain, I want to understand the culture better and good classes in English are hard to find. I like the way Karla teaches with the use of drawings and photographs during her lecture. I would definitely recommend her classes. "
- Suzy Parker, Altea
"I've been wanting to learn more about Antoni Gaudi's work before I go to Barcelona and explore. I loved the class as Karla focussed on architecture that I hadn't seen in photographs before, as well as bringing attention to the small artistic details within the buildings. Inspiration!"
"To be honest, I was not a fan of Gaudi, so I booked the lecture to see whether Karla could convince me.
As I expected, Karla has a keen eye for details and presents her classes with passion and knowledge. I never ever saw the works of Gaudi through her eyes before and I must say I now really appecriate this man and his amazing ( early) work.
Karla's lecture made me long once again to times when we can resume our art history field trips and yes, I want to go to Barcelona and admire Gaudi 'face-to-face'. I just never before commited myself into a deeper study of Gaudi and his personal history. Now I know more and cannot wait to listen to part 2 of the lecture.
Karla's lectures are filled with illustrations, zooming into details, explanations, answering questions with knowledge."
- Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell
"I went to Karla's 1st lecture on Gaudi as a fan of his work, already thinking I might learn one or two things that I didn't already know...... Hahaha, I should have known better where Karla is concerned!
I spent the whole hour thinking, wow, I didn't know that!!
As always, Karla gets right under the skin of her subject and gives you knowledgeable and informed insights. I look forward to the next lecture in the series.
Karla's teaching is relaxed. informative, and fun."
- Christine Irving - Jesus Pobre
"It is always a roller coaster ride of discovery with Karla’s lectures .. from top to bottom!
She draws you in by painting a background, setting the scene, and then her knowledge of Gaudi brings his character to life. Suddenly, here is not just the name, but the real man brought to life. By understanding his place in life, where he lived and worked that brought an understanding as to how his buildings, exteriors and interiors were so unique.
Karla guides you around the details using text and photos, zooming in so you can really see the interesting parts. Seeing a hand made wrought iron balustrade or designer painted tiles, enables you to really understand what Gaudí creating and how and why.
Her passion for the topic and appreciation of the architectural skills of Gaudi are contagious and I very much look forward to being further inspired in part two!
Karla's teaching style is informative but relaxed and she takes time to clarify points or terms that might be new."
- Rhonda Jager-Stirling, Switzerland
"Wow! I have been to Barcelona and seen a lot of Gaudi, but never understood how many techniques were involved in his creations.
Karla showed us other houses outside Barcelona which are amazing. I now understood her favourite saying, “It blew my mind away”!
Looking forward to part two next week, and will be looking at his works in Barcelona with a more knowledgeable eye! Thanks Karla."
-Allison in Javea
"I learnt about the very interesting life of Gaudí! What an artist! His works are incredible, so detailed and what an imagination! Karla's knowledge and explanation opened up his world to me!
Always enjoy Karla's lectures as they introduce new facets of each artists' life.
Her vast knowledge and her great enthusiasm are great when giving the lectures
Would you recommend Karla Darocas teaching and books to others? *
Absolutely recommend her classes!!!"
Diane Santiago, Javea
"Just finished the first class on Antoni Gaudi. I have been a fan of Gaudi's work for many years and this class was a stunner. I had so many "OH" moments during the class. I think it's because Karla has such an excellent grasp of architecture, that she easily puts his work into the context of the broader whole. It makes it that much more interesting.
I am really looking forward to part 2 next week.
I just want to thank Karla for enhancing my "old" brain with this wonderful knowledge. Pure pleasure!!! Her knowledge of the subject and her great tidbits add so much to the lecture. What a gift!
I absolutely recommend Karla Darocas's teaching. "
- Mimi from Valencia
"Everyone knows "Gaudi". This is what I thought, myself. But Karla's lecture on Gaudi's first years as an architect was just astonishing.
Understanding his motivations and discovering his incredible imagination, Karla opened my eyes to what he would later develop. For example, Gaudi's materials - brick, ironwork, tiles... were physically made and used so artistically. I realize I have everything to learn about him.
Karla is knowledgeable in her domain and transmits her knowledge with ease. I recommend her lectures. "
-Jo Jouas, Denia
Karla explains and gives details in a very easy way so you can understand. She makes the artist come to life, you feel as those you are living the moment." - Amanda Jane Rosser
"I discovered an important artist of the surrealist period that I had never heard of before. Dali, Andre Breton... Yes, but not Remedios Varo. How can such an artist, who had followed the same paths (Freud, Jung) not be known better than that? Thanks to Karla's enlightenment, we learned to interpret Varo's inspirations and her personal preoccupations. Karla linked this artist to her times, the context which is so important to understanding an artist's state of mind. I would recommend this lecture and Karla."
- Jo, Denia
"I have been familiar with Javea old town for 25 years and know quite a lot about it but, when I saw the walk advertised and thought about the lectures of Karla’s that I had attended and thoroughly enjoyed pre lockdown I decided to take advantage. With Karla it’s the little details that stand out and display her research into and passion for her work. I loved learning about the indoor market, the poor mother superior who acted as look out, the hard wearing wood from Mobil, Bolufer and his super sailing boats, Sultan, diaphanous arches, tri lobe windows, the local artist influenced by Degas … the list is endless! Karla's teaching style explores the everyday details that bring the history to life." - Jean Halse, Javea
"I loved the Sorolla lectures. We heard about his whole life from being a young boy. With the connection to Javea, you can recognise our local beaches. Sorolla was a very empathetic man paying tribute in his paintings to the way women worked very hard in all kinds of jobs. His very clever use of white paint in a lot of light and shade images was amazing. He invented his own unique style. I love the very clever method of being able to almost walk through the gardens and out through the wall onto the outside. His wife Clotilde was an amazing woman and a huge influence in his success.
Karla has so much knowledge which she shares with you." - Glenys Graham, Javea
"Salvador Dali, for many years I have wondered about this artist and visited his museum in Barcelona. It's such a pity that Karla wasn't with me to explain the wonders of his work. Karla told us how to look into the paintings and see what he was thinking about when he painted, what most call, strange. Dali was influenced by Sigmund Freud, and many of his pictures depict his strange dreams. Dali was not only a surrealist artist, his paintings tell stories - some not so pretty - but really make you think differently.
In Karla's lectures, we are encouraged to ask questions. Without a doubt, I recommend Karla Darocas teaching." - Glenys Graham, Javea
"Karla guided us around Javea with so much enthusiasm. She loves it when you ask questions. Although I had done this walk a few years ago Karla has found even more knowledge to share. Now when I go into Javea I think this is where all those years ago people fought to save the church and themselves. Even the door knockers' explanations are interesting. You could say Javea is battle scared but that makes for a story or many stories and only by doing the walk, you will hear them from Karla. Things are changing in Javea and not all for the good, some artifacts have been removed. The history in Javea is very important so let's hope it stays that way. Recently Javea town hall announced that there will be a life-size bronze sculpture of Sorolla in a realistic style. I love my hometown even more now. Karla's teaching is full of enthusiasm and a little fun too This walk is a 'must do'!" - Glenys Graham, Javea
"Having attended the lecture the night before, the field trip made me pretty excited. The lecture was a lot to take in but it all fell into place once seeing everything. It was a very easy walk, with no hills to climb. Gandia is another fascinating place and a very important city having a palace, which we toured. In most of the rooms/halls, there are so many artefacts and again Karla described everything really well. I loved the art museum which has a huge collection of paintings and statues. I'm hoping to revisit Gandia and go into the art museum and palace again. Thank you Karla for the tour.
I love how detailed Karla's lectures are." - Glenys Graham, Javea