REVIEW - FRIDA KAHLO

 

"I have always been interested in Frida Kahlo as an artist. I have a couple of paintings of the artist, and I have been adding flowers and adornments to bring out the character of the artist. I didn't know much about her until I attended this lecture.

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

REVIEW - REMEDIOS VARO

"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

REVIEW - Javea Historical Walk

"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

SOROLLA - Part 1 & 2

 

"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

REVIEW - SALVADOR DALI - Part 1 & 2

"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

REVIEW - JAVEA WALK

 

"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

REVIEW - Gandia

"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


REVIEW - HISTORICAL JAVEA WALK


"I learned things that I never knew about Javea. I also saw the architecture from a different perspective. I am interested in learning about where I now live and this walk helped me to understand this town's history.
What I like about Karla's teaching is that she allows laypeople to understand architectural styles in context" - Rhona Wells, Javea

REVIEW - HISTORICAL JAVEA WALK

 

"We enjoyed a beautiful weather walk in Jávea, October 8th 2021. We wanted to do the walk because my husband and I were curious to find out if we could learn anything new about the history and the old town since we have been living here for 40 years. Well, no disappointment there! After the walk, we spent most of the afternoon at home going over the very interesting details in history, architecture, art and even streets & chapel that we had never seen or been before in all those years! Absolutely worth the walk and visit to this precious historical centre of a town that we cherish in our hearts.
Karla cannot stop explaining and answering questions. She is a super enthusiast and a living encyclopaedia!" - Bruce & Trudi McNeely-van Dorp, Benitachell

COURSE REVIEW - SOROLLA

 


"Fascinating learning about Sorolla, his wife, his great achievements with snippets of info on Javea that I didn’t know. I took the class because my friend Glenys told me about it and it sounded right up my street! Surprised I didn’t know about it before. The features that I liked about this experience were the relaxed atmosphere, great slides, and Karla is extremely knowledgeable. I would most definitely recommend her classes!" - Sally Marsden. Javea

LECTURE REVIEW - Shocking Social Realism


"Again through paintings, Karla has shown what history was at a certain period of time. In this lecture, we saw how at the end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th century, women were judged. In Spanish society, they were supposed to be well into their role of wife and mother. If something happened like becoming an orphan or widowed, they did not have many choices on how they could return to their society. They could go to a nunnery or become a prostitute. A certain number of painters denounced this situation and tried to open people's minds to this. I learned that painting is not only decorative but informative and can educate.
Karla's art lectures also reflect history." - Jo, Denia

LECTURE REVIEW - Shocking Social Realism



"A revealing series of paintings with academic social realism where I saw shocking scenes of social injustice indeed like women sold as slaves, women used to produce babies for rich families, child pornography, and other forms of social horrors. We talked about nudes and the effect it had and has on men. How certain paintings were refused because their themes were too close to the truth and also how female painters were regarded as less capable of producing art. It was explained how these themes continue into our present-day society. The chosen paintings in this lecture's slideshow became 'alive' because of our discussions. One forgets they are paintings and not photos. Wonderful lecture." -Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell

COURSE REVIEW - PICASSO


How did you hear about SpainLifestyle.com and Karla Darocas? *word of mouth
What was the name of class or book that you wish to review? *Picasso
REVIEW TIPS... what did you learn? was there anything unique that stood out? why did you take the class or read the book? *I learnt a lot about Picasso that I never knew and thought it was fascinating
What features did you like about Karla's teaching or writing style? *I like the informal yet extremely informative teaching approach
Would you recommend Karla Darocas teaching and books to others? *yes
FULL NAME & LOCATION *Rhona Wells. Javea

COURSE REVIEW - PICASSO


How did you hear about SpainLifestyle.com and Karla Darocas? *A friend introduced me many years ago.
What was the name of class or book that you wish to review? *Picasso 
REVIEW TIPS... what did you learn? was there anything unique that stood out? why did you take the class or read the book? *I had always wondered what kind of man Picasso was so when I saw that Karla was doing the lecture I had to signup. We were taken on a very descriptive journey through his childhood to his death. We found out who influenced Picasso and why he changed his styles so many times. Karla showed us how he was a good businessman he gave the people what they wanted. Karla showed us so many images, how she remembers all this knowledge I'll never know. I could hardly wait until the next lecture, I was excited. Now I have more free time I will be attending lots more lectures becoming a regular student.
What features did you like about Karla's teaching or writing style? *Karla made us comfortable and answered our questions.
Would you recommend Karla Darocas teaching and books to others? *Of course, in fact I have done so already.
FULL NAME & LOCATION *GLENYS GRAHAM

LECTURE REVIEW - 19th Century Andalusian School of Romanticism Landscapes & Costumbrismo


"I just took a class in Andalusian romantic period paintings. The Andalusian Romantic myth, Yes, I now know why, how and where it started and still exists today. Through the paintings of the 19th century, Karla clearly illustrated this truth. And lo and behold, tourism and tourists (again) helped create this truth. Thanks Karla. Your lecture illustrated the close link between history and painting. I recommend your lectures to everyone!" 

* Jo, Denia

THE EVOLUTION OF SPANISH NEOCLASSICAL ARTISTS & PAINTINGS



"A fascinating lecture from Karla on Neoclassicism. It is not a genre I had ever really thought about but once you start to see the art, so much of it is familiar. 

As ever with Karla’s lectures, as you are taken on a tour of the art, you also learn about Spanish history and it seemed this art was especially a product of its time.

Neoclassical artists prided themselves on reproducing accurate representations of the people being painted so we got up close and personal with Spanish royalty during a really important time for the country. Also, these artists were amazingly talented when it came to painting the costumes of the day, which especially with the Queens and Princesses, were incredibly beautiful. 

We also got an introduction into Goya and we could see how he straddled this phase as it moved into Romanticism – the subject of the next lecture."

* Chris Wood, Javea

LETTER

"As we can't travel to Javea at the moment, we went to MNACC, Catalunya National Art Museum in Barcelona, the other day to look at the Baroque galleries. They have been redone and have a lot of paintings on loan from the Thyssen collection from Madrid. I was happy to see many El Greco's, Titian, Tiepolo, Canaletto. Having studied with you, the Zurbarán were particularly amazing. His Saint Francis of Assisi and Crucified Christ were incredible as was the Still life with Vessels. I remembered from your lecture. I kept telling Michael to look at his fabrics!

Anyway hope you are having a good week and see you at the next Neo-classical talk next weekend."

Best wishes

Denise

Spanish DOGS . Book Review

"In her book "Spanish Dogs", the historian and teacher Karla Ingleton Darocas, leads us through the fascinating history of dogs in Spain from the Neolithic to modern times by means of her extensive background knowledge and a companionable illustrative style. 

I was particularly impressed by the role of dogs during one of the darkest chapters of Spanish history, the Conquista, when the Conquistadores used dogs of war as cruel and brutal weapons against the local populations.

A large part of the book illustrates the history of dogs in Spain with examples from paintings by Velazquez, Murillo, Goya, Sorolla and other well-known Spanish painters. Although we are familiar with many of these paintings, we may have hardly noticed the presence of dogs there, if at all. Karla directs our attention to these dogs and creates a picture of their role and importance in their respective epochs.

The last chapter, "Dog of Love", tells us about the intimate relationship between Pablo Picasso and his dachshund Lump. This beautiful story leaves us feeling optimistic regarding the future for dogs in a country where, unfortunately, much still needs to be done for animal welfare.

"Spanish Dogs" is a recommendation for all dog lovers and also those interested in Spanish history and art. Thanks to Karla for this great book, which is really worth reading."

* Marianne Pätzold, Colmenar Viejo (Madrid)

Evolution of 17th Century Spanish Classical Landscapes

 


"I am a regular student. I took the class on the Evolution of 17th Century Spanish Classical Landscape paintings. 

I've always taken "landscapes" for granted - they're there in the background, OK. But I learned that they were NOT always there, they've got a history. I knew that landscapes give paintings "atmosphere", but I learned that you can read a landscape to understand the feeling of the painting. 

I am now looking forward to seeing the evolution of the landscape and how it can give importance (or not) to the people, objects or actions depicted.

Karla opens my eyes to things we take for granted. I recommend her classes."

- Jo Jouas, Denia

17th Century Royal Portraits, Painters & Fashions

 


“A fascinating lecture from Karla on 17th Century Spanish portraits. As ever the listener learnt as much about Spanish history as Spanish art so making these lectures a must for anyone keen to learn more about Spain as their chosen home.

Karla is a great fan of the Spanish painter, Velasquez, and by the end of the lecture we were in agreement. We were shown how Velasquez’ style evolved over time and was shaped by the influences of the 17th Century Spanish court he lived in and by the developments in painting, especially from Italy where he studied in Naples. Like his contemporaries he began by showing his mastery of painting the textiles his sitters were wearing. However, at his height his skill was much more about showing the soul of his subject which is so affecting today as they gaze out at us hundreds of years later.

Karla took us through the work of several other Spanish artists of the time and it was here in particular we learnt so much about the fashions of the 17th Century Spanish court. The clothes were super-sumptuous and unimaginably expensive. They also were designed to engage with the viewer using signs and symbols which communicated meaning. The painting of little Prince Philip Prosper showed him wearing a host of charms to protect him in different ways but sadly it was all in vain and he died very young. There were other symbols too such as only royals could have a chair in view as only a royal could sit in the presence of royalty.  

We were given several other insights into life at that time, at least amongst the very wealthy. Perhaps as ever beauty was associated with pain. Ladies cleavage was held in place by wooden planks in their dresses and there was no such thing as a left and right shoe – all shoes were the same.”

- Chris Wood, Jávea