International Gothic Collection in Valencia Museum


Studying 14th and 15th century  International Gothic art through retablos was extremely interesting. I had never realized that so many people, working in guilds, were involved to create one retablo. They were truly artists. And to think that 99% of these creations from this era were destroyed or sold! Karla not only presents us with the artistic side to these works, but also the historical side : the social, economic, political context of the time; why things came about and how they evolved.
- Josette Jouas, Denia

Sorolla: THE NAKED TRUTH of Academicism, Social Realism & Costumbrismo


"Another fascinating lecture from Karla on Sorolla's work. It was fascinating to learn about the need to produce popular regional paintings to make money while developing his professional reputation through social realism paintings. As Karla talked us through the paintings, I learned about the links between the sciences and arts in the period. As the world adjusted to the discoveries of Darwin, artists began to focus on naturalism. Sorolla walked a tightrope between this new world and the traditions shown in his costumbrismo works. Another fascinating talk leaving us with much to reflect on." - Denise Bayes, Barcelona

Sorolla: THE NAKED TRUTH of Academicism, Social Realism & Costumbrismo


"Karla's lecture are so full of the historical context of Spain. I enjoyed the Costumbrista style masterpieces of Sorolla. His academic work was beautiful too and when you keep in mind of his young age when he was painting these works, amazing! The historical philosophies of Spain and Europe at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century comes to life in the absolute master works of the great and unique Sorolla. He formed a unique style with inspirations from master painters from Velazquez to the modern era of Monet." 

-Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell

Sorolla: THE NAKED TRUTH of Academicism, Social Realism & Costumbrismo


"Fascinating lecture by Karla. I almost felt like an insider to the paintings presented, most of which I had not seen before. I became fascinated with the "Costumbrista" era of Sorolla's Spanish paintings. I absolutely loved them. I appreciate the way Karla presents the information. Her knowledge gives you a wonderful perspective and you are grasping for more. I feel fortunate I ran across Karla on the internet, because living in Valencia, I didn't have the opportunity to "attend" her classroom sessions until the Pandemic, when she started on Zoom. In situations like this I always go back to my favorite Haiku: Barn's burnt down -- now, I can see the moon. - Mizuta Masahide Muchas gracias Karla, can't wait for the next one." 

-Mimi Carrera, Valencia city

Sorolla: THE NAKED TRUTH of Academicism, Social Realism & Costumbrismo


"I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture. The detail and amount of information you covered was enormous. As you know I am a Sorolla fan and have painted many of his works, but do enjoy the early paintings. They have a different style and show what a talented painter he was. I look forward to your next lecture." 

- Best wishes, James, Javea

Sorolla: INTO THE LIGHT of Impressionism & Luminism


"With a keen eye for details, Karla makes the paintings of Sorolla come alive. This time we were able to capture the action, the expression of extreme movements and the joy in the making of a painting, using vigorous brush stroking, but mixing this with dabs/ little blobs light. What a unique style Sorolla developed and his work became known all over the world. And how great to admire his naturalistic and impressionist style with themes from our own Jávea beach, reflecting the sunlight on the water, capturing intimate scenes of the maritime community. Sorolla lets us see the wind, feel the rain and sunshine. Fantastic. Karla teaching style is full of clear information and interaction." 

 -Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell

Sorolla: INTO THE LIGHT of Impressionism & Luminism


"What a wonderful lecture from Karla this morning! Her understanding of Sorolla, his style, subjects was fascinating to hear. Karla is passionate about this great Spanish painter with his close ties to Javea. The vast array of paintings she used to illustrate his work was greatly appreciated and I finished the lecture feeling able to appreciate the work of this painter better in the future. Many of the pictures used in the lecture are not available to be seen in Spain. I look forward to hearing more from Karla." 

 -Lorna Ainsworth

Sorolla: INTO THE LIGHT of Impressionism & Luminism


"Fascinating lecture on the progression of Sorolla's style. Loved his mixture of naturalism and Impressionism to create his own Illumination. Karla has a great understanding of his works and you leave the class feeling stimulated. Looking forward to the next one! " 

 -Mimi Carrera, Valencia

TRIBUTE LECTURE TO CLOTILDE: Sorolla's Cornerstone


"After attended this lecture on Sorolla's wife, I feel like I have "met" his model. In this lecture I got to know the Clotilde as a mother with her children, as a learned woman who travelled with her husband to many fascinating places, and as an elegant woman of fashion. She must have been an interesting lady to speak with.

Karla's lectured are very well documented and I recommend her teachings."

* Josette Jouas, Denia

TRIBUTE LECTURE TO CLOTILDE: Sorolla's Cornerstone

"I learned a lot about the way Sorolla's portrait paintings were used almost as adverts to get commissions. I enjoyed the discussion about fashion details and the links with Paris. I learned a lot about paint techniques as well, especially how Sorolla moved from the baroque styles into luminosity.

Karla was well prepared and explained the slides clearly.

Definitely recommend Karla's teachings! Really interesting and look forward to more talks."

* Denise and Michael Bayes Javea and Barcelona!


TRIBUTE LECTURE TO CLOTILDE: Sorolla's Cornerstone

"The lecture about Clotilde, the wife of Sorolla was fascinating. First, the beautiful paintings and portraits with her as a model and the explanations helped to place Sorolla’s work in context with his married life and the era in which his work was done. 

I loved the way Karla explained the way Sorolla worked with the new fashion in those days and photography. How he integrated this new art form into his work. Karla also explains about paint brushe techniques and how Sorolla managed to manifest the different shades of white in dresses, garments, and sheets. When one listens to Karla, her passion helps you to ‘see’ the work of Sorolla with different eyes. I cannot ever get enough of it

The ebook that accompanied the lecture was a must for me. There were so many extra details revealed, for example the death and funeral of Sorolla in Valencia (my goodness, what a story!) and even more lovely photos in full colour. The lecture complements the book (which I consider homework and loved to study it) and all in all it complements the appreciation of Clotilde, who was not just Sorolla’s wife, but also his manager, the mother of his children, his coach and motivator. The person and influence of Clotilde came truly alive after reading the book and listening to the lecture.

I also like the way Karla answers questions, every answer has so much more details. It shows a very well prepared, professional art history teacher. Warmly recommended once again!

Karla's teaching style is full of clear facts, clear sentences, and overall clear communications."

* Trudi van Dorp, Benitachell

JAVEA WALK

photos by Monique Heijboer

"This is an amazing, eye-opening walk through the Old Town! Karla's knowledge is seemingly never-ending, fueled by her love of the arts and Spain itself, which she shares with so much love, enthusiasm and humour! Definitely worth a repeat performance for me! Can’t wait for the next one!"

* Monique Heijboer, Cumbre del Sol

JAVEA WALK


"My friend and I spent a great morning walking the streets of Javea Old Town with Karla. I’ve done the walk before but was really excited to do it again. Karla has a great sense of humour and makes you look at the town in a completely different light. I now walk around looking up and the amazing buildings rather then just in the shop windows. She has so much information to tell that you really could do the walk numerous times and still not learn everything about Javea’s old town history. We then topped off the morning with a lovely lunch! All evening my friend kept saying what a great morning she had and Karla really made the walk interesting.

* Lisa Wood, Javea

TRIBUTE TO VALENCIA CITY


"I recently attended Karla's tribute to Valencia city's jewels of architecture class. Coming from France where the "outside" is as beautiful as the "inside", I was wary of Spanish "jewels of architecture". But Karla opened my eyes to the extraordinary richness of Spanish heritage - as always combining history and artistic culture. Of course, I always recommend her teaching."

 * Josette jouas

ISABELLA * WARRIOR QUEEN




"Going through paintings, statues and polychromes of Isabella was an excellent way of learning about her life and her reign. History, in general, becomes a little bit clearer with the visuals.
As usual, Karla's knowledge of the subject just flows naturally. Of course I recommend her."
* Josette Jouas, Denia

OMNIBUS COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL ESSAYS ABOUT XÀBIA / JÁVEA


Karla's newest book, Omnibus, for me was ALL very interesting. It is difficult to pick out a favourite essay from the collection. All the stories tell a historical journey and every single chapter is a treasure of extraordinary knowledge, explaining the very impressive history we have here in Xàbia!
Karla's writing style is absolutely gripping, hence the reason I was able to read this book all in one go. She writes with such enthusiasm, just like she does in her lectures.

* Diana Santiago, Xàbia

ORDER FORM * click here

SPANISH ROYAL RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE


"I recently attended the SpainLifestyle class called 'Understanding Spanish Royal Renaissance Architecture'... Having seen a large number of buildings of this era, 1500s and 1600s, it was enlightening to hear how the styles evolved and why. The explanations of the decoration and design of the buildings by the different architects has given me a better knowledge. The lecture was full of information and a real sense of that time. The lecture has prompted further research into various points mentioned for example... how saints are represented in art. I have said it before... I like Karla's natural everyday language when teaching. It makes the information easier to retain. I most definitely recommend Karla and SpainLifestyle.com to my friends".

 *Wendy Loxley - Javea

THE LURE OF THE LIGHT * Joaquín Sorolla


"In this class, I learned lot about the painter, his life and work. I love his paintings; most of them are so colourful, vibrant, lively - with beautiful scenery. As I lived in Jávea for 14 years I appreciate the places Sorolla loved (me too!!), and painted, almost all of them those close to or by the sea. I concluded by the way he painted and lived that he must have been a happy person! I just love Karla's liveliness, directness, and huge knowledge. I Absolutely recommend her classes!!!"

Angelika Goette, Benitachell

THE DALI EXPERIENCE


"Not understanding Dali's paintings at all, I learned there was a code; language to understanding the man, therefore his paintings. What an experience! Karla Darocas taught, as usual, in her casual style of speaking, while pouring forth a fountain of information. I have recommended her to many people already"

*Josette Jouas, Denia

THE DALI EXPERIENCE


"I have been to Karla's lectures on Dali before. He is a complex man, as are his paintings, and as always I learnt even more. The pleasure of being able to appreciate his art is beyond price. Karla Darocas's teaching style is relaxed but so much information and research is shared.
Most certainly I recommend Karla Darocas's teaching and events to others"

* Lizzie Clayton, Benitachell