‘My Neighbour Pepe’
Pencils: Derwent Artists
Paper: 150 gsm Medium Surface Cartridge
29 x 40cm
I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in the stupendous region of Spain called Andalucia where my husband and I moved three years ago. The scenery of the ‘campo’ - the rough, untamed countryside—is breathtaking, and the quality of life of the local people shows a simplicity on the surface that conceals their deep belief in hard work, friendship and, above all, family. My neighbour Pepe personifies these values. He and his wife, Antonia, welcomed us to their country without reservation and are always ready to help us, even though they have so little themselves. Pepe has worked in the campo all his life—this can be seen from the colour of his skin, turned leathery brown by the sun. His eyes are kindness itself, but also show his wisdom. I usually see him very early in the morning, riding his mule on his way to tend his olive trees. Pepe is simply unforgettable, and this was my reason for capturing his memorable features in this portrait.