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Grab your paintbrush and pencils and explore the Alpine deserts and bristling pine forests of Andalucia. These creative courses, based at the luxurious eco-retreat of Cortijada Los Gasquez, offer you the chance to discover this stunning wilderness while honing your artistic skills.
Cortijada Los Gazquez is a carbon-neutral guesthouse set amidst forested valleys of almond and pine. Heat and light are solar- and wind-generated, cooking is done by wood fire and the farm’s flat terracotta roofs double as rainwater harvesting structures. Everything is recycled, even the water (used to irrigate the dry land), and there’ll soon be a natural swimming pool too. You’ll notice the attention to detail in everything, whether it’s the shady comfort of a secluded cushioned courtyard or the rustic charm of the menu: fresh, locally-sourced food with an international flavour.
Off the map and off the grid, the 47-acre farmstead offers a holiday experience like no other. Combining stylish architecture (‘eco-chic’) and the profound natural beauty of Andalucia’s pine-clad mountains, the retreat is the perfect setting for a range of creative activities, among them music, painting, writing, photography and film-making. These creative courses cover a host of themes, including botanical illustration, art forms in nature and ancient and popular architecture. There are also more site-specific options, such as the Altos Caminos (shepherds’ paths that weave through meadows of wild flowers and groves of pomegranate, fig and quince) and Las Ramblas (dry fluvial systems carved deep into the lush desert floor). With such stunning subject matter and expert tuition, these multimedia courses present a great opportunity to discover, rediscover or further develop your skills.
One of the other exciting aspects of a stay here, is that at any one time there are professional artists staying, taking advantage of the location and getting a chance to work. This means that you get to rub shoulders with professionals, enjoy conversing about art, life and making a career from art. These resident artists also give a talk about their work one evening of the week, as well as an introduction to their studio to talk about their current projects.
We hear only good things of the courses at Cortijada Los Gazquez. If you’re the creative type it’s difficult to imagine how you could fail to be inspired by this spectacular landscape, the perfect weather and diverse flora and fauna (the Parque Natural Sierra Maria-Los Velez is home to over 100 species of bird, as well as Ibex, boar, oscillated lizards and mongooses).
Art materials aren’t included in the course price but can be ordered in by arrangement before hand, or you can bring your own. The courses themselves are very flexible and can be easily tailored to meet the needs of you or your group; if there’re more of you than there are spaces at the guesthouse then accommodation can be arranged elsewhere within the National Park. And rest assured, non-participating partners are welcome and will have plenty of distractions!
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.