By Miki de Goodaboom
As I said in my last post, I have decided to reconnect with Cafe Crem, our wonderful Cyber Cafe for artists, musicians, photographers and writers. I hope I won’t be the only one here, although I know, as a very wise friend of mine said:
“Don’t expect too much from people!”
Anyway I just checked and saw that the last mug painting I published was my “Mobile Mug” on the … 12th of September 2010! My God, I can’t believe it is more than 3 years ago! Shame on me! But at least I was not inactive in that time, and my love of mugs is still alive: I have painted some new mugs from our fantastic and always growing mugs collection. Also, during a quite recent painting trip to Cyprus, I started a series of sketches showing the coffee mugs we get when we have a coffee break while we are travelling around.
So, speaking of love, there is nothing more natural than starting with my “Love Mugs”, a gift from Kevin to me for Valentines 2012.
I really adored them, they are just like Kevin and me: happy, funny, intertwined and…
hearts all over and around us!
I’d like to present today the first in an artistic collaborative series by myself, and my partner, the French artist, Miki. My drawing style is very different from hers, and in a bid to create something a little bit unusual, I suggested that I should draw the basic character, and then turn the project over to her for completion, and indeed, the end result of this first effort looks exactly like a cross between her style and mine! We’re really happy with it, and we will be creating some more over the coming months. I picked Muddy Waters for a number of reasons, one being that Pinetop Perkins played in his band for a while – the late blues piano legend whom I met in Austin on my BLUE ODYSSEY trip a couple of years back, and also did an art work of (see link) ….and Muddy…well, I always loved the story of his first visit to England in 1958, when all these English high-brow blues purists accustomed to the more sedate acoustic blues Big Bill Broonzy and the like were shaken to the core by his loud electric guitar and stompin’ beat! Muddy’s ‘shock and awe’. I like that. So here he is, out by Lake Michigan, in a snow storm over Chicago ( which it was when we arrived there after exploring the Mississippi delta in 2010) Muddy, like so many other bluesmen, made that journey to the windy city, so it seemed a fitting backdrop. Hope you like it! If you like it a lot, then you can buy it in a variety of formats by clicking on the widget below.
(This article was previously published in moore:music)
The more ardent moore:music followers amongst you will perhaps have noticed the dearth of articles on here of late.
This is because we’re off exploring Italy in The Boomobile, our home from home on wheels. Having followed the coast from the French-Italian border, seeing the amazing Cinque-Terre, Portofino, Santa Maregherita and Pisa, we have turned inwards today, about 20 k south of the port of Livorno, and come to rest in the Medieval Tuscan town of Volterra, a wonderful collection of churches and buildings within walled defences, and views across the Tuscan countryside to die for. The trip has been a strangely reminiscent one thus far, as we ‘ve called at many places along the French and Italian coasts that I visited when I was touring my solo show on Ocean Village. I even got to fly from Genoa again, as I nipped to the UK to fulfill a BC Sweet gig commitment!
At one point, I was flying into Pisa every fortnight, via Munich, and across the Dolomites, to rendezvous with the ship, and often saw the leaning tower on our approach, but this was the first opportunity I’d had to get up close. It’s open to the public again now, but at 15 euros a go, I find the prices even steeper than the staircase, and went with the ‘Karl Pilkington’ philosophy: it’s better looking from the outside in, than the other way around.
We’ll probably hang here for a day or so, then explore a number of other Tuscan towns, with plenty of motifs to keep Miki busy painting here in The Boomobile. Stay tuned for more updates!
Almost certainly lurking in my subconscious since my days wandering around the Caribbean with my reggae show, here’s a character I’ve called “Spank de Plank” – a very cool bass dude! He’ll be the last character to earn a place in my forthcoming exhibition in Turre in March, though I’m sure many more will pop out of my head and onto the screen during the coming year!
If you want to buy a print of Spank online, click on the widget below:
(Also featured in moore:music)
I’m incredibly pleased to announce that one of my characters – Kid Monsta – is now featuring in his own monthly comic strip in The Sentinella magazine! The magazine’s catchment area is the Southern Spanish costas, but you can follow it online HERE.
Here’s the strip for the December issue – Enjoy!
Kid Monsta is available as Giclee print, in different sizes and different formats, in my FAA Gallery:
Today I’d like to present “Do-Rag” one of my new comic gang, The K-Krew. Named after his ever-present headgear, Do-Rag also never removes his ‘puffa jacket from da hood’. So keen is he to maintain his cool – He wears it in 90 degree heat. He becomes insufferably hot to keep cool. He thinks it makes him look hot, to be cool, except he’s not, but he doesn’t show it. How cool is that? To replenish the weight loss due to fluid evaporation in his puffa, he eats unfeasibly large hamburgers. Weight loss is frowned upon by Do-Rag, who is so large he exists in two different zip codes. Oh, and he’s the leader of The K-Krew. Cos he’s the biggest. And very cool.
Do-Rag & K-Krew © 2010 Kev Moore
If you want to purchase a print of Do-Rag or any of The K-Krew gang, click on the widgets above and below:
My new album still languishing in the mixing stage, and still awaiting parts from around the world, and a 2 hour show of unfamiliar songs to rehearse by the weekend, you’d think the last thing I’d need was another project, but with Miki as a muse and my own idea-generating brain it’s own worst enemy, I find myself rediscovering my art. now, when I say ‘art’ , I don’t mean stuff of the sort of quality Miki produces, I mean my own quirky little characters and cartoons. I’ve started to get to grips with using the computer possibilties in conjunction with my ‘real’ sketches and have begun to create a series of characters. They will be called THE K-KREW, and today I present the first of them.
This is Trash Talk, first member of The K-Krew to go public, and the only female. Sweet as apple pie, but with a mouth you want to take out with the garbage. Frequently gets her into trouble. Consequently not often asked to perform at public speaking engagements……
(“Trash Talk”, “The K-Krew” and all artwork © Kev Moore:2010)
I know, it’s about time that my mugs and me make a new appearance in Cafe Crem!
It has been such a long time since my last mug painting, I guess the last one was the Memphis mug about 6 months ago? Something like that. Not that I love my mugs less, or find them less ‘paintable’, I was just busy with some other motifs.. and some other people.
By the way I want to thank Shelley and Danu who joined me on Easelspace, this artist community from which I have been part of the co-hosting for some months now. I am glad to have them with me there, it makes me feel home. As well as Kevin of course, who is also a quite active member there, with his art work and with the poems he writes inspired by some Easelspace artists’ paintings.
Anyway, here comes the new mug…
be careful and keep out of his way, he is coming very fast!
By the way: “Mobile Mug” was a gift from Kevin… I was sad that day, he went out and came back with Mobile Mug for me… that mug was really full of love – even though it’s expression might not convey it! 🙂
I don’t know how it is with you, but me, I have so many travel plans and dreams in my head that 10 lives would not be enough to fulfil them! My dreams have always been for example, to go to Siberia, China, India, Peru, The Moon… I will certainly do what I can to realise some of them, but for many obvious reasons, not all will be possible. But when one can’t really travel, there is a way to visit places without spending too much money or time, and it is ART. I do love to look at beautiful photos from far away countries, and of course, even more than photos, I adore paintings featuring the beauty of all the places and people in our world.
This is why, Adrian Durham and me have started a new project, called Travelscapers. Our aim is to exhibit on our platform as many paintings from around the world (scapes, towns, nature, people, folklore) as possible, the challenge being to gradually cover the globe with paintings, according to the motto:
“”Around the world in Arty days”
Travelscapers.com is a site for artists and art lovers, run by artists. I would love to invite painters from around the world to join us. Well, when I say “invite”, it is not quite true.Unfortunately to run such a site costs money, and much time. We can offer our time, but for the rest we will have to charge a fee of 10 $ per year to be a member of travelscapers,
But think about it: together we are much stronger. The chance that our works get found and purchased on the net is much higher on big artists community sites than on private artists sites. We will do all the necessary work to get as much traffic as possible there. And anyway, I know from my own experience that there is an incredible amount of people around the world who search for paintings from the places where they live, where they have been on holiday, or from where they dream of. Travelscapers will become THE place where they will go, as soon as we have a very representative amount of paintings from around the world.
If you want to join us in travelscapers.com, exhibiting your paintings and travel sketches of places there, leave a comment here, or contact me at
The following day we decided to hike over the headland at the far end of the beach. but before that. it was time to chill in one of the outdoor cafes while Miki sketched and I read and listened to music.
Situated in a lovely little square, it sort of became our ‘local’ for the few days we were in Agua Amarga. We then headed back to the Boomobile where Miki worked on the sketches she’d just done outside, and as the afternoon wore on, we headed off to the headland. We could see some stone structures high on the ridge, particularly one of the many watchtowers that are dotted along this coast, plus other less identifiable ones. Little did we know, these were to be just the tip of the iceberg.
We started our climb from the beach, and then cut across to a point where a clearly defined ‘wall’ seemed to stretch right up to the ridge. We scaled this and looked down into the bay beyond. There, in front of us, was an incredible, huge series of structures occupying the entire valley. Solid stone walls, a hundred feet high, one after the other built from one slope to the other. great sunken wells disappearing into oblivion, obviously the source of the ‘bitter water’ the town was named for. It looked like some giant fortification that had been abandoned in haste.but we couldn’t work out what it actually was.
We spent a great few hours climbing up, down, and around it, getting into some precarious positions! Even managing to climb down to the sheer cliff in front of it. This deepened the mystery even further. Because it had this huge, un-scaleable wall, yet at the base, viewed from this side we saw a series of tunnels that were unhindered, running deep into the structure. A long, precipitous staircase also ran high up the cliff to the watchtower on the headland.
As we looked out to sea, we saw a huge man-made stone structure in ruins, languishing in the shallows, the waves battering it mercilessly. As we edged our way along the cliff, we found channels constructed out of stone blocks running for some meters then dropping sharply down the cliff-face to the ocean, and a stone building, dilapidated now, facing the ruins in the sea. We climbed along as far as we could, but found further passage impossible, and prepared to make our way home via the stone steps up the side of the headland. What was this mysterious collection of structures? A little bit of research following our trip revealed all:
One of the more successful of the mining ventures in Almeria, mainly because it had better planning and better investment, resulted in the creation of railway line to the coast. The line ran from mines in the mountains of the Sierra Alhamilla in the parish of Lucainena to the coast at Agua Amarga.The mines being some 30 km from the sea (the only practical long distance route in those days), either an aerial cable or a railway was needed to transport the iron ore. Given the terrain, a cable was easier but it was a long way and reliability could be a problem so a railway was chosen.
Giant hoppers for the ore were built by taking advantage of the Calareno barranco which sloped down from the Nijar Palain to the sea. These were the huge walls we had seen. Enormous deposits were built in its interior. They were conical and had a capacity of 45,000 tons. There were also auxiliary deposits built underground on the right-hand slopes.
In the upper part of the workings, some 80m above sea level, the main line finished. At the top, the line split. One branch continued on the level along the edge of the barranco. Its purpose was to fill the auxiliary underground hoppers via the small branches to the train’s left. It also connected with an inclined plane that went down to Agua Amarga. This plane brought coal for the ovens, wood for heating, machinery, foodstuff and other essential goods for the miners. It was all brought from ships moored near to the coast. At the bottom were fuel oil stores for the Lucainena generator.
The second branch continued down the barranco by means of a 231m inclined plane. It dropped 40m and operated in successive sets of six wagons, three loaded going down and three empty going up.
At the foot of the plane, lines branched out, some linked with the underground deposit, while others fed, via metal bridges, the main hoppers. Mineral was taken from the auxiliary hoppers to the main ones by wagons pushed by six or seven men, since there were no engines at the bottom of the inclined plane.
Under the main hoppers were access tunnels, in which were 600mm lines. I now realized the small trough in the tunnels that I saw when I explored them within was where the narrow gauge rail track sat. Wagons were filled with ore, then moved, again by hand, to the pier. The distance was 166m. Four arms went to the main hopper and one to the exterior.
The last part of the journey by land was across a great metal bridge. This was an inverted (rails on top) cantilever bridge that extended 70m over the sea and 14m above it. It was built by Miravalles who constructed cantilever bridges all over Spain. The bridge carried four lines, two out and two back. At the end were chutes, which discharged the ore directly into the hold of the ship. The ruins we had seen out in the water were the remains of the pier on which the bridge sat.
Along the top are the ruins of the harbour-master’s house, the telephone exchange and various offices – These ruins were the last we saw when we walked the cliffs.
So there you have it: we had stumbled upon a giant railway-fed iron ore depot on the coast. We were stunned at the amount of work involved in creating the mine, the line across the Nijar plain, and the giant hoppers and pier, etc, for a venture which began in 1896 , suffered the price crash of iron ore in the 20’s and finally ceased operations in 1942. amazing what you can find when you go climbing!