Andorra

Andorra has been my home for the past twenty-seven years of my life and an inspiration.

Long hours sitting in a classroom lead to a lot of time for daydreaming, which lead to a lot of doodling, which in turn, lead to paint and canvases.

Mostly self-taught, I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes as I go along. Here is my first compilation of pieces using a combination of both acrylics and oil.

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Destructurat. 50cm x 60cm Oil.

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Força vital. 24cm x 70cm Acrylic, oil, wood.

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Portál. 50cm x 50cm Acrylic, oil.

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Salmó trutta fario. 60cm x 30cm Oil.

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Mar dels pecats 80cm x 60cm Acrylic and oil

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Set petals per un sol cor. 30cm x 60cm Acrylic, oil.

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Rastres, 55Cm x 46cm Acrylic, oil.

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Univers paral.lel, Acrylic, oil and sand. 55cm x 38cm

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Santuari   Acrylic/Oil/Posca pen. 92cm x 65cm

 

 

 

Més enllá

Més enllá    Acrylic/Oil – 90cm x 60cm

 

 

A Short Lived Winter

 Summer 2013 had come and gone. Followed by a short yet long wait for, you’ve guessed what: winter.

I decided to prolong the sun and the heat an extra month by visiting Swedish friend, chef and photographer Pelle, also known as Blanco, who’s winter residence happens to be Canarian surf island, Fuerteventura.

It had been years of talk and stories from Pelle before I finally decided to come and visit this lunar looking land shaped by volcanoes and  tides. An month of 25 ºC+, sun, surf and good times.

View over lunar like land scape and Fuerteventura’s north shore from atop of a volcano near Coralejo town.

 

Puertito, “isolated” village and it’s lagoon on Lobos island just off the shores of Fuerte.

 

A good move, as October and November actually passed in a blink of an eye…From blazing sun and board shorts, straight to cold temperatures and snow. Winter had made it back before I had. And what a pleasant surprise that was. Excitement rushed through the whole of my body and it was not long before I geared up and went out to play.

Time had come  to wake up those dormant senses and leg muscles.
There’s something really special, magical in way, about the first run of a winter season. It could not compare to the previous one I had experienced back in La Grave, but was just as gratifying nonetheless.

 

 

The season was looking promising and I was getting fired up ! Snow kept falling steadily, the trees were staking up snow and I was out to charge through them. Tree skiing is one of my top favourite, high doses of attention and reflexes are required to travel through them, specially in our local pine forests that happen to be quite dense. They’re a great place to go on a windy day.

 

 

Time pressed on and a year came to pass. A night of folly for most but I had something else in mind.
Instead of greeting the new year with a stinking hangover, I chose to have an early night and start the next planet’s cycle  around the sun by greeting it with my arms wide open. Clear minded. A refreshing experience to start the year and the day. Work wouldn’t be half as hard for me as it would for the rest of my colleagues , the thought put a smile to my face.

 The catering world is pretty intense and after eleven years as a chef the spark was lost. Burned out. Time had come for a change and I needed time to think. Why not work as a shaper at my home resort snowpark. Great idea, getting paid to shovel snow around and ski doesn’t sound too bad. Sounds like fun, and it is, for a while. Turns out the shovelling has the upper hand over the skiing. Snow keeps falling, you keep shaping, and a whole lot of lines get skied by others. Meanwhile you watch, asking yourself what the hell I’m I doing with this stupid shovel in my hand?
Getting the circus up and running for all them clowns I suppose…I was starting to feel like a circus freak myself.

 

Who could predict what was in store for me next ? Not I.
Obviously the lack of riding and excess shovelling was getting to me. I was frustrated, hungry to get out there. 9:40 am the next day, first run, like a bull charging into the ring, I drop in.
Poor judgement of the snow pack, lack of warm up run and overall fitness led to disaster. In a blink of an eye it was over, like an elastic band under too much stress my ACL snapped. As I rolled head over heels I felt as the whole world crashed down on me. I came to a stop, the pain kicked in.
Looked up, then realised how lucky I had just been. I had dodged every single rock that would have made that fall much worse.
I felt like a jerk. What was I thinking? Not much by looks of it.
Lesson learnt the hard way.

Oh well, see you next year….

 

 

 

A place called Home

All good things come to a end.

Everyone should know that. It’s a fact.

What they should also know is to not cling on to the past, because no matter how hard you do so, it’s already gone.

Eighth of April and my time in the Alps was up. Sure, I could of hung around a little longer, but I had business to attend to and a summer season to get ready for. So, I packed my bags, hoped on a few trains and made my way home.

Winter was far from over. The Pyrenees got the largest snow fall in their history with widths of  cumulated  snow of  up to seven meters. So I knew I was going back to snowy mountains.

I got back home to the familiar perfect blue skies. I hadn’t seen much sun over the winter and was constantly skiing back to it the days it did shine. So the Andorran sun was a little harsh on the vampire like acquired skin.

My first impression was a little disappointing at first, where had the mountains gone?? I used to think we were closed in in Andorra but after experiencing la Grave this resembled the sea front.

Once I got  my skis back on and played around familiar places, I was suddenly reminded why my parents moved here so many years ago…

Just another part of paradise.

The novelty was the newly acquired approach and vision of the terrain. Enough skiing around man made resorts. Ski slopes no longer make the cut. The challenge is just not there.

Just like that stunning girl, fake pair of breasts, plastic nose, Botox, liposuction, far too much make up and a litre of bloody perfume. The raw beauty is gone, masked, modified, faked…almost raped in way.

And so had the mountains’ nature. Lifts, slopes, restaurants, bars…

It’s funny I should say that because this is where I learnt to ski, and without all of it, I surely would not be enjoy skiing today.

I just needed to get out of it all. Try and find what I experienced over the past four month, I needed to get back into the wild.

So I tried.

It was spring in Andorra and that means sun, hard pack, corn, slush and super glue. Not the best conditions,  neither the worst. But just as fun as any other kind of snow.

All I can say is that it was nice to be back.

A place called home from Oliver Kinchella on Vimeo.

Unforgettable

Glacier de La Meije

I’ve lived through many winters, to say that one was better than the other is wrong, they’re all special in their own way. But every so often you experience something unique.

To step out of the box, and go somewhere new, to brake free from old routines, old habits and familiar boundaries. To expand them…

The téléphérique of La Grave has to be the ultimate access lift in the world. La Meije one of the most majestic mountains on earth.

La Grave is full of individuals from the four corners of the world. All friendly and talented. All completely in love with this part of paradise, all willing to do whatever it takes to spend their time here.

There is a true magic to the place, One that grasps you so tight it is hard to escape. And when you finally do… all that is left is void.

La Grave

Here and there, the river’s pattern breaks up, occasionally forming pools where one can slow down and soak in the surroundings. Breathe and savour all its aromas, or at least most of them…

My river lead me deep into the french Alps. To a place that is more like a world within our world. Time seems to have stopped here in La Grave…

It’s a village full of character and characters. Steep and narrow streets, climb and wind between old houses, perched on the right ledge of La Romanche river, a trading route linking France to Italy controlled by alpine people called the Uceni during the Iron Age. The route was then developed by the Romans turning it into one of the main axes of communication back to Rome.

Streets being constantly covered in snow during the coldest months of winter, puts your balance at test. Overhanging snow and ice on the rooftops, lurk and fret, keeping your senses alert, ready to dodge any falling matter.

An extreme environment under the constant surveillance of the imposing and majestic Meije.

A Queen amongst queens. 3973m
La Meije

Life thrives here. Chamois constantly digging the snow searching for grass sprouts to graze on. Spontaneous close encounters with deer whilst skiing the forest. Hares suddenly shoot out  in a frenzied sprint, alerted by the presence of an intruding being. Alpine Chough soar then land on a near cliff ledge.

Chamoix

This is their home, these are her children, she guards them.

On the other hand…we are intruders.

She allows our presence but we must not abuse of her hospitality. Respect is vital to have her approval.

I can find no better words to describe her than those of local mountain guide and big mountain skier, Joe Vallone:

“This mountain speaks to you. She’ll tell you when you’ve done wrong right away. The mountain tells you where to go, where to turn, where to stop. She’ll only let you pass in certain methods at certain times. You just have to keep your eyes open and keep listening.She gets grumpy and has a harsh way of telling us sometimes…”

It’s a playground with consequences for those who underestimate it. Being humble is the key.

With these key aspects in mind, La Grave is a paradisiacal land for any skier who wants to get back in contact with nature, and rediscover themselves.

If you think you’re good, think twice.

I’ve improved many aspects of my skiing, and yet, feel more than ever before that there’s still much to improve. It’s a never-ending curve. Of that I have no doubt…

However, having said this, the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is to slow down, and take my time…

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 Continues….UNFORGETTALBE. Click here

The Start of it all

Skiing has always been part of my life.

Ever since I was able to stand up and keep balance, a pair of skis was strapped to my feet. I would be taken to the top of a slope by my mother and told to ski down to my father. Who would have thought that the blissful feeling of sliding on snow would become such an important part of my being.
I’ve been a racer as a kid, a snowboarder as a teen, to finally go back to my roots and switch back to skiing.
Having grown up amongst the beautiful mountains of Andorra, I’ve never really felt the need to go anywhere else to satisfy my first for snow and adrenaline. Just a few steps out my front door and there she was, ready to be slid all over.
Man is a feeble creature, always hungry, lust blinding his eyes, greed clouding his judgement, twisting his soul until all reason is lost. Wealth becomes more important than health. Man raped her…cutting and scaring the mountain. Stained. Mutilated into another ski resort. I’ve enjoyed it my self… I’m guilty of taking pleasure in such sadistic acts. The feeling is just too good to go without, the rush is too great to live without.
But if you’re able to clear the fog from your eyes, if you’re able to open your soul and allow spirits between man and nature reunite, you will realize that not all is lost, the beauty is still out there…
The question is… can you see it?
 
Continues…A NEW BEGGINING.Click here

A new begining

How did I end up here?

Was it always meant to be? A scenario written by some higher force, way out of our reach or comprehension that some call fate?

Or is it simply the succession of choices and actions that, with the passing of time, have led me to where I stand today?

Free will? Not really, if  it weren’t for the choices my parents made in my early ages I would definitely be somewhere else… and probably someone else in a way.

Maybe it lies somewhere in between…

Life flows like a river. Starts as a source, progressively picks up speed and force, carves its way through any obstacle it encounters and eventually, slows down to finally become one with the immensity of the oceans and seas.

You can either fight the current or follow its course, finding that occasionally, it branches out into different directions allowing you to choose a path to follow. Where it may lead you will always remain uncertain.

But hey, that’s the beauty of life, you never know what awaits around the corner…

Continues…LA GRAVE Click here