I was going to call this chapter, “Another New Year,” but that seemed pretty dull.  Besides, “The Godfather” was just on telly the other night and I loved Clemenza’s line, “Leave the gun.  Take the Cannoli.”   A perfect chapter title I thought...that has no connection whatsoever with the content.

I guess that “Another New Year’’ would be a bit more timely I suppose.  After all, it is early January as I write.  Whew, how many times have we said ''another new year?"  Well, for some of us, clearly more times than others. This year the Christmas holiday and New Years rolled through my part of the island like someone with narcoplexy.  Okay, that may not be fair to use to characterise the entire island, but for the inhabitant of Sol y Mar (that would be me), it was pretty accurate.  I did hear from quite a few friends and family members, but largely, the holidays just sort of slipped past.  Which can be a good thing sometimes.

And whilst the term ‘quiet’ did reign supreme here, this doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy.  The focus of my efforts have once again been on my art.  It has been like a giant serigraph festival here…with the minor exception that I really don’t have the space to properly set up for screen-printing and at times my screen supplier doesn’t seem to have the same sense of urgency I do.  But, it is Mallorca, so until I decide to produce my own screens, I think I will have to suffer through with the occasional delay.  To offset the space issue, I do seem to have several options. 

Option 1 is to use La Antigua – which is currently renter-less – as a studio.  This option would require me hauling all my art stuff out there and it would be just my luck to have someone rent the house again.  Option 2 would be to rent some studio space someplace nearer to Sol y Mar.  This would cut down on any travel time and it could be a good time financially to do that.  The economy on the island still isn’t all that great and the number of store-fronts that are vacant is pretty high.  Option 3 would be to just keep my sitting room divided into two spaces:  one for sitting and enjoying the vistas and the other for screen printing and painting.  I suppose there actually is another option, and that would be to stop doing art things and go back to more writing.  I will really need to figure out which option makes the most sense, but am sure I won’t do anything until after I return from the big holiday trip in a couple of weeks. This brings me to Richard Halliburton.  

I first wrote about Richard Halliburton in chapter 86 I think.  To recap a bit, when I was about 11 years old, I first encountered a book Halliburton had written.  He was sort of an adventurer/author, and his ‘Second Book of Marvels’ filled my mind with images of far away places that were full of intrigue and mystery.  I lost my book many years ago, but in the 1990’s, I bought a copy, and then several years ago, bought another one. 

In his book, Halliburton tells what he considered some of the man-made marvels of the world.  Whilst some of them are part of mythological legend, many of them are still with us today.  As a young lad, my mind soared with dreams of one day seeing them.  Amongst the marvels Halliburon wrote about were, the Great Pyramid, the semi-lost city of Petra, the Taj Mahal, the Potala in Lhasa, the Great Wall of China and in chapter 28, he wrote about Angkor Wat.  Largely because of this book, several years ago I went with friends and explored the wonders of Egypt and Petra, and next week I will go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia as part of the big holiday trip.  Needless to say, I will write about it.  Because I have no idea how good the technology will be where I am going, I will probably not try to do the typical chapters of “Letters from the Village” format, but instead will send you electronic post cards.  Watch your inboxes.

And now you are probably wondering about the pictures in this chapter.  As you will note, none of them are photographs.  As you may have surmised, this chapter only contains serigraphs.  These are some of the prints I have been making recently. 

I do like the serigraph process.  It combines a modicum of creativity and a dash of technicality; all blended together with several heaping amounts of patience, of course.  In the past, I have focused more on doing ‘one-off’ pictures, usually in either watercolour or acrylic.  But doing the serigraphs enables me to produce multiples of the same picture – that does assume that all of the multiples are good.  Of course, having multiples of the same pictures does raise the issue of what do I do with them. 

My daughter-in-law Nancy (who is an incredible illustrator by the way, in case you need a portrait or two) told me about a website called ETSY, where artists try to unload some of their work.  I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, but none-the-less, now some of my work is on ETSY at http://www.etsy.com/shop/jbrieley and I do want you to know that I am quite fine if you share this address with anyone you know who wants or needs some limited edition serigraphs from Mallorca. think…getting people to know that they are there is a bit more difficult.  So anytime you want to share the ETSY site address, please do. 

Okay, I have to stop writing now and get cracking on trying to figure out how much stuff I can pack in a carry-on bag for my holiday adventure.  I suppose the whole packing thing would be easier but I refuse to travel if I have to check baggage for fear that an airline will lose my stuff.  Clearly my packing exercise will require some serious prioritisation;  but rest assured, I will not be taking the cannoli. 


Cathedral of Palma


Iglesia de RCNP


Sta. Catalina de Sena


La Puerta

Puesto del Sol

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, James B. Rieley