Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Escodas extended a warm welcome to Barcelona and their factory in Sabadell where the world's finest artist brushes are produced. The people, the food, the culture, the music, Gaudi -- wow, what an experience! I had wonderful guides around the city in Angela Barbi of Enjoy Painting Catalonia fame, and Anna Morales Puigcerver, a cyber-friend artist I've been wanting to meet for a few years.

The highlight, of course, was the tour of Escoda Sabatés, S.A. which was fascinating. I've always wondered how a first class brush is made, and I observed the process from start to finish. Many of the artisans have been at Escoda for decades, and their skill is as impressive as the product. Most of the machinery was designed long ago by Josep Escoda himself, and is still in use today. But it's talented hands in concert with technology that make it all come together, and every time I pick up an Escoda I'll be thinking of these dedicated people.

My signature series of five brushes is not available quite yet, but they presented me with a mock-up of one of the packages. I also got a preview of the new catalog which will feature pages devoted to Alvaro Castagnet, Charles Reid, Joseph Zbukvic, and myself. This recognition has given me a new confidence, and I'm ready to embark on bigger and bolder watercolor adventures. More details to follow regarding the availability of my series.

I will be returning to Barcelona and Sabadell, sooner rather than later, and also am planning a workshop there through EPC. Actually, I have no choice -- a drink from the fabled Font de Canaletes on La Rambla demands it!

Si bebes agua de la fuente de Canaletes, te enamorarás todavía más de Barcelona y no importa lo lejos que vayas, volverás otra vez'. (see last pic)

A huge thank you once again to Ricard Escoda and family, Angela Barbi, Tom Dix of Global Art Materials, Inc., and everyone who made me feel so at home.

(posted from the Explorer of the Seas, somewhere in the Atlantic. See you in 10 days!)


Enjoy Painting Catalonia said...

Nick, what a memorable account of your visit to Barcelona! It fills our hearts with joy to see how you enjoyed the city, the architecture, our food and most of all, your visit to the Escoda factory!

We all feel very proud to have shared those days with you: the Escoda family, Anna Morales, myself, and all those watercolour friends who couldn't be there however much they wanted to.

Your Hispacuarela friends, Dolors Barberan, Juankar Cardesin, Victor Retuerto, myself and Enjoy Painting Catalonia Art Courses welcome you back very soon. Even Gaudi wants you back!

Abrazos amigo!!

Angela Barbi

Enjoy Painting Catalonia said...

Nick, que estupendo relato de tu visita a Barcelona! Nos llena los corazones de alegría ver cómo disfrutaste de la ciudad, la arquitectura, la comida y sobre todo, tu visita a la fábrica de Escoda!

Nos sentimos muy orgullosos de haber compartido contigo estos días: la familia Escoda, Anna Morales, yo misma, y todos los acuarelistas que no pudieron verte a pesar de intentarlo.

Tus amigos de Hispacuarela, Dolors Barberan, Juankar Cardesin, Victor Retuerto, Nieves, yo misma y Enjoy Painting Catalonia Art Courses te damos una cálida bienvenida a tu próximo regreso en breve. Incluso Gaudi está contento de que vuelvas!

Abrazos amigo!!

Angela Barbi

Nes said...

Esto ha sido de sobresaliente! A disfrutar de nuevo! Geniales las fotos

Elaine Callahan said...

Nick, wow, very exciting!

Congratulations. I look forward to checking out your brush series.

Barcelona is one of my favorite cities. Loved taking a trip vicariously through your photos. Beautiful!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks for sharing the pics; looking forward to seeing some of those Gaudi influences in your future paintings - and congrats getting your own set of Escoda brushes named after you :) I have one brush - very lovely but rarely used (I am too rough on brushes to ruin a good one! ha ha). Have to ask: Did you see Vicki or Christina while you were in Barcelona (or is that better left unsaid)?

Nancy Lee said...

What a wonderful trip - gorgeous (!!!!!) city with great friends and the honor of being sponsored by the Escoda family. Looking forward to your new adventures in watercolor and your new, signature brushes!

Shubhankar Adhikari said...

Great post Nicholas.

Annaquarel.les said...

I'm glad my dear friend Dolors Barberán told me about your visit. A shame she couldn't join us. We missed so many dear friends although you could at least say hello to some of them.
We are happy to hear you had such a wonderful time with us. As Angela has pointed out, we feel very proud to have shared those days with you. You are not only a talented artist but also a wonderful person.
Thank you for your interesting report about your visit to Escoda factory. We will be looking forward to your new signature brushes.

There’s no doubt that Barcelona cast a spell on you. You drank water from Canaletes fountain. You are bound to come back because all your friends are looking forward to seeing you soon.

Una forta abraçada amic !! / Un fuerte abrazo amigo !!

Anna Morales Puigcerver

Nick said...

Angela - I have you to thank for so much, and I look forward to returning to Spain as an official Escoda artist and a workshop in Barcelona with EPC. Abrazos!!!

Nieves - sorry to have missed you, but I'm sure we'll cross paths one of these days - I'd love to visit Bilbao.

Elaine - anyone with a camera will have success snapping photos in that city. The brush series will be available very soon, just working out a few details - more here on the blog, my website, Facebook, and the Escoda site. Gracias

Rhonda - I'm starting a big new BCN painting today, hope it comes together. I hope you'll consider some more Escodas, they are the best brush made and I now believe they can make anyone a better painter. (and I need all the help I can get) Thanks for stopping by

Nancy - hope I'll see you around here soon, and I just might have an extra I can part with :)

Shubhankar - nice to meet you, and I'll be over to check out your blog soon. Just got home from a vacation after the Barcelona trip, catching up

Anna - you made the experience that much better, and what a thrill to talk with my friends Juankar, Nieves, Victor, and Dolors on the telephone. Thanks also for the tour that day, part of the facade of the music palace will feature in a new painting. And I'm heeding the fountain's call, back soon..hasta luego querida amiga!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nic,

The second to last photo that apears to be a asian lady sleeping, is this a billboard?

Are you planning on using that for inspiration for a painting? If not do you mind if I do?

Congrats on the endorsement.
Dude thats awesome.

Jordà Vitó said...


Nick said...

Paul - it was some kind of advertisement up on a balcony just off the Rambla. Glad you like the shot, and yes it might find its way into a painting one of these days..I figure it's all fair game. Go to Barcelona, endless photographic opportunities and inspiration!

Jorda - hola y gracias