Out of the Blue

Mike Fitzharris tells Brian McAvera of his attraction to colour captured in the brilliance of an Irish summer or Spain’s Andalucía

Mike FitzHarris Tidal Movements 1991 oil on board 33 x 31cm

Brian McAvera: For the past twenty years, you have been living and working primarily in Andalucía in Spain, in the area between Marbella and Malaga. Irish artists have always been attracted to Spain, and in particular Andalucía, as with George Campbell or Mick Cullen. What was the attraction for you?

Mike Fitzharris: My first visit to the Mediterranean region was in 1968. From that time, I had a strong desire to live in a climate with many hours of sunshine and almost constant blue skies. I like looking at the colours against that blue. In the 1970s and ’80s, I spent many summers on the Greek islands and this reinforced my affection for the Mediterranean.

After exploring the Canary Islands in search of a home in the sun, I settled on Andalucía because of the ease of access. Eventually, I sourced a place on an elevated site with panoramic views over the landscape to the Mediterranean and the African coast. Early spring sees Andalucía carpeted with wildflowers, lupin and poppy. I guess you could say that I have ended up in an area that contains elements of many of the places where I have formerly lived.

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