The Magic Valley

Camorritos Drawing, Ben Curtis

This is a magic valley, high in the Sierra above Madrid. The peaks behind are called ‘Los Siete Picos’, the farm in the foreground is the Finca Ecológica Río Pradillo, a biodynamic farm where they produce organic bread, cheese, butter, and vegetables. The place is Camorritos, above the town of Cercedilla. It feels more like Switzerland than Spain. Green pastures, grazing cows, pine covered slopes.

I sat here for about 2 hours making this drawing in the warm January sun, with a couple of friends next to me playing the guitar and singing. Lovely Spanish songs like Coque Malla’s Berlín

I made the drawing very, very slowly. A meditation. Normally I’d be rushing off into those woods behind the farm, for once I stopped to really look at them – both options are wonderful!

There’s an old single-track, two carriage train that rattles around this mountain bowl on its way up to Puerta de Navacerrada and Cotos, at the top of the Sierra. You hear it every hour or so, sounding its horn at level crossings in the village, then its iron-on-rails cacophony tumbles occasionally down the slopes as it heads around the mountains. Then it’s gone, into valleys beyond, and silence is back again.

2 thoughts on “The Magic Valley

  1. Really like this.
    Van Gogh added little trains in the distance in his works from French countryside.
    Adelante, Ben.


    1. Thank you Carlos. Van Gogh’s drawings are incredible. I have a catalogue from an exhibition of just his drawings. Pure inspiration!


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