The city of Melilla is a treasure unknown to many people even in Spain. Its isolated location in the North African coast, surrounded by Morocco, makes the access to the place not easy. Nevertheless it is well worth a visit: it developed from one of the rock castles that mark out the Mediterranean shoreline at regular intervals. Many discover to their surprise that it contains one of the best art nouveau architectural ensembles in the whole Spanish soil, and its recently restored bulwarks compose a complete history of fort architecture through the centuries.
Melilla is also home to an enthusiastic group of sketchers, and I have been honoured to attend their first formal meeting last saturday, 11st of June. Melilla is just a 40 min flight from Málaga so there is hardly any time for a short drawing inside the plane. The event had been planned since long ago by Francis Alemany, along with Carlos Baeza and Juan Judel, and it was a success: around 20 people gathered inside the thick walls of Melilla la Vieja, overlooking the sea and overflown by noisy seagulls. I particularly fell in love with this corner above a cliff with the most delightful urban lighthouse I have seen.
In the afternoon we had an urban sketching workshop. I had the chance to fill an accordion sketchbook that you can see here. It was a big pleasure to draw with this group of friendly and hospitable people. I am sure we will hear from them again soon!