The Art School in Olhao – Portugal – – (1)

The Art School in Olhao, is a place totally conducive to exploring the creative process.    Having painted in different venues around the world,  I find it to be one of the best I have encountered.

I will write several blogs about the overall experience during the next week, however I will begin with a tour of the school which sits in the historic heart of Olhao on the Algarve in Portugal. 

The school is made up of two houses, The School House and The Pool House,  both sympathetically renovated by David Clarke (AKA Bazil) – founder of the school.

After entering the front door of The School House, you find a large comfortable, sitting/dining room, well appointed for groups.


A large kitchen is off to the left where the most delicious food is prepared by Margarida who resembles Frida Karla.     In the mornings breakfast is laid out by Joanna…..and fresh fruit and drinks are available throughout.

Both houses are on multi levels….the School House with eight bedrooms (en-suite) can comfortably accommodate up to 16 people, and the Pool House, with four bedrooms (en-suite) can sleep up to nine.

From the sitting/dining room you move through into two internal courtyards where there is a beautiful one hundred and fifty year old olive tree that meanders up through the different levels of the school to the top of the building.


There is an excellent studio on the ground level….next to the courtyards.


Internal and outside stairs meander up to the different levels….culminating on the roof where there is a small swimming pool, and superb views of The Pool House next door and surrounding rooftops.

At this level there is a panoramic view of the town with its Moorish style houses


This photograph looks down from the top of the School House into part of the courtyard with swimming pool in The Pool House next door.


I love the different levels, shapes and forms that are revealed as you move through the buildings.


Another great plus for the school is that it is within five minutes walking distance of everything, including the Lagoon, fish market, shops, restaurants, cafes, and a super market.    The only time we used an engine was when we took the boat out to beautiful Armona, an island which is part of the Ria Formosa National Park.  

The alley next to the school.     Olhao is filled with very interesting alley ways, and it is my hope to do a series of paintings based on them.


As a group we connected very well – A case of like minded people enjoying one another’s company and exploring all aspects of creative being and thinking.   Much more to come on this subject.   

Without any doubt, the magical hummingbirds were surrounding us on this trip.


A Bientôt

34 thoughts on “The Art School in Olhao – Portugal – – (1)

  1. Jayanthi

    Dear Janet, just to again say thank you for a super inspiring week in Olhao – you are so generous and giving with your help – I loved it all. Wonderful!
    Love, Jayanthi

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Jayanthi….Your comment makes me very happy. I have returned filled with new energy and have to say that the creative juices are flowing:) Remember, if you come to London, and have the time, you must visit…meanwhile, keep making delicious and beautiful paintings. Janet. x

  2. Tony

    Hi Janet,
    I’m so glad It’s been a good week for you and the group. Your comment “The only time we used an ENGINE was when we took the boat out” Thar epitomises what I know to be your views on the general un-necessity for cars! looking forward to th forthcoming posts and images

  3. Jet Eliot

    The school looks wonderful and very conducive to creativity and spiritual freedom. Sounds like you had another successful event, Janet, I am so glad for you. 😀

  4. Mary

    Wow Janet every photograph is wonderful, a painting waiting to happen – gorgeous scenery. Sounds like your session was a great success!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Mary, thank you so much….It’s hard not to get a good photograph when in such a lovely place. I will be writing quite a bit more about the experience. Hope you are well and creating beautiful paintings. Janet:)

  5. olganm

    Nice to see the place, Janet. It’s beautiful and looks very inspiring. Great light, too. I was wondering how it had all gone. Looking forward to the posts!

  6. Laine Anne Theodore

    I haven’t seen you in the reader lately, Janet. This is a wonderful post! I have a blog called People and Places. It’s only meant for re-blogging interesting things about the world. I’ve only begun but am hoping it will become a source of information to me. I happily will be re-blogging these posts.

  7. teagan geneviene

    Wow…. Janet, this is so different from anything I’ve ever known… it feels like something out of a fantasy novel. What an amazing place! Thanks for all the photos and your beautiful descriptions. And then you rounded it off with a glorious hummingbird. Mega-hugs. 🙂

    1. janet weight reed

      Good morning Teagan…so glad you are enjoying…..this is a place which inspires painters, writers, and all other creatives…..on top of the interest and beauty of the place, the local people are lovely as is the food:) Hope you have a lovely day and that the creative juices are flowing….x

  8. jjspina

    Wow, these photos are beautiful. I have been to Portugal and visited the Algarve. My grandparents came from Medeira Portugal and they, along with my parents, visited Portugal many times. Lovely place to step back in time! Love it! Love the gorgeous humming birds too!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Yes, Portugal is a beautiful country with so many different aspects to it. I can’t wait to return to Olhao late June and again next April. The School and surrounds inspire and energise me:) Thank you for the comment and hope you enjoy a lovely week ahead. Janet.

  9. merryfairy

    Love it, love it, love it! Thank you, Janet for introducing this wonderful place to us! Thank you for meeting you with this post as my first wander into your site!


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