The Art School in Olhao, http://www.artinthealgarve.com 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.