We were a group of nine – three of whom had attended last year. One travelled all the way from Saint Helena Island, in the South Atlantic Ocean, – one of the most remote islands in the world! Jill brought with her slides from the Island and of course food for much interesting conversation.
We gathered for dinner on our first evening when we enjoyed superb food and lively conversation. The following morning after a delicious breakfast, we began our creative journey together.
This was the view from my bedroom window on the second level of the School House. I took photographs early each morning and then later in the evening.
Early Morning – 6.45 a.m.
After breakfast each one of us claimed a space in the studio, where we laid out our paints and brushes. This simple measure illuminates having to look for a particular brush or tube of paint…This frees us, allowing our minds to focus.
It’s important to note that there is a well equipped art shop at the School. A list of supplies is on the website. David/Margarida are happy to order items that are not listed.
Along with painting, we talk about opening up all of our senses….so that we are fully present in this wonderful place. We let go of old ideas and open up to a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes – shade and light.
Observation is key….and the awareness of all things being interconnected. The shadow play throughout the school is a wonderful example of interconnections. The light is exciting and dramatic, and changes by the minute…..
From day one we establish rhythms. Painting in the mornings until lunch at 1 p.m. where more lively conversation is enjoyed.
After lunch, I encourage everyone to do their own thing for a couple of hours…..but at all times to be observant. Sketch books play a huge part in the week….a place for written notes as well as images, and yes cameras also play an important role.
One of the elements that makes this venue so successful is that it accommodates larger groups and at the same time, there are plenty of places for privacy and always visual stimulation.
I love the colours and textures on this old building close to the school.
A charming alley behind the School House.
We reconvene at 4 p.m. sharing new insights and observations. At this time, I give another rapid watercolour demonstration
About 6.30 we clean up and prepare for a relaxing evening…..which on our second night was held at the O piteu restaurant just a few minutes walk from the school. Given that Olhao is the largest fishing port on the Algarve….the seafood is superb. More conversation with like minded people and of course always observing. What more could anyone want?
Walking around the town we see all sorts of nooks, crannies and alleyways….which I love and some of the cleanest pavements I have seen anywhere.
By the end of the second day we all agreed that it felt as if we had known one another for a long time…..
Tomorrow, more about the work that was achieved by one and all. http://www.artinthealgarve.com
The magical hummingbirds were working overtime:)