capturing shadow play on courtyard steps – Olhao Portugal – watercolour hit://www.artinthealgarve.comIf ever there is a place conducive for exploring the creative process….it’s the school in Olhao, Portugal. http://www.artinthealgarve.comSituated in the middle of the old fishing town of Olhao, and just a few minutes walk from the waterfront, market, shops, cafes, restaurant, etc. this school allows those who visit to completely immerse themselves into the creative process.
After being picked up at Faro Airport by Nuno the taxi driver, twenty minutes later, we enter the School house to find a very relaxed dining/sitting room area…It is in this inviting space that we receive delicious freshly cooked food from the superb kitchen….all overseen by the wonderful Margarida. It is also a place of many interesting conversations.I took this photograph of Margarida last year. I was leaning over one of the upper balconies, as Margarida posed in one of the lower courtyards.What is it that makes a place conducive to the creative process?
I believe there needs to be a sense of harmony and cohesiveness. I find that when people are running all over the place, never settling…there is fragmentation….which in itself can destroy the flow of creative thought and production.
The studio – which sits next to the external courtyards – allowing for a free flow of work regardless of weather or time of day. Situated on several different levels, attractive accommodation is found throughout the building. There are plenty of places to enjoy the company of others, and at the same time all sorts of private nooks and crannies where people can go off on their own to paint, write, or simply be.
Looking down into the Pool House courtyard which is connected to the School House. Last year a doorway between both buildings was introduced allowing further free flow throughout the school. There is also a small pool on the roof of the School House. There are countless sketching and photographic opportunities within minutes of the School. Fish and vegetable markets are housed in two large buildings on the waterfront. On Saturday mornings, there is a vibrant market filled with local produce and the wonderful faces of farmers, fishermen and locals.
Flowers for sale at the Saturday Market. And of course wonderful fresh fish………..During the stay, a visit to Armona, one of the beautiful outlying islands is always a treat. This is a fifteen minute boat ride away….. an opportunity for more sketching, or swimming, and of course always more good food. I take a techno break when away….allowing me to focus fully on the creative process, and although technology is always available, for the most part I feel removed from all the interruptions of daily life – all of which is conducive to creative living.
Looking down through the one hundred and fifty year old olive tree into one of the ground level courtyards.
I plan to post one more time next week…..and then will leave on the 18th of April.
Meanwhile, I leave you today with a magical hummingbird….soaring above all the madness in the world….focusing on curiosity, observation and of course the creative process.