It’s time to Open the Doorways to our minds so that we can adapt to our changing world.

capturing shadow play on courtyard steps in Olhao Portugal – watercolour.   Disappearing steps symbolise for me – the unknown….P1160782If ever there is a place that is conducive to exploring the creative process….it has been the school in Olhao, Portugal where I have been fortunate enough to teach for quite a few years.      A place I have come to think of as a second home….

P1150689Situated 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 has allowed those who have visited to completely immerse themselves into the creative process.

After being met by Nuno at Faro airport, 20 minutes later we enter the School house.    It is in this inviting  space that so many freshly cooked meals have been served and enjoyed ….all overseen by the beautiful Margarida and Joanna.   It has also been a place of many interesting conversations and much laughter:)P1120438Margarida looking up from one of the lower courtyards.P1170645What 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.

ImageThe School has given us this, a sense of harmony and cohesiveness.  

When a new doorway between the School and Pool houses was introduced several years ago there was an immediate sense of further flow and harmony.       Almost like taking a huge gasp of fresh air….

The doorway became a metaphor for opening up creative expression. 

 When teaching I often talk about how changing one tiny part of a painting, changes everything, and so it is true for the doorways of life – we simply have to find and open them.


It is now time to open the doorways of our minds.    Time to allow new thinking and creative expression to flow through previously blocked areas.    

Flowers for sale at the Saturday Market.    ImageAnd of course wonderful fresh fish………..ImageVisits to Armona Island, a fifteen minute boat ride from Olhao, were always very special.      I would like to spend more time on Armona Island. P1160130  

150 year old olive tree in main courtyard……a tree synonymous with he School. Image

Through the school I have met some wonderful people..and made lasting friendships.     I will always be grateful for the day that David Clark contacted me to see if I would be interested in being one of his tutors.    

Mostly I thank him for his vision which I believe will live on in ways that none of us is creative enough to know about at this time.   

I know that David’s legacy will continue through conversations, paintings, friendships and so much more. 

Thank you David, Camilla, Margarida, Joanna, Nuno (1) and Nuno (2) and I must not forget Carlos who opened up the doorway between the two buildings:) 

I hope to see you all soon in beautiful Olhao. 

Janet. :)X




37 thoughts on “It’s time to Open the Doorways to our minds so that we can adapt to our changing world.

  1. Teagan Geneviene

    Dear Janet… This place is like a wonderland to me! And your paintings are gorgeous, as always. Thank you so much for sharing this. Have a thriving Thursday. Mega hummingbird hugs. 🙂

      1. Teagan Geneviene

        LOL or maybe even for painting kakapos. 😀
        I think you may have given definition to something I’ve never been able to explain, when I’m simply unable to do novel writing. It’s not writers block, not lack of ideas. I already know what the story is. Yet if work or life is bothering me, I can’t write.
        You said “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.”
        I think that’s what it is for me — fragmentation. Now that it’s defined, maybe I can pull myself together. 🙂 Safe journey. More hugs.

  2. snowbird

    I just love the work you produce there, and I can see why, the place is utterly heavenly, exotic and vibrant. I bet you can’t wait to get

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Dina….I have just finished another course in London, and so am really looking forward to being in Portugal….it is such a special place. Hope all is well with you an that you and the furies enjoy a lovely weekend….Jante:)xxx

  3. olganm

    Thanks, Janet. This is definitely in my list of experiences I must try. That is if you don’t mind having somebody utterly useless at art (but I’m sure my writing could do with the inspiration)…

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      The School is good for everyone…no matter what level of art…and what creative discipline. I think you would love the atmosphere – a place which awakens all the senses. Thank you, Olga…and have a beautiful weekend…Janet. x

  4. Jet Eliot

    I know this sounds funny, but I just love it when you go to the Olhau school, Janet. The photos here are absolutely delightful, I love the colors and shapes, and subtleties like the olives in the upper balcony photo of Margarida. I love the photo of the bougainnvillea and the pool. Your wise words about the creative process are especially appreciated, and give me inspiration for my own creative process. I know it is going to be another wonderful adventure for you, and I am so happy about that.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jet…Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I am really looking forward to being at the School. As soon as I get in the taxi at Faro airport with dear Nuno the taxi driver, I feel as if I am coming home. I am always reminded of how important it is to set up a creative space so that it works….regardless of whether it’s a tiny studio, or a large school. I will think of you surrounded with nature and pursuing your writing. Janet:)

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much for re blogging this. I will be leaving for Portugal on Monday….At the moment preparing and doing last minute stuff here:) I always appreciate your support. Janet. x

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear friend and thank you so much for the re blog. Hope all is well in you world and that you are painting every day and enjoying your glorious gardens. Janet. 🙂

      1. moorezart

        Janet hello! What wonderful work and adventures you are having! Its always so inspiring to come visit you and your writing and art! You are so very welcome! I can’t resist blogging your positive and colorful work!

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