A Perfect Environment – http://www.artinthealgarve.com

School House, Olhao, Portugal – http://www.artinthealgarve.com

Taken from the second level of the School House, this shows the beautiful olive three that weaves its way up through one of the internal courtyards to the top of the school….where superb roof top views of Olhao are found. 


Although I believe creative juices can flow anywhere…..there is such a thing as A Perfect Environment – the sort of place that feeds all the senses and allows for total immersion into all things creative.      This definition applies to the School in Olhao, Portugal.

The connecting doorway from the School House to the Pool House.    This one simple opening, introduced last year,  has given the School a wonderful sense of rhythm and flow.    It is a classic example of how the principles of Feng Shui work. 

20-11-15 - 1 (176)

David Clark, who founded the school, was a man of vision.       When he first bought the buildings, they were nothing but a jumble of broken down spaces.       He wanted the School to feel like home to all who visited….and indeed it does.

Students are able to meander through cool, inviting spaces which lead into internal courtyards where displays of light and shadow on whitewashed walls are beckoning to be painted.

From the Pool House sitting room, doors open to one of the courtyards.   The further door leads into the main sitting/dining room of the School House. 

20-11-15 - 1 (170)The addition of a fully equipped studio is another reason why this School is by far one of the better venues I have worked in.

P1150901During this visit, we had the added delight of meeting Camilla (who since David’s death last year) runs the school with Margarida and her team in Portugal.

There were other new additions to the School this year.   Joanna, who organises breakfast and is in charge of housekeeping brought her beautiful, now nine month old twins, Rita and Andre to visit.

There are actually five females in this photograph…..(the fifth being Margarida’s expected baby).   Camilla brought her two beautiful daughters….it was a quick visit, but added much to the week. 

20-11-15 - 1 (108)Given that the School sits within the old town of Olhao – only minutes walk from the water front, shops, cafes, etc……it is a fantastic place for plein air painting.

One of the group painting in the alleyway behind the School. 

20-11-15 - 1 (145)In my next blogs I will talk about the ethos of my workshop and show some of the work produced by students in Olhao.    Also more about the people who help to make this place so special; the trip to Armona Island (just fifteen minutes away) and the fantastic fresh food and much more.

For now, I wish everyone a beautiful weekend, filled with magical hummingbirds.    There is no question that they were with us in Olhao:)


A Bientôt



28 thoughts on “A Perfect Environment – http://www.artinthealgarve.com

  1. Athena

    A beautiful weekend to you too Janet filled with dappled sunlight in courtyards. Thanks for the armchair travelling 😍

  2. Teagan Geneviene

    Welcome back Janet! And you return with a flourish! What a beautiful way for me to begin my “thriving Thursday.” I so enjoy your commentary and photos of this lovely place. You make me feel that I am there, and not headed to my dreaded workplace. Then you crwoned it all with the beautiful spring colored hummingbirds. The perfect touch. Have a thriving Thursday my friend. Hummingbird hugs. 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dear Teagan……thank you so much for the welcome back. It was a wonderful time….and such a special place. More about the workshop in my next blog. Hope you have enjoyed a lovely weekend….we have actually had hot weather, for us today…i.e. 80F – incredible. Janet. xx

  3. Elaine Giles

    Dear Janet
    So lovely to see your paintings and pictures of Margarida plus one and the new parts of the art school.
    Wish I had joined you all and look forward to seeing you soon!
    Hugs and love Elaine xx

  4. Jet Eliot

    Oh how lovely to see the art school, Janet. Just looking at the mellow colors, relaxed faces, open doorways, languid olive trees and vines…makes me feel so relaxed. It’s great to have you back online, and I am so very glad your adventure was a success. The hummingbirds are delightful.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, jet….thank you so much for your comment. I am quite sure you would find the art school a great place, totally conducive to creative thinking. Janet:)

  5. snowbird

    How lovely to have you and your magical hummingbirds back. I can’t imagine a more inspiring place to paint in, I would be transfixed, there is so much to look at, and I can feel the warmth from here. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more!xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      You would love it, and I believe Hubs would enjoy as well….plenty to enjoy as a non painter…..This was my third year at the School and I can’t wait to get back next year. It really is superb. It was lovely to read your blog today….one way or t’other we must meet up one of these days:)xxx

  6. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, thanks so much for the tour of the school and telling its history. What a lovely place to work. You’re a painter and are inspired by beauty and tranquility all around you. I’ve spent considerable time at Chicago’s Art Institute’s School of Art and have always found it restful but with an underlying excitement, electricity, and tingle that creativity among such devoted artists brings. So I enjoyed particularly the picture of the studio.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David….I have been thinking about you enjoying warmer days in Chicago….and I might add we have warmer days here in London. I have just posted more about the workshop….and yes you are so right – if an environment is conducive to the creative process – and of course art schools usually are, there is a sense of excitement and electricity and yet at the same time the joy of being in a place which is restful – not fragmented by daily life. I am off to Wales this weekend to the Magical Town of Crickadoon, and so again will think about you with your Welsh roots. Enjoy a creatively and restful weekend. Janet. 🙂

  7. Paul J. Stam

    Welcome back and thank you so much for letting me know you liked one of my posts. You are an encourager and an inspiration. Thanks again and Aloha – pjs/

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Paul.. Thank you so much for your lovely comment…I enjoy reading your posts. One of these days I plan to come to Hawaii to paint……I have a good friend there and an ongoing invitation….the only thing that prevents me is ‘time’ – our most precious commodity. Have a beautiful day…janet:)

  8. Mary

    A wonderful post Janet – your photographs make the experience and place real for us, loved seeing them. The bougainvillea draping up the white outdoor wall is spectacular. A beautiful place – those two little girls were precious!


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