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.
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.
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.
During 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.
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.
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:)