Art in the Algarve 2017 – Overview –

Another beautiful stay at the School in Alhao Portugal –         One week of sketching and writing on my own and a second week of tutoring a lovely group.

The group numbered fifteen and represented several different countries, UK, Canada, Cyprus, France and Ireland.

Here we are about to enjoy one of Margarida’s wonderful freshly cooked meals. 20-11-15 - 1 (972)I have written several blogs about the School and how conducive it is to the creative process.     David Clarke, founder of the School clearly understood what was needed.   He was a man of vision, and I for one will always be grateful for his gift to artists.

Three of the group working in one of the internal courtyards. 20-11-15 - 1 (981)Somewhat like the Tardis the outside doesn’t give away its many different levels, rooms, studio, and courtyards.

There is much to observe within the boundaries of the School.      The shadow play alone is magical.

150 year old olive tree in one of the School’s courtyards – producing exquisite shadow play. 20-11-15 - 1 (849)

20-11-15 - 1 (851)Given that the School sits in the middle of the old town of Olhao, which is a working fishing town – it is not necessary to get into a car during the entire week.   Everything one could need is within minute’s walking distance…..and for many sketching and painting around the town is an endless source of interest and inspiration

One of the many alley ways of Olhao…..20-11-15 - 1 (1056)Olhao history is long and fascinating…..Dating back to Roman times, with a clear influence from the Moors and Northern Africa, (400 miles away)     Much of the town is in need of restoration…however, this gives it a special kind of charm.  It is not the usual golf course, commercial touristy Algarve that we tend to see on advertisements….it is quite unique and very ‘earthy’.

Alleyway behind the School. 20-11-15 - 1 (145)Two of the many old doors that can be seen throughout the town…..along with decorative tiles ImageMarry the character of the town with the fish markets, busy fishing port and the beautiful Barrier Islands which are just fifteen minutes away, part of the Ria Formosa National Park, and it soon becomes apparent that there is much to explore, observe and paint.

Fish Market just a minutes walk from School  –olhao market

As is custom we were taken by Nuno and his lovely dog to Armona Island (10 minute  boat road) for a day’s painting and lunch at the Armona 4 Restaurant.   Armona is one of the Barrier Islands offering  beautiful beaches and given that there are no cars on the Island a respite from our busy world.

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Children playing with shells on Armona….20-11-15 - 1 (913)

One of Armona’s beaches…..magic

A mental image I am left with from this year was of one of the group floating in the small roof pool as a stork flew directly over her.       There was definitely magic in the air…..20-11-15 - 1 (832)Storks that nesting in Olhao. Image

Along with examples of the Group’s work, plus an outline of how the day/week is structured – in my next blog I will share more pictures of the Group sketching and painting in and around the School.

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During this visit and my short trip to Cardiff just before leaving for Portugal….Six Degrees of Separation were very much in play….in other words the magical hummingbirds were indeed weaving their magic.    More about this in my next blogs.

On that note, I can’t resist but to leave you with two of those magical little creatures…..


A bientôt





37 thoughts on “Art in the Algarve 2017 – Overview –

  1. Bushka

    Idyllic!!! From the look and sound of the place…..Clearly a super place for Creative Expression in all its forms…..Good to have you back. Hummingbird Hugs! ❤

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much Bushka….it is a wonderful School and place to be – certainly conducive to creativity. I will be catching up with yours and other blogs this weekend….Janet 🙂 xx

  2. Writing to Freedom

    This looks and sounds like a wonderful setting to paint, play and explore. The interplay of shadow and light is fascinating to try to capture with photos, words or painting. Or maybe a metaphor for living. Thanks for sharing Janet.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Brad…lovely to receive your comment…and yes the interplay of shadow and light – a metaphor for living…I like that one very much 🙂 It’s a very special place that I look forward to going to each year…..looks like next year I will go in April and September….Will be catching up with blogs over the weekend. Janet 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Margaret…yes a super place to paint and as you say be with other creatives…I think you would love it. Thanks for your kind words about the hummers:) I will be catching up with yours and other blogs this weekend….At a quick glance I can see that you have been very productive. Janet 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Sorry to have missed you….it’s amazing how the time disappears….next year I will be there in April and September and so we must make plans….Janet. 🙂

  3. Mary

    I missed this wonderful post Janet – wasn’t in my Reader, so I un-followed and re-followed again. The pictures are so great, everyone seems to really be enjoying themselves and the place. I see in the first shot the hats on the wall at the end of the table, would make for a wonderful painting – actually many elements in all your photographs would be wonderful subjects. Loved the post – great creative and relaxing atmosphere Janet. Welcome home!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dear Mary….as you can see I am still catching up with blogs etc….and yes I did confirm your re-follow. It is a place so conducive to the creative process…and one I always enjoy going to. Thank you so much for your lovely comment….and hope you enjoying a day filled with creativity…Janet 🙂

  4. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, A lovely, lovely post and a lovely, lovely place. I feel Diana and I must visit it. I enjoy your hummingbirds of course, also lovely. I’m writing a story about a woman artist and before i knew it I was writing that her signature were hummingbirds. See what you’ve done. You’ve crept into my imagination. Fond wishes.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi David….still catching up and like a lovely desert am leaving your posts til last to respond to 🙂 It would be wonderful if you and Diana were to come to the School. I think it’s a place you would really enjoy. Next year I will be there in April and September…..and I know that Diana will be retired by then……. I can’t wait to read your book about the hummingbird artist…love it. Thanks as always for the comment. Janet 🙂

  5. snowbird

    I can see the magic!!! Oh….those little hummers are utterly enchanting, among your best I think. A glorious place, without a doubt. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more. Good to have you back, I missed


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