The second week began with the arrival of my good friend the artist Bonnie Halsey Dutton http://www.bonniehalseydutton.com Bonnie, who had travelled from the Black Hills of South Dakota with her group, was to give the next weeks course at the School in Olhao.
Bonnie Halsey Dutton – artist – http://www.bonniehalseydutton.com During the thirty years I have known Bonnie we have shared many experiences and on occasion have worked together. Extremely talented and organised she always does what she says she will do – something I really appreciate. Next year she will be running a workshop in the Black Hills of S. Dakota. I will write more about this at a later date.
Bonnie’s group in Olhao. Interestingly I had met at least one of the group when I visited and worked in Spearfish, S. Dakota about 20 years ago! Small world. Together with Bonnie in Deadwood, S. Dakota – 1998. Just about to hold up the local bank!
After a day of rest another artist friend, Vicki Snaddon arrived at the School to take me back to her farm, about an hour and half drive north of Olhao.
Although I stopped driving 25 years ago when I returned to Europe, sometimes I enjoy being a passenger in new territory, as was the case this day. So much to see.
Being in the lovely and private setting of the farm gave us the opportunity to relax and talk….about art, life in general, and of course Pooks Hill Lodge where hummingbirds abound and where Vicki spends half her year. http://www.pookshilllodge.com
Pooks Hill Lodge – http://www.pookshilllodge.com – Belize. A lovely place to stay…..right in the midst of Mother Nature’s bounty.
Vicki Snaddon – at the farm in Portugal – a place where I could spend much time painting. The light was so lovely. After a morning of sketching, the following afternoon we drove to the Marina de Lagos Art Academy for an exhibition.
When in Portugal, Vicki goes to the Academy every week for life drawing sessions, given by artist, Kasia Wrona, who I met and liked very much.
A great picture of Kasia and Vicki at the exhibitionThe work on display was by photographer, Jacek Ulinski (to the right of the picture). The Marina is in the background….All in all a very smart space, a very different vibe from the the School in Olhao. Sunday we drove back to Olhao just in time to join Bonnie and her group for the jazz session at Cafe Cantaloupe where we enjoyed Miguelo Delgado Motu Cordis. What a great jazz venue this is. In my first ‘overview’ blog about the trip, I showed my group in front of a black and white mural which is on the side of the local super market. It depicts the hard working fishermen and women who inhabit Olhao – a working fishing town.
The following are better pictures of some of the panels…..Unfortunately because of the way it is set up I can’t take the whole mural in one image. I am trying to find out who the artist is.
This picture of my group in front of one of the panels, gives a better idea of the scale.
After another day of relaxation and sketching, it was time to return to London.
Portugal, and especially Olhao, have become very special to me. It never ceases to inspire.
Somewhat different from hummingbirds, this is the kind of wildlife that abounds in the Ria Formosa National Park.…close to Olhao. – watercolour