My second week in Portugal

The second week began with the arrival of my good friend the artist Bonnie Halsey Dutton      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 –    Bonnie Halsey-Dutton 2018 4x6   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. ST Group with JanetTogether 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.

Pooks Hill Lodge – – Belize. 20286788_1650204498324154_7558641117066166373_oA lovely place to stay…..right in the midst of Mother Nature’s bounty. 13147623_1204718832872725_2256505133500364186_o

Vicki Snaddon – at the farm in Portugal – a place where I could spend much time painting. 20180930_112814The light was so lovely. 20180929_101923After 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 exhibition20180929_185745The 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.       42887279_1178263239017684_658336809083731968_nSunday 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. 20180930_193206In 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. 30-EAFT-1200x751


26247423877_70a09eb361_b40967641792_585beb771d_bThis picture of my group in front of one of the panels, gives a better idea of the scale.

20180923_174418After 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

20181005_103332A Bientôt

37 thoughts on “My second week in Portugal

  1. Bushka

    Excellent! Great images. Most cheerful post. So joyful. Must have been wonderful meeting up with Bonnie again. She looks stunning. Lovely. Hugs. ❤️

  2. Ben Aqiba

    Hi Janet,

    you are real artist. Pictures are amazing. I like that pictures in cowboy style, maybe because Western movies are my favorite movies. Simple wonderful

  3. Vera Komnig

    Oh, I am so happy that I was allowed to travel with you through Portugal. I have visited Olhao myself and I love it and the location of your friend Vicki Snaddon at the farm in Portugal is magic! Like in fairy tales. Enchanting. Glorious. thanks for the great photos and travel reports, my dear sister in art. ❤

  4. snowbird

    That wading bird at the end…sighs…such a talented gal!
    Bonnie and Clyde..way to go…just loved this post, your travels and your artist friends. You live and relish life.
    Oh, those huts remind me of Bali, just wonderful! Loved all the pics, especially of you…there in your fab hummingbird scarf! Maybe you just come to me for a few days this winter? Stay here…A plan maybe? You could meet all the guys!xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Dina, Oh yes, Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie grew up in Spearfish S. Dakota. It is real cowboy country. The idea of coming to you for a few days is lovely….let’s see how timing goes. Already I can see that the next few months will be full on which I know is true for you in many ways:) Sending lots of hummingbird hugs. Janet xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Andrea…yes it’s been a very creative time/year and I have enjoyed every single minute of it. I am now off to meet good friends visiting London from Seattle. Hope all’s well with you..will be catching up with blogs soon. Janet 🙂

  5. davidjrogersftw

    Dear Janet, for most creative artists their work is a lonely, executed-privately existence, but the wonder of your creative life are the friendships you have in it. Seems that you’re an outgoing person with what the psychologists call a strong “need for affiliation.” That stimulates you so powerfully and goes right to your creative centers. I realize, following you, that I probably write alone too much and should probably teach another course and could use a sprinkling of your come-join-me disposition in my work life. I also want to mention that Diana, my daughter Alice and her family, and I will be taking a vacation in Portugal and Spain. You mention our American Dakotas. Such wild, beautiful in a special way, country that is, I like your friend from there..

    Best wishes from the growing colder by the day, leaves in the trees on fire with all the colors an artist could want midwest. David

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, You are so right to say that I have many wonderful friendships around the world, however, what isn’t clear to people is that when I am not travelling or working with others, for the most part my life is very solitary, which I love. Maybe I love both. When I am working in my studio/flat in London – it’s quite common for me not to go anywhere in certainly days and sometimes weeks. The only communication is through the internet. I turn my phones off 24/7 – check them for messages at the end of the day. I have everything delivered so that I don’t need to go to shops….all of which allows me to fully be present and concentrate on my work. After a period of total solitude it is lovely to then spend a few days in the company of others. Teaching for me is very special because I find that it not only connects me with so many others but it keeps me on my toes. I learn so much from the people who attend my courses.

      When are you planning the family vacation to Portugal/Spain? How exciting is that and who knows maybe our paths will cross.

      I love the Dakotas and that whole part of America which is like watching cowboy movies to me, something I thoroughly enjoyed in post war Britain. It all seemed so incredible and then when I actually visited there, I realised it is! Bonnie is a dear friend and fellow artist, and a very talented one at that – we have always kept in contact no matter where we are living.

      We have had the warmest summer ever, followed by the most beautiful autumn and now it looks like we are going to get an blast from the Arctic at the end of this week, and so it is definitely batten down the hatches time.

      My good news is that daughter Christie will be here for five days after Christmas which I am so happy about….at the moment she is on a business trip in Chicago:) My very best wishes to you, Diana and the family and do keep warm. Janet 🙂

  6. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, dear friend, I so enjoyed reading about your work habits and your obviously strong need for privacy and seclusion when you are painting. I thought as much since I am much the same in this as I am with you in so many ways. You remind me of Dickens railing against people who wanted to come over “for just a few minutes,” just long enough he thought to ruin his work day. Even the thought that there is a one percent chance that someone will stop by is enough to derail me if I am–or you are, I bet–IN THE GROOVE. (What a place to be). There is nothing in the world of work that so pleases me–you’re probably exactly the same–as turning the page of my calendar and seeing that for one whole week I have no appointments, no friends to see, nothing but luscious work for me.

    I think some day–maybe soon–I would like to quote that section on your seclusion routines if you will permit me to..

    Yes, I forgot you were a cowgirl. Whoopee-tie-yo-ya.. “Frontier Days” rodeo is held in Cheyenne Wyoming every year–a few days when all the great bronco busters in the world get together to compete and see who is the best. When I was seventeen and eighteen I left home for adventure and I rode the rails–freight trains–across the west, living off the land, sleeping in hobo camps, arriving at Frontier Days. I was filthy from bumming around and had long cowboy like hair and had a pack slung across my back. As I walked down a street and old man sitting on a bench with other old men called to me, “Howdy cowboy.” I thought that was the coolest thing in the world and replied, “Howdy old-timer.” Irreplaceable memory of a city boy.

    Our trip is planned for December, the only time my daughter’s family is free. I’m so pleased that your weather was so nice. I like you so much that the thought that you were happy then makes me happy too, But yes, winter is ever there waiting for autumn in its splendor to beat it, concocting ways to chill us as mercilessly as it wishes, and here at least, to see how much snow it can dump on us (As you know, winter here in the midwest has a terrible reputation.)

    I wish you the serenest time with Christie around Christmas–very nice.

    Thank you for your kind regards for my family..
    Best wishes.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      What a wonderful response and yes please do feel free to use anything i have written on seclusion and routines….and yes, like you when I look at my diary and have a completely free period ahead (which I do right now) it’s fabulous 🙂
      December in Portugal/Spain can be fantastic. About 65 -70 degrees and sunshine. Fingers crossed.

      So interesting that you should bring up Charles Dickens, because I have just been writing about him. It turns out that he played two very important parts in my life! Sounds rather presumptuous, but let me explain. I am doing quite a bit of personal research because of my book. At my birth on 21st January 1946, I was given (as were other babies born that day) a silver egg cup, which I still have with me, inscribed with the words – ‘News Chronicle, Centenary, January 21st 1946, Janet Weight’ On my 70th birthday a friend gave me as a gift the actual News Chronicle newspaper printed that day. In reading about their centenary and all that had transpired during the previous 100 years from 1846 – 1946 – it turns out that Charles Dickens was the founder of the paper. It also transpires that where I went to art college in Rochester Kent, (Dickens country) Charles Dickens writing house was in the garden of the art school…’s still there. Thought you might find that interesting.

      Your story about riding the rails-freight-trains is really fascinating. I have read accounts of this and seen some movies where it has been depicted… about adventure!

      Isn’t it wonderful to exchange theses stories….and now i can enjoy the prospect of uninterrupted work for several weeks. I do have a portrait commission this weekend, but it’s someone I have always wanted to paint….and so this is good.

      janet 🙂

  7. davidjrogersftw

    Thank you for your permission to quote you from your post. The connections in your life with Dickens are neat. I’ve read a biography of Dickens and remember that he founded that paper, What was the name of your college in Rochester Kent–just curious. We are great fans of Dickens in my family. What a wonderful genius: the range of characters, the plots,the writing style which awes anyone with any pretensions of writing. I think it’s revealing that nowadays many writers believe they need a MFA or some credential like that to write adequately when so many of the greatest writers, like Dickens, had a minimal formal education..

    Yes, I think we have a wonderful correspondence going on, but now it’s to work for you and me. Good luck on your commission.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Briefly, name of college in Rochester was then The Medway College of Arts – now University of the Creative Arts. The Dickens ‘Swiss Chalet’ writing house is in the grounds of the original school where I went at EastGate, Rochester. If you google is I am sure pictures will come up. I spent many a happy hour sitting in that garden on the steps of the Chalet. May our collective creative juices flow….:)

  8. ShimonZ

    The watercolor is so delightful. As for the photos, your ride, and the second week as we see it here, How wonderful for that to be one’s work. I can sense the elevation and the joy. xxx

      1. Wm. Allen

        I can certainly understand why you go twice a year. I wouldn’t be surprised if I returned sometime. It is always high on the list, but this year we went to Halifax and to Greece.

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