Another excellent week at the School in Olhao Portugal…

For those who have followed my blog they will have seen mention of the Faulty Towers element to the School in Olhao.       When I say this I mean it in a very positive way.    The School and all who work to keep it running are wonderful individuals and the whole place has an element of quirkiness to it…..Just one of the many reasons why it is perfect for  exploring the creative process and why I love to return each year.

Here are  Larry and Margaret in one of the courtyards looking through to Pauline in another…..20190421_123852    This year a couple more events added to the Faulty Towers element    The narrow alleys around the School had been dug up for utility maintenance, plus for our first two days and then last day, the now sandy lanes were inundated with rain.      Regardless, it didn’t seem to deter anyone from having a good time with much laughter.

A lovely picture of Mitsuyo as we waited for Nuno boat driver to pick us up. 20190419_101419In total we numbered thirteen…however, in this group picture taken in the studio on the last evening, we are missing three of our company – Elizabeth who unfortunately became ill early on, and then Inara from Norway and her daughter Eva from Latvia who had to leave a little earlier because of flights.       IMG-20190428-WA0000Inara from Norway produced some beautiful work.    This quick study of me teaching is superb,20190423_113931And this lovely piece from Eva – who lives in Latvia…..This was a totally new experience for her. 

20190423_115753Another different element to this year was the addition of tutor Dora Keogh.    Dora and her husband John are Canadians who also have a home in Olhao…Dora joined us for all the painting and some of the messing around stuff as well:)       I really enjoyed this, and hope that we are able to work together again.

After a full on week with us, Dora went on to teach her group….who I was fortunate enough to meet.

Dora sketching, 20190423_145539As is often the case, by the fourth day, people are getting into a flow.         This gem was painted by Jayanthi…..and is a clear example of what happens when a flow is achieved. IMG-0501These two beauties came from Mitsuyo’s brush.      Mitsuyo and Larry live in Kaikoura New Zealand.        During one evening Larry showed some slides of this beautiful part of the world, plus some of Mitzuyo’s magnificent jewellery. 20190423_120224It is important to remember that my courses are all about loosening up and letting go of preconceived notions.      I can say that everyone stepped up to the challenge. 

A completely different experience was to enjoy Celia’s and Oswald’s ceramics studio 4Elementos Ceramica & Azulejo in the middle of Olhao.      Our group and all the other groups coming to the School this year will make individual tiles to line the walls of the downstairs loo at the School……A fun idea that was enjoyed by everyone. 

20190420_111958Celia explaining to us how the colour of the glazes aren’t necessarily what they appear to be!IMG_5035The tiles produced by some of my group……what fun. 20190422_182605Demonstrating a loosening up exercise working from a colour ground. IMG_5135Boat driver Nuno taking us to Armona Island.     Note to the left is his beautiful dog who is always there to greet us. 20190419_102133One of many fine meals….this one at the Beach Cafe on Armona….fresh grilled fish and vegetables….and lots of lovely fresh air. 20190419_141944On this day we ate at a really good Indian restaurant in one of the Alleys in the middle of old Olhao.     I am no connoisseur of Indian food but this was delicious and Jaynthi, who knows all about India said it was very good.    I look forward to returning there.     IMG-0440Love Moira’s quick sketch on Armona Island.     My photograph does not do it justiceIMG-20190427-WA0009-2It’s important to recognise that many of these artists are used to working in a much tighter way…..It’s always gratifying to me to see when the looseness starts to show.     IMG-20190427-WA0004

I believe that by PLAYING every day and allowing ourselves to loosen up we benefit our expressive work as well as our more considered paintings.       It’s also more difficult that one might initially think.     To get into the preverbal flow, it is both a technical, physical and emotional challenge.     A week at the School is an excellent way to begin this process.

A beauty from Dora..     Capturing the shadow play and light on the pool in the Pool House courtyard.

20190423_125701There are so many more paintings to show…..Please check Art in the Algarve FB page…plus my FB page, twitter and instagram.

I had to include three of the School’s children.     The twins belong to wonderful Joanna who does all the housekeeping,……wonderful to see them growing every year….20190420_083126Carlotta is Margarida’s youngest……Unfortunately I didn’t get any of Beatrice this time.

All part of the School’s quirkiness……and special charm. 20190423_130149And wonderful Dora inviting everyone for a beer…..This was the biggest beer container i have ever seen:)


Focusing on the loosening up element.     This time I took a roll of white wall paper lining, which we pinned to the studio wall.     The perfect place to make marks, PLAY and see what our brushes are capable of doing.

Making marks on wall paper lining……20190423_083506

Sketch books as always were key to this workshop.      We carried them with us everywhere we went……

I loved this from Eva. 20190423_094401Sketching at the Saturday market. 20190423_115913Famous for the storks that nest there every year, this little tree is right across from the Ceramics studio.    A great place to sit and sketch. 20-11-15 - 1 (491)

As always I want to thank Margarida and Joanna for all their tireless work…..and Camilla and the girls that added to the fun….plus the two Nunos…..:)      None of this would work without them.

Also a very special thanks to Margaret for having us all in fits of laughter  with her updated nursery rhymes during the last meal at the school.      I am sure they can be found on instagram.

Another sketchbook delight from the Saturday market. 20190423_115917

One more thing that made this week very special.     I met a lovely American couple on the plane from London to Faro.    Laura is a superb artist and her husband Marty, a doctor.     The day after we met they came to visit the school and brought with them their children and grandchildren.    How wonderful is that.    These are people I will definitely be keeping in touch with.

Keep painting, and remember ‘wet brush no paint’ – it can do wonders……….

A Bientot

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32 thoughts on “Another excellent week at the School in Olhao Portugal…

  1. Jayanthi

    As always, a joyful week, thank you for that, dear Janet – you invariably inspire me. Take care and enjoy your next trip. xxxxx Jayanthi

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Jayanthi…..It is always so lovely to have you as part of the course. You give so much in so many ways. Thank you 🙂 Here’s to many more fun times painting together. Janet x

  2. davidjrogersftw

    What you notice first is that everyone and thing at that beautiful place is happy–the group is happy, the children are happy; even the water seems happyy— and then that the sun shines brightly, and that people working are completely absorbed, and that the paintings are colorful and so lovely. And those tiles–my goodness, Janet. Thank you fo teling us about this year’s experience. .

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear David, Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I must say it is a place where there is much laughter….which can only be good:) Speaking of weather, my daughter Christie was trying to get back to Boston this weekend, when one of her flights was delayed because of snow ini Chicago!

      Quite a few Canadians arrived for the course after mine, and they all said how cold and wintry it still was…..Spring is on the way…..and the sun will shine brightly over all those places that have had such a difficult winter.

      I am now preparing for departure to France on Sunday where I will be relaxing and painting for myself……Hope your creative juices are flowing. My very best wishes Janet 🙂

      1. davidjrogersftw

        Almost May and SNOW–do you believe it, and not a little snow, but A SNOW.that covered the car and made things all slushy. Poor Christie being subjected to Chicago weather. I grew up with it. Diana is very weather conscious–loves the sun, abhors the cold, dislikes snow–and so was unhappy that day,. But we stayed inside (it snowed from early morning to late night). I wrote, and read Plutarch’s Lives, and Diana played the piano and fixed things up about the house, and we spent part of the day talking, which is always a joy for me who loves conversation.

        The Olhao expereince is more and more appealing every year you write about it. You are so happy there.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        It can only get better:) I love the sort of day you described but during the winter time……..By the time I return from France – 1st June….all snow should be over!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much for the re-blog. I really appreciate..and hope that life is treating you well. I am off to France on Sunday to paint for me…..Hope you are doing a lot of that. Janet 🙂

  3. Gunjan Arora

    I read it again today. Thought of saying, thank you for sharing your beautiful and colorful journey. Inspires me to learn more about the art and the artworks! Thanks again 🙏

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Gunjan for your lovely comment. Painting is wonderfully therapeutic….emotionally, physically and spiritually healing. After a weeks workshop everyone benefits greatly. Janet 🙂

  4. Jen Rosado from MyAlternateUniv

    I marvel at the beauty of your work and that of your friends – just stunning! Clearly, in addition to your amazing artistic skills, you are also an excellent teacher. 🙂 Makes me want to be right there with you, paint brush in hand, even though I’ve never painted before!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much Jen for such a lovely comment….and it doesn’t mater that you have never painted before…..sometimes people who come on my courses who haven’t painted are the ones that really blossom and they help to inspire others……It is true that we all have a desire to create within us and throwing paint around is one of the great ways to experience this. Janet 🙂

  5. Jet Eliot

    Oh how I enjoyed this return to the art school, Janet. Truly wonderful to see you at work teaching and sharing and expanding the secrets to your great painting experiences with so many lucky individuals. I loved seeing the photos of the art and the students and the children, the boat captain and his dog. And the art here was a true joy. My warmest thanks.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Dear Jet….It is wonderful to see you here…and do forgive me for taking so long to respond. Since Portugal I have spent one month in Brittany – which was superb and have just returned from a wedding in Atlanta, Ga…..and am shattered, as we say in the UK::) Very pleased to be packing the suit case away for a few months….and am planning not spend the summer in the UK, relaxing, painting and writing. I think of you all the time and do hope that things are moving forward. Sending lots of hummingbird hugs. Janet 🙂

  6. Hutts New World

    Sorry to hear about your illness. Have one of my own now, a lung disease which is treatable with antibiotics. Took a while and a number of infections during the last couple of years to find out what it is. Just getting over another one – silly doctor didn’t give me strong enough anti biotics. Mine is called bronchiectasis. I damaged my lung during the last 50 or so years. Could actually be from smoking too, something I gave up in 1991. Lucky both the Uk and NZ have good free hospital systems. Hope you get better soon. Mine is something I should take with me. All is well these days. Take care.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Peter, I am so pleased to hear that your lung disease is treatable with antibiotics….It’s such a relief when the cause of a problem is found…I am sure you must be feeling that, and yes here’s to free medical and long may it continue..
      You will be going into autumn soon…and so it’s good that they have nailed your problem before the winter. I am enjoying cool temperatures today (after a heatwave last week) and am feeling stronger by the day….so much better than I have in a long time. You take care. Janet XX


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