It’s time to Open the Doorways to our minds so that we can adapt to our changing world.

capturing shadow play on courtyard steps in Olhao Portugal – watercolour.   Disappearing steps symbolise for me – the unknown….P1160782If ever there is a place that is conducive to exploring the creative process….it has been the school in Olhao, Portugal where I have been fortunate enough to teach for quite a few years.      A place I have come to think of as a second home….

P1150689Situated in the middle of the old fishing town of  Olhao, and just a few minutes walk from the waterfront, market, shops, cafes, restaurant, etc. this school has allowed those who have visited to completely immerse themselves into the creative process.

After being met by Nuno at Faro airport, 20 minutes later we enter the School house.    It is in this inviting  space that so many freshly cooked meals have been served and enjoyed ….all overseen by the beautiful Margarida and Joanna.   It has also been a place of many interesting conversations and much laughter:)P1120438Margarida looking up from one of the lower courtyards.P1170645What is it that makes a place conducive to the creative process?    

I believe there needs to be a sense of harmony and cohesiveness.    I find that when people are running all over the place, never settling…there is fragmentation….which in itself can destroy the flow of creative thought and production.

ImageThe School has given us this, a sense of harmony and cohesiveness.  

When a new doorway between the School and Pool houses was introduced several years ago there was an immediate sense of further flow and harmony.       Almost like taking a huge gasp of fresh air….

The doorway became a metaphor for opening up creative expression. 

 When teaching I often talk about how changing one tiny part of a painting, changes everything, and so it is true for the doorways of life – we simply have to find and open them.


It is now time to open the doorways of our minds.    Time to allow new thinking and creative expression to flow through previously blocked areas.    

Flowers for sale at the Saturday Market.    ImageAnd of course wonderful fresh fish………..ImageVisits to Armona Island, a fifteen minute boat ride from Olhao, were always very special.      I would like to spend more time on Armona Island. P1160130  

150 year old olive tree in main courtyard……a tree synonymous with he School. Image

Through the school I have met some wonderful people..and made lasting friendships.     I will always be grateful for the day that David Clark contacted me to see if I would be interested in being one of his tutors.    

Mostly I thank him for his vision which I believe will live on in ways that none of us is creative enough to know about at this time.   

I know that David’s legacy will continue through conversations, paintings, friendships and so much more. 

Thank you David, Camilla, Margarida, Joanna, Nuno (1) and Nuno (2) and I must not forget Carlos who opened up the doorway between the two buildings:) 

I hope to see you all soon in beautiful Olhao. 

Janet. :)X

39 thoughts on “It’s time to Open the Doorways to our minds so that we can adapt to our changing world.

  1. Writing to Freedom

    There is something very inviting about Olhao and your painting of the stairway. Thank you Janet for the wise insight about needing to open doorways to new ways so we can adapt to our changing world. Hugs…

  2. Vera Komnig

    I think we often see the open doorway right in front of us and we need the courage to make the step through.
    This Corona time is like a game changer. The cards are being reshuffled, and new perspectives are opening up. I am so happy to read your blog, you are a game changer too.
    I keep my fingers crossed that you can very soon be in this magic wonderland Portugal.
    Hugs and love to my dear sister in art โค

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you my dear sister-in-art Vera for this wonderful comment. You are so right – this Corona time is a game changer – which can be both frightening and very positive. Courage is always key to walking through a new and unknown door:) X

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      We were all so ready to return there George. All three of my classes were filled, however, getting there and back is virtually impossible these days and so very sadly the School has gone into liquidation. However, as I pointed out in my blog, things could change and happen in ways that we are not creative enough to work out right now. Watch this space:). Meanwhile do hope you and your family are all well. Janet ….

  3. jenny

    The old olive tree must hold too many stories since back then. After 150 years, it still stands and provides the shade to its visitor. It’s amazing! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post,

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Jenny for this comment and yes, the olive tree will have heard so many stories over the years and brought. great comfort to those of us who visit regularly. When I arrive at the school the first thing I do is to go into the central courtyard and say hello to the tree:)

  4. gaiainaction

    Wonderful description of what looks like an amazing place. It’s true sometimes a very small change in our live can alter the whole big picture. I love the light and colour in your paintings.


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