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:) 

Sadly the School was yet another victim of Covid!.       It is dearly missed, but having said that many of us are still very much in touch and getting together in different places.      It’s legacy lives on. 

Janet. :)X


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

  1. Dora

    Such a lovely description of a beautiful place! Thank you Janet. Thank you David, I met you there! Sending love to you Janet! XxxDora💜🎨💜

    Sent from somewhere near Mars


    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Yes a place that is dearly missed by many. I receive messages every week from people from around the world asking me if it is still on…..(I have added a little note to the blog saying that the school is now sadly closed) Yes, we met there Dora, and I am very glad about that:). Sending lots of love xxx

  2. Timothy Price

    What an enchanting place. The first painting is fantastic. A couple of good friends who are artists are going to art school in Portugal soon. They try to go every year. They love it.

  3. Jet Eliot

    I have found great pleasure in your posts about this school, Janet, and am saddened to know it has closed. Great photos here, and your fabulous watercolor. The colors and serenity that you shared from here will always be appreciated, and my best to you as new doors open.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much dear Jet. Yes, it has been quite a blow to many people, but as you say when one door closes others open…and I have had the great pleasure in working there for years….for which I am grateful. I hope that all is well with you X

  4. Don't Lose Hope

    Beautiful! I resonate with your comment that “there needs to be a sense of harmony and cohesiveness” for the creative juices to flow, and can see how a setting like this enabled that to happen. It sounds like a wonderful experience.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I have held workshops in many different places, but have to say that the School was the best. I feel very glad that I had the opportunity to work there as long as I did. Thank you.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Yes, it’s a real loss, but I have to turn my thinking to all the wonderful years I had there. It was such a special place. I could go back to that area again, and may well do, but the school was a different matter – I can’t imagine finding any place as conducive to the creative process. Thank you Brad XX

  5. gdinwiddie

    Janet, I am so grateful to have experienced the Art School and to have met you there. I treasure those memories. I had been fearing that the school might not survive the pandemic, and it saddens me to learn those fears have been realized. I hope to paint with and learn from you again someday, wherever that might be.
    – George

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you George so much. Yes, I will always treasure the times we had at the school and I loved meeting you. I will be doing other things…Wales – Iceland – France, who knows…but I will keep you posted and of course will talk about what I am doing here. Happy painting my friend. X

  6. snowbird

    A magical place indeed. You will always have those wonderful memories and friendships but how sad it had to close. I loved all the


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