capturing shadow play on courtyard steps in Olhao Portugal – watercolour. Disappearing steps symbolise for me – the unknown….If 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 had come to think of as a second home….
Situated 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:)Margarida looking up from one of the lower courtyards.What 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.
The 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. And of course wonderful fresh fish………..Visits to Armona Island, a fifteen minute boat ride from Olhao, were always very special. I would like to spend more time on Armona Island.
150 year old olive tree in main courtyard……a tree synonymous with he School.
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, 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.