Another beautiful stay at the School in Alhao Portugal – http://www.artinthealgarve.com. One week of sketching and writing on my own and a second week of tutoring a lovely group.
The group numbered fifteen and represented several different countries, UK, Canada, Cyprus, France and Ireland.
Here we are about to enjoy one of Margarida’s wonderful freshly cooked meals. I have written several blogs about the School and how conducive it is to the creative process. David Clarke, founder of the School clearly understood what was needed. He was a man of vision, and I for one will always be grateful for his gift to artists.
Three of the group working in one of the internal courtyards. Somewhat like the Tardis the outside doesn’t give away its many different levels, rooms, studio, and courtyards.
There is much to observe within the boundaries of the School. The shadow play alone is magical.
150 year old olive tree in one of the School’s courtyards – producing exquisite shadow play.
Given that the School sits in the middle of the old town of Olhao, which is a working fishing town – it is not necessary to get into a car during the entire week. Everything one could need is within minute’s walking distance…..and for many sketching and painting around the town is an endless source of interest and inspiration
One of the many alley ways of Olhao…..Olhao history is long and fascinating…..Dating back to Roman times, with a clear influence from the Moors and Northern Africa, (400 miles away) Much of the town is in need of restoration…however, this gives it a special kind of charm. It is not the usual golf course, commercial touristy Algarve that we tend to see on advertisements….it is quite unique and very ‘earthy’.
Alleyway behind the School. Two of the many old doors that can be seen throughout the town…..along with decorative tiles Marry the character of the town with the fish markets, busy fishing port and the beautiful Barrier Islands which are just fifteen minutes away, part of the Ria Formosa National Park, and it soon becomes apparent that there is much to explore, observe and paint.
Fish Market just a minutes walk from School –
As is custom we were taken by Nuno and his lovely dog to Armona Island (10 minute boat road) for a day’s painting and lunch at the Armona 4 Restaurant. Armona is one of the Barrier Islands offering beautiful beaches and given that there are no cars on the Island a respite from our busy world.
Children playing with shells on Armona….
One of Armona’s beaches…..magic
A mental image I am left with from this year was of one of the group floating in the small roof pool as a stork flew directly over her. There was definitely magic in the air…..Storks that nesting in Olhao.
Along with examples of the Group’s work, plus an outline of how the day/week is structured – in my next blog I will share more pictures of the Group sketching and painting in and around the School.
During this visit and my short trip to Cardiff just before leaving for Portugal….Six Degrees of Separation were very much in play….in other words the magical hummingbirds were indeed weaving their magic. More about this in my next blogs.
On that note, I can’t resist but to leave you with two of those magical little creatures…..