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….. 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. In 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. Inara from Norway produced some beautiful work. This quick study of me teaching is superb,And this lovely piece from Eva – who lives in Latvia…..This was a totally new experience for her.
Another 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, As 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. These 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. It 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.
Celia explaining to us how the colour of the glazes aren’t necessarily what they appear to be!The tiles produced by some of my group……what fun. Demonstrating a loosening up exercise working from a colour ground. Boat driver Nuno taking us to Armona Island. Note to the left is his beautiful dog who is always there to greet us. One of many fine meals….this one at the Beach Cafe on Armona….fresh grilled fish and vegetables….and lots of lovely fresh air. On 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. Love Moira’s quick sketch on Armona Island. My photograph does not do it justiceIt’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.
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.
There 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….Carlotta is Margarida’s youngest……Unfortunately I didn’t get any of Beatrice this time.
All part of the School’s quirkiness……and special charm. And 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……
Sketch books as always were key to this workshop. We carried them with us everywhere we went……
I loved this from Eva. Sketching at the Saturday market. Famous 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.
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.
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……….
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