We all agreed, the painting week in Portugal was great fun and very creative. On arrival at Faro airport we were greeted by sunshine, which put us straight into holiday mood and made everybody eager to get painting. So we set off the next day exploring the old town and harbour of Olhão, and settled down in the shade of an old church adorned with several storks nesting on the towers and roofs, a 'must' to paint.
The following day we took the local train to the charming fishing village of Fuseta. The little harbour was ablaze with the kaleidoscopic colours of fishing boats, flags,and buoys gaily bobbing on the water. More colours and scents captured our imagination on Saturday, market day in Olhão. The large market by the harbour, buzzing with people, huge sun umbrellas, goods and sea views supplied us with ample motifs. The indoor fish hall had the most fascinating range of fish I have ever encountered, which were worth a couple of sketches, or even a painting. Naturally we were able to taste some of the better known varieties during our visits to local restaurants and bars, or at the art school, were Margarida cooked many deliciousmeals for us.
Then it was time to venture across the estuary by water taxi(!) to the picturesque island of Armora. A profusion of flowers clinging to little whitewashed houses, boats, long beaches, and people came into view as soon as we landed. We had planned to have a dip, but found that we were much too excited about our paintings and the sumptuous lunch to strip off and swim.
We also took the opportunity to paint from attractive roof terraces, overlooking blossom-bedecked rooftops, with winding staircases, decorative balconies and glimpses of the sea beyond. The final day we spent painting just outside the art school, capturing some of the old houses decorated with patterned tiles, featuring ornate windows and doorways. This gave us plenty of time to start a last masterpiece or polish off unfinished work, ready for the little show we had under the vaulted ceilings of the studio on the last night. The work on show looked fantastic and there were happy smiles on everyone’s faces.
A big thanks to all of you who dared to come on a new course, venturing out into the unknown. Special thanks also to the Honourable David Clark, who invited me to come to his art school and who organised everything so splendidly, making it a memorable week.
All the best and a wonderful summer, wherever you are,