Sunday, 15 April 2018

Portugal 2018

Only 3 full days painting but a late flight home gave us the best part of a fourth.  Weather wet, windy, sunny, calm, overcast and generally unpredictable.  David Bachmann (our host), Mo Teeuw, Valerie Pirlot, John Walsom and Tim King.

We started in reasonable weather on the 9th of April at Praia dos Tres Castelos, just West of the Praia da Rocha town beach.  Against the light.

Against The Light, Praia dos Tres Castelos, 9x12

We then moved on into Portimao and across to Ferragudo.  I tried a small sketch of the squall developing behind the town:

Squall, Ferragudo 6x13
After lunch I went round to the seaward side of the town to paint the old fort with its chapel.  The 6x8 trial was followed by a bigger version.

The Fort, Ferragudo 9x12
It rained and howled over night and by breakfast time the next day we decided to stay put and paint indoors.  My room, which was large with skylights, became the still life studio.  We grabbed some material from the garden in between downpours and found some china.  John and I plodded on with studies of roses and jugs while the others went to town to buy a range of fish for sketching first and eating later.

Roses In A Portugese Vase 12x9
Jug and Lemons 8x6
Two Fish and Some Bread 8x11

Portugese Jug and Roses 12x9
The 11th April looked more promising but we decided not to travel too far.  Praia da Dona Ana has endless possibilities and this time we set up to the West, looking East.

Praia da Dona Ana 12x9
 Praia da Camilo is a short walk away and after a quick lunch we split up to try different views.  I attempted a 'vertical long thin' that did not quite come off but with some compositional changes and cropping might be OK:

Praia da Camilo, 15x9

A short walk to Ponte de Piedade provided the chance to paint this arch from a high point.  (The others went down below this point to paint another arch across the Praia da Camilo beach.)

Arch at Ponte de Piedade 12x9
We went home all rather tired but I could not resist a final 6x9 from the cliff top below the villa.  I just love those jutting rock formations.

Evening Sketch From Cama da Vaca 6x9
Our final day was the 12th April and again the weather was bad, so John and I set up our roses and lemons again, adding in a few more flowers and some clementines, to paint this:

Flowers and Fruit 12x9
The weather had brightened a bit so after a quick snack we went into the garden.  At first I tried a view looking West to the distant sea but put it to one side and came back to the villa for a final go at the garden:

In The Garden, Quinta da Cama da Vaca 12x9
By then it was 5pm and time to pack and drive to Faro.  We had a late flight but a whole series of delays made my journey home last until 5.30 am the next morning!  Despite the frustrations with the weather it was a hugely enjoyable trip with a generous host, good friends, a great deal of laughter and fabulous villa and gardens.  I always learn new things from my colleagues and painting with them is a great joy.

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