Tuesday, 22 June 2010
The weather in Portrugal was not as brilliant as usu
al for the first few days but I didn't mind - I'm not a sun-worshiper. I was quite happy to spend my time painting (It was the first time I had remembered to take painting equipment with me).
While the others were muttering and cursing and shaking their fists at the sky I was happily reading or drawing. The villa where we always stay is on a cliff top over the small former fishing village of Carvoeiro. Today the Algarve (Portugal's southernmost province) is largely about golf; that's not something I can get interested in but lots of my friends go there to play. I find it to be more unspolit than Spain and a bit more friendly. Because of the Euro-Stirling exchange rate, prices seemed expensive for us but I don't usually worry too much about those things when on vacation; I just bite the bullet and pay the price. That's my philosophy at all times anyway because there is no point in spending ones life complaining and moaning; better to simply enjoy life.
This was a hedonistic holiday mostly centered on eating, drinking, talking, walking, lazing in the heated pool, reading and, for me, painting. I'm not very good but it's a hugely enjoyable pastime.
My first book was 'Pictures at an Exhibition' by DM Thomas. It was a very 'difficult' read and ultimately unsatisfying. It deals with the same subject as his earlier masterpiece, 'The White Hotel', that is - the holocaust, Freuidian pyschoanalysis and human sexuality. Much more enjoyable is a book I am still reading. 'Ordinary Thunderstorms' by William Boyd opens like an good but standard type of man-on-the run thriller buts seems to be developing deeper more meaningfuul themes.
|Ferragudo with Portimao across the estuary in the distance.|
Picture from http://www.algarvetraveldirect.co.uk/
The area has been settled for more than two thousand years, having been variously occupied or settled by the Phoenicians, Romans and the Moors.
Monday, 7 June 2010
I'm off again! This time with some friends to Carvoeiro (pronounced: carv-where-oh) in the Algarve which is the southernmost province of Portugal. In fact it's near the extreme south-west corner of mainline Europe.
We have stayed many times in the same large private villa. I'll spend most of the time by the pool, in the shade, with a pile of good books from the Villa's own library (we add some volumes every time we go).
I suppose I'll be sipping a drink or two while I read and dipping a toe in the heated pool. Back in a couple of weeks!
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
This month I am showing several of British artist Bridget Riley's optical paintings and not saying too much about them. They are for pure visual enjoyment.
For me, the interesting point about her work is, although abstract, they do convey a lot via one's emotional and physical responses. She has said that the journey that the eye makes over her paintings is similar to that of a natural scene. The optical effects convey a strong vibrancy via their constuction or colour.
Look how the picture above appears to shimmer! It seems to be on the move constantly and the last one begins to dance if you run your eyes over it. (Or is the Belgian beer still running around my brain?)