November in Lisbon

Hello from Lisbon. I’ve been here just over six weeks now and I’ve managed to settle in quite quickly. I have found a gorgeous flat in Alcântara West of the city. The neighbourhood has a lot of energy, it’s creative, close to the river Tagus, there’s Tapada Ajuga Botanical Park on my doorstep, a fruit veg and cheese shop nextdoor and I have a good coffee shop up the road, so I’m happy.

It’s from here I work on my art. I was hoping to find a studio, but this has proven to be quite difficult, most are full or there’s a long waiting list. I have managed in the flat so far, but I haven’t been able to produce the large scale work I was hoping to, I’m sure this will come.

Last week I joined A Brague course at Lx Atelier, learning the clasiscal technique of drawing with precision. As I thought, it’s proving to be challenging. My natural way of working is quite quick and fluid, this is the complete opposite which is going to take some getting used to. It’s a course I’ve wanted to take for some time and I know once finished I’ll be able to incorporate some of the skills into my current way of working and it will also help with my life drawing classes.

This month the weather has become a little colder and it’s raining more, the days are still light and the sun does come out accompanied by a bright blue sky. This is one of the reasons I’m here, I find the winter months in the UK long and dark and my artwork substantially decreases, leaving me with maybe 7 months of the year where I’m actually producing work.

I have started my botanical project and have visited many gardens with Botanical Garden of Lisbon being the one I go to on a more regular basis, especially as I have my annual pass now.
The idea behind the on-going project is that I start all of my artwork from part of a sketch or photograph, which I’ve documented from one of my  garden visits. I’m still thinking of a title…

Slowly the festive lights are going up and I hear the occasional Christmas song, but nothing is shouting Christmas, only World Cup excitement, which I’m quite happy about. Keeping in with Portuguese tradition, I’ll also be celebrating the main day on Christmas Eve and having a day of rest on the 25th as Boxing Day doesn’t exist here.

Until next month keep well and enjoy the run up to the festive break.