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.

New changes for October

Hello, I hope you are well and have had an enjoyable summer. For me, these past few months have quickly passed and autumn sees me taking up the blog again. Since my last post back in April It has been very busy.In brief, the house was put up for sale in April, In May I went to Italy to catch up with friends, June was all about bringing colour to my abstract work and the house was sold, July I spent most of the time packing, sorting and clearing the house, August saw the use of oil pastels in my work at its highest level, September I exhibited in a group Summer show at Solaris Print in St Leonard-on-sea and I moved from my house of 16 years. I am currently living by the river close to Iden Lock, with beautiful scenery on my doorstep and a new found freedom to paint to my hearts content.

This month I am featured in 91 magazine, there’s a write up about my studio and art practise, thank you Caroline for asking me and to everyone involved. On the 11th of this month I fly to Lisbon for a few months with the intention of finding a new studio space and to see where my painting takes me. While there, I’ll be working on a project for a solo show next November in Hastings, more on that to come. To find out what happens next you can follow my instagram account @obikodesign

Have a wonderful month