Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Painting Portugal.

Ferragudo, Portugal. Oil on paper by Celia Turner.
This is one of my earliest paintings. I visited Ferragudo in Portugal for the first time back in 2002. This area of Portugal is absolutely stunningly beautiful. Ferragudo town seemed untouched by time with fishermen bringing in their catch, widows in their weeds strolling quietly by, dogs chasing each other and impeccably dressed babies being taken out for a stroll. The air was fresh with salty sea air and barbecued fish. The lovely yellow houses seemed to lend an air of sunshine even on a rare gloomy day. I felt a sense of freedom in Ferragudo, that strange feeling that I had been there before and feeling totally at home even though I had never visited before in my life.
Around the corner from this scene is the Fort of Sao- Joao do Arade, I think it has been modernised now but then was a stately old fort proudly protecting the coastline. I have many paintings of this fort /castle. The coastline itself is very much like our rugged Cornish coast. The deep blue waves bash hard against the burnished orange rocks. If you look carefully you can spot brave fishermen clinging high up on cliff faces as they try their luck at catching supper.
The amazing light in this part of the Algarve is enough to inspire any aspiring artist, it begs a paintbrush. 
An amazing beach at Caneiros provides another stunning vista,To spend a whole day and evening on this beach provides a life long lesson in natural beauty Colours seem to actually dance around the rocks and coves spreading a fairy-tale kind of beauty. When I first visited this beach there was a very old restaurant built into the cliff. The floor was wibbly-wobbly and the structure groaned in the wind, the food and owners however were lovely. A few years after my first visit and the restaurant had been renovated, the lovely old grand-dad was still in residence thank goodness and he and I would watch the sunset and somehow have a conversation even though he spoke no English and I spoke no Portuguese. I painted a scene of the restaurant for the owners at their request but circumstance has sadly meant I have not returned so I have never seen my painting in situ.
I always look back to my visits to this special place with a smile in my heart.