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peter barnett Art Blog


by PMBARNETT , December 19, 2007—04:20 PM

Topics: Portugal, Rocks, Travel, What's Happening

This is the scond post I'm doing about our trip to Portugal and Spain after Thanksgiving. We did Portugal at the beginning (including 5 days in Portimao) and at the end, with a jog into Spain in the middle.

There were three clear high points in Portugal for us. Two of them are being featured in my new "Portugal" gallery: Plaia da Rochas in Portimao, and Evora. The third, Sintra (near Lisbon) with its fabulous mountaintop palace, was at the end after I had shut down my painting operation (I needed all my paintings to dry enough to be packed in my suitcase!) You may be seeing Sintres in some followup works done from the photographs I took on the trip.

The whole Western and Southern coast of portugal is dramatic and rocky, with many shear cliffs falling down to the sea below. However, Plaia da Rochas ("beach of the rocks") was unique. There were fabulous limestone cliffs and towers, sculpted by wind and water, very reminiscent of Monet's well-known works at Etretat in Normandy. The red-gold of the limestone sets off beautifully against the cobalt of the sea and sky.

Evora is a walled medieval town a few hours east of Lisbon, and is a treasure. Constructed on a steep hill, every streest is on a slope, and epitomizes the local style of whitewashed buildings with wrought iron balconies and lamps. The streets are done in small cobbles of irregular shape.

Each new environment is a challenge, the new shapes, colors and light requiring a new ideom which only comes with the doing. One thing I never did to my satisfaction is a view of the whitewashed towns with their terracota roofs from a distance. It was just too different!



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