Portugal in the Box #7

Thursday 5th June 2008

Lagoa de Santo Andre – Comporta – Carrasqueira – Alcacer do Sal

I have 3 basic states when we travel in our motorhome:

1. I am starving

2. I am exhausted

3. I am scared to death

I wouldn´t worry so much about me though, I am quite an extreme person, and whatever I do, it sounds and looks like as if death -and rebirth!- could follow…

Anyway, when I finally awoke this morning, 2 hours later than normal, I sighed:

„I am exhausted!“

Not the best way to start the day, really… but in the middle of the night – it might have even been early morning…- a big excavator had apparently started to dig all the sand out of the beach. It went on for hours and hours… it must have given up at some time, as there was still sand on the infinite beach this morning… or perhaps the waters went back, don´t forget, it´s the Atlantic… but then a dog started barking, probably the dog which keeps me awake every night at home. Although we noticed that this dog had another barking frequency, and here we go: this was the start of a deep discussion about dog barking and their eventual ability to change their frequency! Kevin, as a musician, was the expert in the matter and theorised that the dog that night had really two speeds, one exactly the double of the other!

It is Hollie´s Birthday today, so we went to call her from a phone box on the dunes. I made a photo of him calling her and waving to the camera and we promised to send her the photo.

I made some small water colour of the sea and the dunes, it was great to work again directly with the brush, no drawing, just simple surfaces of simple colours. I always loved these minimalist watercolour landscapes… the line where a colour changes in a landscape, like the horizon line, for example, always touches me deeply. And today it was dark blue under the line and light blue above and it was an amazing contrast. In fact I guess it is the strong contrasts, in everything, which move me… and this is always what I paint with the deepest pleasure: contrasts! Contrasts in colours, lines, shapes, textures…

Early that afternoon we drove to a fishing village called Comporta, by the estuary of the Rio Sado.. We parked at the village entrance, just by the water, which by the way, was very low. There were even some boats there, finally! We had a lovely lunch with loads of unhealthy stuff and by the time we finished and I wanted to start drawing the boats, the water had gone up a lot and the scenery was much less interesting for me! But well, at least the boats hadn´t sunk and I had my drawing fun!

The amazing thing was that there were storks everywhere, big nests on each highe tower and even on the top of the electrical pylons, and even halfway up. And there were babies in the nests, and we both had lots of fun observing the feeding ceremony with the binoculars

For the first time since we left we also took the bikes down from the rack and did some cycling. Unfortunately we left the motorhome keys in the storage locker door … and we had to go back. So we just rode a little bit around the village, and it was still nice., although the wind we had to pedal against was quite strong, and as always when we (and everybody else too, I guess, it seems to be a law of biking) sit on a bike, it blew against us. I always loved biking, the feeling of freedom is deep, just sometimes it is too hard for my little heart when the wind is blowing too strong.

It was late afternoon as we left the village and headed in the direction of Alcacer do Sal. On the way, we found by accident an incredible fishing village, Carrasqueira, I’d never seen anything like that before, An entire miniature village, built on wooden stilts, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of miniature wooden houses, I dont know for what, for work materials perhaps, or the fish? Everywhere walkways were leading to each boat and house, some fishermen had just come back from fishing and were still working on their boats and the sun was going down beautifully around the whole scene, my God how happy I felt at that moment!

So happy that I was unable to draw anything, the feelings were too deep, too overwhelming, paralysing my body and thoughts. Kevin, of course, who never misses a chance to tease me, couldn´t help making fun of me:

„For days you have been moaning that you want to draw boats and that we never find any, and now, there are hundreds here, one more beautiful than the other, and you can´t draw! You are a funny thing, aren´t you?“

I wonder if men judge us, women, by such things, saying that we never know what we want, ot more exactly, that we always change our wishes within one second… I guess they do. I don´t know how other women are, but in my case, it is not so. I do know what I want, always, and it is just so, that I am a very sensitive and responsive person. I mean I react instantaneously to each tiny change of my environment. And this of course can lead to something which looks like girly capriciousness and moods. It is just being „alive“…

But I still did some boat drawings, not by the village though. There were some lonely artistic boats where we had parked the motorhome, and I was quite happy with them.

We are parked now for the night by the river in Alcacer, it seems to be a lovely town full of monuments and arts, and we will have a wander round tomorrow morning. But for now we will have dinner, „Gratin Dauphinois“!

3 Responses to “Portugal in the Box #7”

  1. Daud Says:

    How can you starve with “Gratin Dauphinois” ? Sounds weird hum ? I’m teasing 😉

  2. Susan Cornelis Says:

    The art feast that you serve up must first be filtered through every cell of your body and every chord of your emotions. Iknow exactly what you mean about needing to just BE in that perfection when you see it. And it will definitely be revealed in your painting.

  3. Bonny Says:

    Enjoy every single moment. Just be ther in the moment. You don’t always have to paint and draw a scene or a place for it to have impact on your art. It’s BECAUSE it has such an impact on your emotions and enjoyment, that it filtres down into your art. But YOU know that already…. 😉

    Hope you get some sleep tonight. Süße Träume!!


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