Friday, April 24, 2009

Gifted to the Newlyweds Last Christmas

Lisbon, Portugal

I spent all of yesterday doing the work of art, not creating art. I finished arranging a workshop with Annelein Beukenkamp,, for SCVWS that will be offered in the fall of 2012. I am thrilled about having Annelein come from her home in Vermont where I grew up. In fact, when I am in Vermont in June, I've signed up for a one-day workshop with Annelein in Burlington. I expect to receive the award for the person who travelled the farthest to take her one-day workshop. I also did a lot of prep work for a final meeting with the group of artists who will be doing Silicon Valley Open Studios at my home on May 9 and 10. We met last night to finalize plans and agree to a timeline.

So let me continue the wedding tangent. The newlyweds, Jamie and Dave, housesat for us while we crossed the USA on our tandem bicycle last summer. "Resto" hung on the livingroom wall. Jamie kept telling me that if I wanted to get rid of one picture, she would be happy to take "Resto" off my hands. At Christmas time, I gifted this piece to her.

In 2005, my good friend, Pam, and I went to Portugal for 8 days. Pam's husband really didn't want to go there, Bob was busy working, and our time was limited. We decided to stay in Lisbon. I found an interesting discussion about renting apartments in Lisbon on Frommer's Message Board. I e-mailed the gentleman who had spoken highly of an apartment he rented in the old city center to get details and contacted Raquel. When we arrived, we found the apartment was perfect for us with 2 bedrooms, a bath, kitchen, livingroom, and balcony, all for a reasonable price. An upstairs was closed off where Raquel kept personal items. Raquel gave us a walking tour of the area and also recommended the best place to go to listen to fado. We loved having an apartment where we could prepare some meals and relax between outings in and outside of Lisbon. We also loved the neighborhood on top of hills reminiscent of our own San Francisco. We counted over 300 steps on our climb from the supermarket to the apartment buildiing, where we then climbed up five floors. We had strong legs by the end of the week.

One day we were wandering the city and were looking for a restaurant. We spotted this young woman standing in the doorway of what appeared to be an eating establishment. Using our best 10 words of Portuguese, we inquired about eating and were told the place was an art school and this was a private restaurant for the students and faculty. The young woman nicely gave us a tour of the place high on a hill overlooking the harbor and consented to be photographed.

Later I took a class from Arne Westerman, a wonderful figurative artist and a very charming workshop instructor. The class was hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. You can check out Arne's wonderful lively paintings here: We were told to bring photos we might like to use as reference materials, so I dug out the young woman at Resto. Arne had us do 8 x 10 prototypes first, which worked really well. I didn't get to do the actual painting until some months later, but I liked the results. I'm really glad I have a prototype to display in my home as I was quite attached to this painting when I gave it away.

No comments: