We recently returned from a couple of weeks of painting in the Algarve region of Portugal. It’s a stunning area, with fascinating geological elements all along the southern coast. Here are some of the paintings:
At the same time, the western coast has a wildness and a grandeur to it that feels a lot like the best parts of the California Central Coast.
We were staying just west of Lagos, but we painted around the town a bunch of times as well. It was especially great to be outside as we’ve been in lockdown more or less since September. This was our first foray out to paint plein air landscapes in months.
Our little dog Ema passed away today. She was about 15 years old, and probably a mix of miniature pinscher and rat terrier. She was found abandoned in Naples in August of 2009, and brought to Florence for adoption. As a painter’s dog, she had to move around a lot and she seemed to love going somewhere new everyday. Funnily enough, the only place she disliked was my painting studio. At the time I was doing less studio work and more plein air landscapes, so it worked out fine for both of us.
She had a good life, full of travel and adventure. She ate fresh lobster on the docks in Maine, she peed on the golden staircase at the Danieli, and she hunted crabs in the marshes of South Carolina. Despite her small size, she was very brave. She once charged a bear on a beach in Albania, she leapt from the window of my moving Land Rover to chase a stag in the Val d’Orcia, and she drove off a boar one night in Maremma. She ran across beaches and through fields from California to Nova Scotia, from Holland to the Alentejo, and from Normandy to Zagorje. She lived in Naples, Florence, Zagreb, Limburg and Estremoz, and she summered in the Hamptons, on the Dalmatian Coast, or in the south of France.
She was a muse to many and had poems, songs, and a book written about her. As an artist’s dog, she was often painted and sculpted. These are a few of the works I did of her.
She was very loved, and will be greatly missed.
Here are some video clips of her from over the years:
I’ve been aloof with the blog posts. My apologies. I have a few longer posts in the works, and a few videos I’m working on. Here is the first one, the demo I normally do on my plein air painting courses showing how to glaze a dry landscape painting.
I’ll post the next ones as soon as I have enough free time to finish them.