Postcards from Portugal

When I arrived in Portugal in March 2019 I brought with me a small supply of blank postcards. I had the idea that I would paint or draw what I noticed each week and send them home to my mum as a more interesting variant on the usual tourist postcards.

It was a fun project, not least because it meant that I spent my days looking for something that caught my interest and I spent a bit of each Sunday making the pictures. So here they are, with what inspired me.

My first postcard was drawn on the plane, in the air as I left home. Economy class tray-tables are not ideal supports for drawing, but I don’t sleep on flights and I had a lot of time to occupy.

1 First one must leave Africa
First, one must leave Africa

My second postcard was the view from my new apartment in Guimarães. I was enchanted by the ornate glass domes that provide light in dark stairwells and the different textures of the roofs.

2 Roofs, windows and walls
Roofs, windows and walls

My third postcard came as a result of a visit to the local art museum which houses a great collection of African masks. I left Africa to see African art? I rather liked this particular one, because it wasn’t scary. He looked so happy.

 

The next week I took a trip up the nearby Penha “mountain” in the teleférico. (I grew up hiking in the Drakensburg. I have standards for what can be called a mountain.) At the top I found giant boulders scattered about. Which inspired the fourth postcard below.

5 Like giant Easter eggs
Like giant Easter eggs

Portugal is famous for the beautiful tiles that decorate the buildings here. So much more interesting than bland, flat paint. I spent hours in the tiny streets of Guimarães, Porto and Aveiro admiring the designs. So postcard five was a little homage.

4 When in doubt tile it cropped
When in doubt, tile it

Finally (when my six postcards were coming to an end) I took a walk in the city park early one morning to find the small pond filled with frogs all croaking together.

6 Croak
Croak

I duly sent all six postcards off to my mum. So far, only one got to her. Whether this is a result of the postal service in Portugal or (more likely) in South Africa, we’ll never know. But I like to think that they will make their way there eventually or make someone smile wherever they end up.

I had a lot of fun making them.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s