Friday, 8 February 2019

More Gulbenkian...

More from here:

Really is a very nice place to have on your doorstep.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Gentle work. Sketches to sell another day.

I have to increase my prices. I have no option.


One of Lisbon's nicest escapes. More another time.

I can do gentle work :)

Sunday, 20 January 2019


First a health report. I am doing fine. Too early to get an idea of chemotherapy results. CT scan next, that may be a few weeks. Apparently the chemotherapy continues to work weeks after receiving treatment. I did not know that. Anyway, I am feeling good.


For myself, Cascais is to Lisbon what Sitges is to Barcelona. A nice easy westbound coastal train to escape into an off-season retreat for a day, or Two. The old decaying glam is there, as is an old motor racing circuit. Redundant in the case of Sitges. Just €2.25 for a 40 minute ride from Lisbon takes you to Cascais. Mind you don't get run over by a Porsche.

Very much trying to be a designer shopping retreat today, but it remains a seaside resort. I think the casino in Estoril is still alive and running. Evidence of decedant  past are very apparent everywhere and largely preserved. Fabulous buildings waiting for the right people.

Also some fabulously and surprisingly daring modern architecture. In fact, on the train all the way from Cais do Sodre in the centre of Lisbon to Cascais your subjective eyes will feast on boxes of special assortment just spilling down from the hills to the sea. If you are a lover of buildings in a very amateur context (like myself), or a more serious architecture enthusiast you will also love that train ride. It will be a post for another day. As will more Cascais info'. In the meantime, here is a sketch and a couple of pics with a Wiki link.

Here is what Wiki says

view of one of the many small beaches. The building in the background is home to Christies.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

On the Road to Recovery.

I don't think I am jumping the gun here. I may have been when I said "capable of work" in the earlier post - I am not quite there yet. But, I am much more of a man than the 50KG I weighed just a few weeks ago. I LOVE PORRIDGE. Porridge made with chocolate milk and sweetened condensed milk is a particular favourite supper time treat. Good for the body and soul.

Where does this road to recovery lead? I will talk about illness, loneliness and depression another time, because other than learning to live and deal with cancer Portugal has been very good to me. I stay until Spring. It may well be a permanent base. I will always travel for work.

Madrid for a few days as soon as I am well enough. I am not taking chances. 'Well enough' could well be the end of March. Depends what the very nice doctors here tell me. I really can't express my gratitude enough to all at the hospital and LARS (patients residential - it may not be luxury, but believe you me, I am so thankful).

I have to work out how to make money while I recover!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Seasons Greetings.

I have been gone a while!

I am not so well. Spent most of my time being cared for by good people in hospital. I will write more later when my laptop has been repaired.

I am well enough to work. I need work/money like I have never needed it before.

I thought I was just being a wuss about middle age initially. Turns out to be cancer. I am doing OK. Recovering from chemotherapy and waiting for stage Two treatment to begin. I feel good. Content.

I am out of the emergency wards and in the recovery suite :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A sketch from Alameda.

Kindly commissioned by B' Perfect Burgers.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Suburban Lisbon.

Most of the suburbs here are a little bland. Most visitors come for the historic centre and the party. Personally, living in the centre, working in the centre, pretty much spending every waking moment in the centre is tiring. Lisbon lacks green space - there is almost nowhere to escape the noise here. An ill-conceived plan never corrected.

I have been given work in Alameda. I like the place. Loads of big green spaces and a very nice Art Nouveau flavour to the architecture. It is a very different Lisbon, but undoubtedly Lisbon. Just Five stops on the Metro from the heart of old Lisbon, also on the main arteries for traffic - not so good. A popular place to live. Large, quality appartments and all that green space with easy connections. More dogs per person here than any other barrio (so I am told). It does have a very middle class air about it.

I like it mostly for the architecture. You could well miss this, but if like me, you like to take your time slowly exploring the contemporary nature of modern suburbs, then there is loads to see. I also like Alameda for the art...

Within the context of the place you could very easily miss all of this. There is plenty to distract you, and often it is all written in English. Another homogenised shopping High Street. Look beyond.

Loads of this everywhere in Alameda. It is beautiful. What sort of residential property developer would pay proper money for this sort of stuff today?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

A rock to sketch on.

I'll come back to this another day. Just posting to remind myself. Someone gave me a rock to sketch on!

I am tired. Recovering from illness and have limited internet time. This is an interesting non-job sort of job mind.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Me at work.

Somebody sent me a photograph they took last week. This is me working in Pra├ža do Camoes. I like the photo, but feel obliged to mention that I do have legs. Not sure why I feel I should mention that, but...

I have to thank other artists for their support also. Another post - another time.

NB: You see I am not drinking beer, or smoking here? Despite many persons beliefs, I don't actually drink and smoke that much. Honest.

--// Photo courtesy of Henk.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018


I think it is here. This is a very good thing for me.

With soaring temperatures many peoples minds will actually be filling with dread after last years horrific forest fires. Best be prepared!

This site impressed me a great deal:

To see someone not just take the time, but also present all the information in such a professional way (all for free) is one of the best things about the internet.

The site looks fabulous and functions perfectly on my laptop and phone. When I was walking through Portugal last Summer I didn't even dare light a cigarette outside of a city, or town. The threat is something all should be aware of even if we don't actually need to be afraid. Precautions are the obvious answer.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

It was a very nice bread.

I don't want to be seen as complaining too much. A loaf of wholemeal bread with whole seeds for just 99 Cents is a bargain.

Summer seems to be here. Fine weather - I am working my way through a back-log of orders which people have already paid for! Germany - you are top of the list. Possibly posted by Friday.

I can't magic shit on the First day of fine weather. If anything, the last couple of months have taught me I have to up my prices.


Sunday, 8 April 2018


There are very few things I will moan about in Portugal.

How much do you think this bread costs?

Well, I think it says €0.79. But, when you get to the check-out, it is 99 Cents.

MiniPreco. Fuck off - this is cheating as much as short changing is cheating. It very clearly states 'total to pay' 79.00 Cents. When I get to the check-out, I am asked for 99 Cents. Fuck-off. The people tell me it is only 79 Cents if I have a MiniPreco card. I can't see anything about that on the label.

MiniPreco. Perhaps you have a good loyalty scheme going on with the locals, but there are few locals here. We feel cheated.

Sunday, 18 March 2018


Well, hey - they may have been swifts, but you get my drift.

Very good news in the skies.

Weather forecasts. We have them instant on our phones these days. What makes me laugh is that Dutch people use a forecast from Holland, Norwegian people rely on a Norwegian forecast, German people check out the weather for Lisbon in Portugal on their German office post. It is the same meteorological information, just presented in different ways. But, surely, local knowledge counts for something.

When the skies turn grey, I look for the gulls. They tell me I have 3 minutes to pack up and find a dry place.

Swallows and sunshine! They may have been swifts, but they are good news regardless.

I use the BBC weather site ;)

Saturday, 17 March 2018

When it rains - it pours.

Another rainy day.

Sat in A Padaria Portuguesa making small sketches from postcards to sell tomorrow, because it is going to be sunny tomorrow. YES it f****** well is. I am not listening to anybody else who says otherwise. I have reached critical point.

That's about 30 days of rain so far. Not a single dry day!

Friday, 9 March 2018

1000 Umbrellas.

The city is littered with dead umbrellas. The rains persist.

Whenever it rains this much, whenever I see streets full of broken umbrellas, Two things come to mind. One is a work of art I saw first in Bilbao. A street sculpture with a very poetic written description explaining how "umbrellas sprouting like mushrooms" became representative of the Artist's city in spring.

The other thing that always springs to mind is a couple of songs from Skylarking by XTC. Ballet for a Rainy Day, and 1000 Umbrellas. A timeless album.


Now I know what March is all about in Lisbon, I will do my very best to ensure I am not here this time next year. It is very, very, very wet. Relentless rains with still no end in sight.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Oh - The Rains.

Nobody in Portugal has any right to moan, but... :D

This is unworkable for me. I am extremely grateful to be very busy with orders. Absolutely nothing I can do about the weather, so I have bolted down in Nazare until the forecast looks a little brighter. Working on small sketches from postcards, and doing a bit of painting :)

I really hope people don't mind, but we're just going to have to wait for the much needed rains to pass. I'll be back in Lisbon before Sunday.

This is Nazare looking very sombre. I like it. Peaceful, content, possibly even melancholic - a hide away from Atlantic storms.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Pens, pens, pens, and more pens.

I have a pretty serious habit. Not a lot I can't tell you about pens. Last had a clear-out in December. Time to lessen the load again. I really hate to bin them. But, eventually I reach the point where a major cull is necessary. Think I binned 80% of this batch.

I like pens :)

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Nazare Atlantico. Colours.

I tacky smartphone shot of Nazare waves at sunset. Not good photography, but great colour research for paintings of the almighty Atlantic. Or, at least paintings inspired by the sea. I am going to try and paint a 1 Meter x 1 Meter imaginary 'cube' of Atlantic sea. A sort of Square Kilometer space of deep sea represented one 1 dimension. Full of sea legends.

It will probably be April before I can start painting again, so I am just researching in the meantime.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Friday, 2 February 2018

Where to start? Where to finish?

So many people who stop to chat ask me the same question; "Where do you start?". I started at the beginning.

It isn't really something I think about. You just start at the start. Then, you continue.

I think, if I start anywhere, I start at the most complicated bit. Then, continue.

Where to finish? This is a very different question. You can go too far and spoil. You are working to costs. You can work the light, and then work it some more. You can get carried away in a dream. When to stop?

This isn't quite the finished piece I am happy to let go to a good home. I worked a bit more. Personally, it is my best work in Lisbon so far (this is not the finished thing). I would love to keep it for myself. At the same time, I am happy it goes to a good home in return for paying for my home for a couple of nights.

The money thing. It doesn't have to interfere.