Road to the USk Symposium #1

USk Manchester Symposium day -4 / Simpósio USk em Manchester dia -4

160723 Edge Hill 02

So it begins. I took the road to Manchester a few days before the Symposium started, to warm up the sketching, to get acquainted with the Manchester region and to spend a few days in the neighboring Liverpool. Day one was mostly spent travelling. From Lisboa to Manchester Airport and from there to Edge Hill, Liverpool, where my home for the next couple of nights would be. Kat, the host, rents out rooms in a lovely row house just opposite of the Wavertree Botanical Garden. There’s complementary tea (of course) and coffee in the bedroom.

E assim começou. Encetei o caminho para Manchester alguns dias antes do Simpósio, para aquecer o desenho, para conhecer a região de Manchester e para passar alguns dias na vizinha Liverpool. O primeiro dia foi quase todo passado em viagens, de Lisboa ao aeroporto de Manchester e daí para Edge Hill, Liverpool, onde o meu alojamento para as próximas duas noites iria ser. Kat, a anfitriã, aluga quartos numa bonita casa geminada defronte do Jardim Botânico de Wavertree. Há chá (claro) e café à disposição no quarto.

160723 Edge Hill 01

The connection to the city center is fast and efficient, giving me little time to properly sketch Edge Hill station. Being saturday, I decided to head out to Lime Street Station to grab a late bite to eat and explore Liverpool’s nightlife. Kat pointed me to the Hope Street area, for a more alternative nightlife. After a quick meal and dodging all the cheesy pubs and karaoke bars, I came across a subterranean gem called The Pilgrim. It’s a laid back rock and roll bar, crowded with rowdy but not wasted patrons,  with a garage access ramp that doubles as a terrace to enjoy the warm humid night.

A ligação ao centro da cidade é rápida e eficiente, dando-me pouco tempo para desenhar a estação de Edge Hill. Sendo sábado, decidi dirigir-me para a estação de Lime Street para fazer um petisco fora de horas e explorar a noite de Liverpool. A Kat indicou-me a área de Hope Street para uma vida nocturna mais alternativa. Depois de uma refeição rápida e de conseguir evitar vários pubs foleiros e horrendos bares de karaoke, encontrei uma gema subterrânea chamada The Pilgrim. É um bar de rock descontraido, povoado por uma multidão ruidosa mas não completamente bêbeda, com uma rampa de garagem que serve de esplanada e zona de convívio menos iluminada, para se aproveitar a noite quente e húmida.

160723 Liverpool

Heading back home on the last suburban train, I found it to be packed with rowdy brits of all ages and walks of life. None hopped off at Edge Hill but me. Are the suburbs of Liverpool that wide?

A caminho de casa no último comboio suburbano da noite, dei com carruagens atafulhadas de ruidosos britânicos de todas as idades. Nenhum saiu comigo em Edge Hill. Será que os subúrbios de Liverpool são assim tão amplos?

Lisbonne, la visiter c’est l’adopter part #2

Terraços do Carmo, Carmo, Santa Justa, Lisboa, Portugal

After lunch, we rendezvoused under the triumphal arch at Rua Augusta with another group of sketchers that had attended Eduardo Salavisa‘s workshop in Casa-Museu Vieira da Silva, and also had a guest from abroad – Nathalia from Brazil. With renewed numbers and energy, the sardine-smelling group and the workshop group banded together, we sallied forth to explore the recently opened Terraços do Carmo (Carmo terraces), a set of public platforms on the foots of the Carmo convent ruins, shaded by the setting sun, with a view over the northern part of the historical center.

Depois do almoço, juntámo-nos, debaixo do arco do triunfo da Rua Augusta, com um segundo grupo de desenhadores que tinham estado na oficina do Eduardo Salavisa na Casa-Museu Vieira da Silva, e que também tinham uma convidada do estrangeiro – a Nathalia do Brasil. Com renovados efectivos e energia, o grupo do cheiro a sardinha e o grupo da oficina juntaram-se e lançaram-se em excursão para explorar os recém-inaugurados Terraços do Carmo, um espaço público em plataformas no sopé das ruínas do Carmo, sombreadas, com vista sobre a parte norte do centro histórico.

Terraços do Carmo, Carmo, Lisboa, Portugal

There we got comfortable, mingled and sketched until it was time to call it off.

Lá, pusemo-nos confortáveis, convivemos e desenhámos, até chegar a hora de terminar.

Terraços do Carmo, Carmo, Lisboa, Portugal

Despite the fact that most of us had been strolling and sketching from 10am, there was still the will to keep at it! So a few survivors went downhill all the way to another recently renovated area – the Ribeira das Naus – that was, up until last year, nameless and inhospitable, but is now a bustling promenade by the river, between Terreiro do Paço and Cais do Sodré, where city dwellers and tourists alike flock to enjoy the sound of the waves and the cooling effect of the water. By 8pm, we reluctantly disbanded. It had been a good day and, hopefully, a beautiful way of bidding farewell to Evelyn and Alejandra and also welcoming Nathalia.

Apesar de a maior parte do grupo estar a caminhar e a desenhar desde as 10 da manhã, ainda havia malta com vontade de continuar! Assim, alguns sobreviventes desceram a colina até outra área recentemente renovada – a Ribeira das Naus – que era, até há pouco tempo, sem nome e pouco hospitaleira, mas é agora um passeio agradável à beira-rio, entre o Terreiro do Paço e o Cais do Sodré, onde nativos e turistas vão para disfrutar do marulhar e da frescura da água. Pelas 8 da tarde, separámo-nos relutantemente. Foi um bom dia, e com sorte, terá sido uma forma bonita de dar as despedidas à Evelyn e à Alejandra, e também de dar as boas vindas à Nathalia.

Ribeira das naus, Lisboa, Portugal

Lisbonne, la visiter c’est l’adopter part #1

I stole the title of this post from Alejandra herself. It was something she said on her facebook after returning from her trip, that I never had thought about, but that is probably in the minds of many people that aren’t from Lisboa but live, have lived, or visit it, even if for a short period. I have adopted the city of Lisboa as well, but had never fully realized it.

Roubei o título deste post da Alejandra. Foi algo que ela escreveu no seu facebook, depois de regressar da sua viagem, que nunca me tinha ocorrido, mas que provavelmente está presente nas mentes de pessoas que não são de Lisboa, mas que vivem, já viveram ou a visitaram, mesmo que por um curto período de tempo. Eu adoptei a cidade de Lisboa também, sem nunca me aperceber plenamente disso.

São Domingos, Portas do Sol, Rossio, Alfama, Lisboa

The past Saturday, in the morning, had a group of Portuguese Urban Sketchers gathered in Alfama to spend the day sketching and mingling together with Evelyn and Alejandra, the two Parisian sketchers touring Lisboa.

A manhã do sábado passado viu um grupo de Urban Sketchers Portugueses juntos em Alfama, prontos para passar o dia a desenhar e a conviver com a Evelyn e a Alejandra, as duas desenhadoras Parisienses em visita a Lisboa.

Santo Estevão, Alfama, Lisboa

We visited the top and the bottom of Alfama – the vantage point of Portas do Sol and the once-by-the-river Largo do Chafariz de Dentro. Between early and late morning, the group split and meandered around the narrow alleys and odd smells of medieval Lisboa.

Visitámos o topo e a base de Alfama – o miradouro das Portas do Sol e o outrora-à-beira-rio Largo do Chafariz de Dentro. Entre a manhã e o princípio da tarde, o grupo dispersou e serpenteou pelas travessas estreitas e pelos odores característicos da Lisboa medieval.

Pateo 13, Santo Estevão, Alfama, Lisboa

Things got smoky during lunchtime, as the wind was blowing all the smoke from the fat of the grilled sardines in our direction, in the patio-restaurant where the group had lunch. It was a joy having those sardines, but it was an even greater joy to breathe fresh air as soon as we were finished!

Ao almoço, a coisa ficou nebulosa. O vento empurrava o fumo da gordura das sardinhas assadas na nossa direcção, no restaurante-pátio onde o grupo almoçou. As sardinhas estavam uma delícia, mas ainda foi uma delícia maior respirar o ar puro fora da influência do fumo da grelha!

Sketching from Paris to Lisboa

What’s great about the Urban Sketchers community is that it’s global and you can always find someone to sketch with when travelling abroad. That’s what happened last week, when Alejandra and Evelyn, from Paris, visited Lisboa for the first time. They contacted the local Urban Sketchers chapter and, after a few emails, a sketch meeting had been prepared with a scenic tour around the old town.

O bestial da comunidade Urban Sketchers é que é global e pode sempre conhecer-se alguém com quem desenhar quando se viaja no estrangeiro. Foi o que aconteceu durante a semana passada, quando a Alejandra e a Evelyn de Paris, visitaram Lisboa pela primeira vez. Contactaram o pólo local de Urban Sketchers e, depois de uma troca de emails, preparou-se um encontro de desenho com um passeio pelo pitoresco centro histórico.

Evelyn, Alejandra, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, Lisboa, Lisbonne, Casa do Alentejo, Migas, Açorda, Portas de Santo Antão, Casa do Alentejo

I had the pleasure of organizing the meeting, but I wanted to meet our lovely guests beforehand and get to know them. An evening in Casa do Alentejo did the trick and soon enough, we were chatting about sketching, revolutions, food and of course, Lisboa.

Tive o prazer de organizar o encontro. Mas antes, queria conhecer as nossas simpáticas visitantes. Um serão na Casa do Alentejo resolveu a questão. Rapidamente, a conversa proliferou sobre desenho, revoluções, comida e, claro, Lisboa.

Freedom Revolution Workshop with Marina Grechanik

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Largo do Carmo

This saturday, we had the privilege of having Marina Grechanik from Tel Aviv, in Lisboa, for a Freedom Revolution Workshop. The motto was to sketch the revolution by telling the story of its heroes: the people. We used her favored materials and techniques, and I was deep outside my comfort zone, except in the first warmup sketch.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Largo do Carmo, expressions

The first challenge was to capture emotions in people’s faces, with a quick gesture, with line or with a combination of wash and line. The sketches with less detail seem to be the most successful in conveying the basic emotions people were showing. Can you spot the instructor?

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Rossio, postures

We came down to Rossio train station, because of the rain, for the next challenge: to sketch action. To capture basic stances and gestures, body postures of people doing small actions, with line or with a color wash. Near the end of the challenge, I sat next to Paula Cabral, who was kind enough to let me use her ecoline-filled waterbrush – a very efficient tool! And works marvels in combination with the colored pencil and Paula’s wax crayons.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, lunch, lottery

During lunch, I sketched a panorama of our table, and to avoid further conflicts or complications, the portrayed ladies made a lottery to decide who would keep the sketch. Teresa, the winner, portrayed on the far right side of the sketch, was happy.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Terreiro do Paço

The afternoon challenge was longer in time. We took over the Terreiro do Paço, the administrative plaza of the capital, turned tourist attraction in the latest years, and more populated that day especially because it was one of the major sites of the actions that led to the ’74 revolution. The site is naturally charged with a political energy and, as Walter Rossa put it in a conference I attended recently, “it is meant to be inhospitable”. Will all the tourist and leisure life that exists here now soon come to an end? Wouldn’t we want it to come to an end?

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Terreiro do Paço

The challenge was divided into two parts. Number one: to sketch a story of a single place, using only a line tool, gathering information about the actions, the characters and the interactions that happen in that particular spot. Number two: same as number one, but with washes and colors.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Terreiro do Paço, music

The stories I captured in line weren’t so successful, so I hurried to get to do some more washes. My education in washes began in the Lisbon Urban Sketchers Symposium in 2011, in Cathy Gatland and Isabel Fiadeiro‘s Urban portraits. Now with Marina, this technique awoke from the ashes and, hopefully, is in me to stay.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, Terreiro do Paço, music

The musicians in the previous story were performing under the archways of the Terreiro, surrounded by some Banco de Partilha Social and around a couple hundreds of school kids going about their diverse kid’s businesses. Somewhere along the way, one of the girls borrowed a guitar and a high school band immediately and spontaneously formed and performed three songs with enough vigor and power to attract a small mob.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, skateboard, Terreiro do Paço

Some skaters improvised an obstacle from a sunshade support. Soon afterwards, the light drizzle had turned to a more proper rain. We took shelter under the archways, Marina wrapped up the workshop and we moved along the Baixa to drink some tea and some moscatel, to warm up our bodies and lift up our spirits.

Freedom Revolution Workshop, Marina Grechanik, workshop, Lisbon, Lisboa, sketching, Urban Sketchers, Urban Sketchers Portugal, 25 de abril, tea, moscatel, Baixa