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

Diários de Viagem 2 – Travel Journals 2

A year ago, I was invited, along with many other sketchers, illustrators and artists, to contribute with ten sketches from a trip I had made, for a collective book – the second of its kind – edited by Eduardo Salavisa and published by Quimera in Portugal. Last november, that project finally came to life in a book launch I unfortunately couldn’t attend. During the holidays, I finally got my hands on one of the two copies that were sent by the publisher and I must say it’s a true honour to have my work included among such superb artists like Siza Vieira, Lapin, João Catarino, António Jorge Gonçalves and so many others!

book, diários de viagem 2, travel, sketching, traveller, sketcher, Poland

The book is yet another step in showing the world what it is that we sketchers do and why do we do it. The following is a free translation of a promotional text about the book by Eduardo Salavisa:

“We know that when we travel, we’re more available and focused to see everything that surrounds us. If we take a sketchbook, a doodler tool and a few watercolours, we’re able to sketch or write down whatever is happening to ourselves, sometimes under difficult circumstances. Some sketches are done in a hurry while others are more elaborate. But all of them are fruit of a period of observation that dents our memory in a permanent way.

The authors, both portuguese and spanish (two of them french but living in Spain), that contributed to this book have good examples of this type of record. Each author tells us the tale of a journey through drawings in their sketchbooks – the Travel Journal – and a short text. It’s 30 journeys told by sketchers-travellers.”

book, diários de viagem 2, travel, travelling, sketching, sketcher, traveller, Poland

Over the next few months, I’ll post here the full sketchbook of the trip to Poland, including the sketches and texts published in the book Diários de Viagem 2.

A big thank you to Patrícia Canastreiro for all the photos and patience!

Portraits at Martas #4

Marie was a fanzine author who visited our stall when the Seriefest was at the library next door. We started talking about how she’d met Stockholm urban sketcher Nina Johansson before and was wondering if I had knew of her. Soon after, Holger took on the conversation with her, which left me free to portrait her. She had a really nice colour to her hair.

Marie Flood