Our choice for ‘sunshine artist of the weekend’ has to be Jessica Simanowski, a young lady whose infectious joie-de-vivre and bounce would make her a millionairess many times over if she could just figure out how to bottle it – and that’s before you even consider her paintings!
Walking into Jessie’s apartment is very much like landing suddenly on another planet.
A happy-planet, from a children’s storybook – full of wide-eyed animals, colours and patterns, peace and unbridled joy.
“As a child, I was just different from the others. It wasn’t easy. I spent a lot of time in the ‘Jessie’ world. I always knew I would be an artist”.
But she didn’t want to go the conventional route – so although she was accepted into an arts academy in her native Germany at the age of 19, she packed up her belongings, her mountain bike and her dreams, and headed for Portugal.
She has been here ever since, exercising that special brand of “difference” that she was born with.
“An art collector from London bought some of my paintings in the early days, and created a huge hype around them. Suddenly, everyone wanted to buy my work, and I was selling, selling, selling”.
Then came a period when she became disillusioned with the hype and with galleries and commercialism in general. She hid herself away in her colourful cocoon, creating her ever-developing fantasy pictures, as well as dolls and accessories, which she sold online.
She may also take part in the Ferragudo Arts Festival on Saturday evenings throughout the summer as the number of dolls she has made recently has got a little out of hand…
“It’s definitely time I sold some of them”, she laughs, as her boyfriend staggers up the stairs with an armful of wacky-looking cuddly creatures.
They are the sort that any child would treasure.
So, watch out for Jessie when you come to our Open in June. Anyone with anything too serious on their minds would do well to make for her section first, and just bask in the sheer delight of sunshine creativity.
For more on planet Jessie, click here: http://www.jessica-simanowski.com
Written by Natasha Donn
And have you clicked on www.artealgarve.net recently? Our website has turned into a vibrant portal for art & culture in the Algarve. There is a new article/feature about artists every day, updates of ?What’s on in the Algarve? (live music, etc) every day, a new clip on world famous artists or art tutorials every day, and a very readable section on Algarve lifestyle and Food & Drink. In the space of only a couple of months, our site has received tens of thousands of clicks and is rapidly reaching its target! If you want to know what the Algarve is offering when it comes to art & culture, click on www.artealgarve.net. You’ll soon get hooked!
A exposição ARTE ALGARVE OPEN VII decorre ainda mais duas semanas, e se ainda não teve a oportunidade de a visitar ? dê um saltinho à nossa galeria ? vai adorar! Muitos amantes da arte comentam que é uma das melhores exposições colectivas em Portugal. No dia 8 de Junho encerramos a exposição actual e damos continuidade à programação com a nova exposição OPEN VIII, que será ainda mais notável! Voltando ao presente: não deixe de visitar a nossa galeria de arte para admirar as esplêndidas obras de vidro do artista Louis la Rooy, as fatásticas paisagens do pintor Cliff Martin Tuson, as fotografias eternas de Alexandre Manuel, os quadros expressivos com vegetação exótica de Karin Vlieger, as telas maravilhosas da artista Carla Martinho que permitem dar uma espreitadela no quotidiano da vida portuguesa ? entre muitas outras obras extraordinárias de 40 artistas.
Clicou recentemente em www.algarve.net? O nosso website tornou-se numa plataforma vibrante de Arte & Cultura no Algarve. Todos os dias pode descobrir num artigo o ?background? de um artista diferente, actualizamos diariamente os eventos do Algarve (música ao vivo, etc.), publicamos diariamente um novo videoclip ligado à arte e apresentamos uma grande variedade com o lema ?Estilo de vida algarvio e ?Comida & Bebida?. Em poucas semanas o nosso website teve milhares de visitas e atinge rapidamente o seu objectivo. Tem curiosidade em saber o que o Algarve nos oferece no mundo da Arte & Cultura? Então, clique em www.artealgarve.net! Vai adorar!
Noch haben Sie während zwei Wochen die Möglichkeit, die Ausstellung ARTE ALGARVE OPEN VII zu besuchen. Viele Kunstliebhaber haben die aktuelle Ausstellung als eine der besten Kollektiv-Ausstellungen in Portugal bezeichnet. Am 8. Juni endet die OPEN VII, um ab dem 15. Juni einer neuen und noch attraktiveren und vielfältigeren OPEN VIII den Platz zu übergeben. Noch können Sie die wundervollen Glasskulpturen von Louis de la Rooy, die herrlichen Landschaften vom Maler Clifff Martin Tuson, die zeitlosen Fotos von Alexandre Manuel, die kräftigen Bilder exotischer Pflanzen von Karin Flieger, die ausdrucksstarken Arbeiten von Carla Martinho, die einen Einblick in das portugiesische Alltagsleben erlauben? nebst vielen anderen fantastischen Werken von 40 Künstlern, genießen.
Besuchten Sie kürzlich www.artealgarve.net? Unsere Webseite hat sich zur vibrierenden Plattform für Kunst & Kultur gemausert. Täglich wird ein anderer Künstler vorgestellt, täglich wird unsere Agenda aktualisiert (Live-Musik etc.), täglich erhalten Sie einen tieferen Einblick in den ?Lebensstil der Algarve und die Gastronomie?. Innerhalb weniger Wochen zählten wir tausende Klicks und unsere Webseite rückt schnell und konstant ihrem Ziel entgegen. Neugierig geworden? Dann klicken Sie gleich auf www.artealgarve.net Ein Kunsterlebnis!
Street artists and musicians are a huge part of the summertime charm of the Algarve. Every town has its share of mime artists, caricaturists, jugglers and singers – but there is only one Lothar Vroegan.
Lothar arrived a few years ago, with his barrel-organ and stuffed monkey, and has been delighting crowds up and down the region ever since.
You find him at weekends, either in Olhão (between the markets on the seafront), Loulé, or playing the flea markets of Ferragudo and Lagoa. He’s thinking of starting also in Portimão.
In the frenzy of modern life, though, what is it that impels a man to put on a funny outfit (he takes infectious delight in his selection of hats) and turn the crank of a mechanical music box? It is certainly not the stuff of making fortunes, particularly as Lothar doesn’t even charge for his performances. “People can give if they want to”, he tells us.
“This is nothing about making money”, he agrees with a carefree smile. “I do it because I love it! I just love the sounds of these little organs. I have two. One which I play when I am in the street, and a smaller one that I play at parties, or inside.
“I fell in love with them when I was a child in Germany. I always dreamed of having one of my own”.
The dream eventually became a reality. Lothar has around 650 different melodies that he can play on his instruments, handmade in Germany by “Raffin”, the Mercedes of barrel-organ construction.
Sadly, there are no Portuguese songs available on the general barrel-organ market. Lothar has to order them especially – which is very expensive.
His first Portuguese melody was ready only recently, and he played it last weekend. What was it?
“Grandola Vila Morena!” He beams. He was delighted by the reaction. “It was absolutely brilliant! Everyone started singing. The Portuguese people who heard me loved it!”
Love of music, love of life – these are Lothar’s magic ingredients for contentment in the Algarve. When he is not playing his organ, or tending his garden, he is leaping onto his much-loved Harley Davidson and taking part in various bikers’ club get-togethers.
Still fairly hesitant when it comes to the Portuguese language, he has succeeded with charm and the universal bond of music. “I play at nearly all the bikers’ lunches and celebrations now”, he smiles. “Everyone likes it so much. The bikers, their families, the children… In fact, I have to come home after all our rides, leave my bike and drive in the car to the meals we organise, just so that I can take the organ with me!”
Lothar is available for private functions (birthdays/ weddings, etc.) and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Natasha Donn
Instead of going to the beach, why not head for Quinta de Oxalá in Estômbar and enjoy “interesting art, questionable company and light al-fresco nibbles and drinks”, not to mention cool breezes coming off an idyllic lake?
The plan is to show art in the making, under the olive trees – an afternoon of sharing, with aspiring artists and interested art lovers.
Your hosts will be:
-Caroline Wood, who lives in the Algarve and has participated in many exhibitions working in oils and watercolours
-Kate Evans, who paints in oils but is currently using watercolor or colored pencils to create beautiful botanical illustrations of Algarve wildflowers
-Cliff Martin, who describes his painting as a mixture between Jackson Pollock and Rembrandt – “I’m just not as famous “… until he paints his masterpiece, that is!
-Gaelle Hamp-Adams, originally from Africa and who loves to paint wildlife and animals, and experimenting with various mediums.
-BJ Boulter who has made the leap from her profession as film production designer to artist, sketching and painting – exploring watercolour and acrylics
-Kerstin Wagner, renowned as an abstract painter in acrylic and pure pigments; watch out for our interview upcoming with her next week!
-Bonnie Appleyard, enthused by abstract art: the mixture of colours, shapes and textures gives wings to her imagination, and
-David Trubshaw, who loves painting abstract trees and skyscapes in acrylics and is currently investigating painting without brushes…
One of the best-selling artists from our last exhibition, Claude Müller – a mistress of improvisation – rose to the challenge to conduct a “fun workshop”, holding on to her sense of humour with the skill of a trapeze artist.
Art teacher Marta Dyer-Smith deserves an endurance medal for her work, as indeed do all teachers of secondary school children the world over.
It is possibly the most trying age bracket, 13-16, and thus we consider ourselves lucky that the gallery has remained standing – particularly as one of the attending teens has something of a history for starting fires.
So what of the talent? Well, happily there was some. A diffident young man in a hat showed a skill beyond his years. “Please, no!” he winced in mock horror when an observer remarked that he was an artist.
It turns out that it is his mother who is the artist. But more of that in another post. The young man in the hat meantime insists that he wants to be a computer programmer…
For now, we leave you with some of the images of a morning where for a few hours the younger generation got to be our “artists of the day”.
Written by Natasha Donn
Believing in the Algarve!
You either love it or hate it, but Saturday sees another Eurovision Song Contest – and this year a very special lady who loves the Algarve is singing for her country, at the age of 61!
The UK’s Bonnie Tyler and her bid for Eurovision stardom is the subject of this week’s blog by Len Port, on algarvenewswatch.blogspot.pt.
Ms Tyler was also the special guest at KissFM radio station recently, talking about how much she enjoys life in the Algarve, and how she hopes the people of Portugal will vote for her.
One of our readers, and well-known figure in the west Algarve, Val Window (the other half of Kiss FM’s Sir Owen Gee), recently won a painting she is delighted with in a charity raffle.
As you can see from the photos attached, the signature is open to interpretation.
“Sometimes I think it says Barbara Flanagan”, Val tells us. “Other times I am not so sure”.
Queries via facebook have no far led nowhere.
Anyone who recognises the painting, should contact Val through Arte Algarve’s website.
Meantime, the lady who used to run a business grooming cats and dogs, and has a penchant for fast motorbikes, is now considering standing for her local parish council for the wonderfully green and “let’s-do-away-with corruption” Earth Party (MPT-Partido da Terra).
Anyone who holds a voting card and lives in Praia da Luz, should put their cross next to Val’s name in the upcoming municipal elections in October. We’re told that if she polls just 500 votes, the seat is her’s …
But back to our “whodunnit”, the first person who can accurately identify the artist responsible for Val’s mystery painting will win a free bottle of delicious “Porches Primeur” wine… to be claimed in person from the gallery.
Written by ND
Every Saturday from June 15th to August 17th we will be organizing an “Open Air Art Festival” along the picturesque port of Ferragudo. Starting at 6pm and lasting till midnight, the quayside from the Old Bridge to the Mercado Municipal belongs to the artists. Traffic will be blocked on those evenings.
Ferragudo is already famous for its Saturday nights. A well-known band performs in the adjacent central square, and thousands of people regularly come to enjoy the atmosphere – to dance and party. It’s a unique summertime attraction in the Algarve.
Entre os dias 15 de Junho e 17 de Agosto, todos os sábados organizaremos uma “festival de arte ao ar livre” ao longo do cais da aldeia pitoresca de Ferragudo. O cais, entre a ponte antiga e o Mercado Municipal, estará fechado ao trânsito. Entre as 18 horas e meia-noite o cais pertence aos artistas.
Ferragudo, que já popular pelas suas noites de Sábado, receberá bandas reconhecidas na praça central que alegram milhares de visitantes e convidam com música ao vivo para dançar e viver umas noites de verão divertidas. De certeza será uma atracção única durante o verão no Algarve.
An allen Samstagen, vom 15. Juni bis 17. August veranstalten wir in Ferragudo eine „Open Air Festival der Kunst am Kai“. Von 18 Uhr bis Mitternacht gehört der Kai zwischen der Alten Brücke und dem Mercado Municipal den Künstlern. Der Autoverkehr wird an diesen Abenden gesperrt.
Parallel dazu tritt auf dem benachbarten zentralen Platz eine bekannte Band auf, dafür ist Ferragudo ja berühmt geworden. Tausende von Menschen strömen herbei, viele tanzen, es herrscht eine tolle Stimmung – einzigartig in der ganzen Algarve.