Daniel Hasselmyr’s love for the Algarve is possibly matched by his passion for painting in watercolour. But while his feelings for this little corner of southern Europe are rooted in a time that has long since past, his energy for contemporary watercolour painting knows no bounds. Indeed, Daniel is taking watercolour to new levels. He was only recently awarded a prize certificate by the Royal Watercolour Society in London for work that he hopes shows how this paint medium is not the “poor cousin” of art, as people often tend to think, but more a wonderfully fluid medium, capable of catching moments in a way like no other.
“You can be as experimental as you like with contemporary watercolour painting”, he explains when we meet for an interview. “You can apply colour in any way you like, too – removing it sometimes, if you feel, to give an effect, or using a moist sponge to create “negative” painting elements. The only thing you have to be aware of is that you can’t paint over mistakes. In a way, it is a bit like Zen Buddhism – you have to be in exactly the right mood.
“In my case, I even have to create the right energy in the house before I start painting”…
This can involve “washing all the dirty dishes”, he adds with a smile. Clearing clutter, in other words.
Intriguingly, since moving back to the Algarve after five years in England (where he taught art at a category B prison), Daniel has been living in a house specially designed to uplifting Ayurvedic principles. Possibly as a result, he finds he has the “most incredible dreams” which he then incorporates into his paintings.
“I dream a lot, almost every night I would say now. Sometimes they are dreams of being caught up in railway stations and losing my children, but other times they are full of ideas and possibilities that fill me with inspiration”…
The return to the Algarve has, he says, taken inspiration into overdrive.
“While I was away I honestly craved the Algarve light. Without it I am stuck, but now that I am back and working again, I just want to develop the ideas that are coming. I am working very much with mixed media, combining watercolour with digital graphics. I even have ideas to use spray cans!
“Many artists do their best work when they are older. It’s a unique opportunity, in a way. You have the knowledge and skills – you still have the energy if you’re lucky. All you need is the time. That is really what I am working towards now – making the time”.
Influenced hugely by David Hockney, whose work has changed dramatically over the decades and continues to dazzle, Hasselmyr also incorporates contrasts and feelings into his pictures from Old Masters like Cézanne and Van Gogh.
Recent paintings of fishing boats in Ferragudo, and a back street in a typical Algarvian town, have almost mystical imagery reminiscent of Van Gogh.
His book “Algarve: Artistic Impressions”, published in 2010, has been incredibly successful – surprising even this seemingly unflappable Swede who decided to put it together after he saw that the Algarve he had walked into 30 years previously was rapidly disappearing.
“When I first arrived in the Algarve in the 70s, there were really no other foreign artists here”, he explains. It was a “world that was gentle, laid back, naive and uncluttered by modern commercialism”.
As time and “progress” advanced however, this world faltered and sputtered.
“It must have been in around 2009 that I woke up to the fact that so much had been torn down – yet amongst my work, I still had images of the Algarve the way it used to be”.
Thus, the book is a little history of a place that many now visit without realising what came before.
“I still sell well on Amazon. I suppose it is a bit of advertising for the Algarve”, he shrugs, with characteristic self-effacement.
Only back here permanently since last September, Daniel will be exhibiting some of his latest work in our upcoming Open VIII, starting next month. He will also be painting and selling at the Ferragudo Art Festival on Saturday nights throughout the summer, from 15th June.
“I am just so happy to be back”, he concludes. “The Algarve is a unique, special place. I had been missing it tremendously”…
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.
Feasts for the Eyes
Art and food – it is a combination one increasingly finds when dining out these days, designed to benefit everyone: restaurants have something fun (and free) to put on their walls, artists have the chance to show their work to a captive audience, and diners are able to feast the eyes, as well their stomachs.
But in Praia da Luz this season, the Mirage Bar & Restaurant is showing some rather unusual works of art. From a painter well-known in contemporary art circles, a lot of these paintings are highly political. Bernd Schwarzer’s work deals with the issues of Europe, reunification of East and West,Weimar and human rights.
When you see his pictures these underlying messages are not immediately clear, but the colours of the German flag are predominant, as well as the telltale blue circle, which we discovered later is Schwarzer’s symbol for a united Europe. Early influences include Vincent Van Gogh, and this can be seen very clearly in one of the smaller paintings at the back of the pretty pastel-decorated dining room.
The rest, well, it’s anyone’s guess – and there are more to come as the season continues.
“I am still getting used to them myself”, Mirage owner David Jones tells us. For a close-up look at these unusual artworks, enjoy a trip to the Mirage. It is “celebrating 25 years of good food and fun” this summer and has a delicious menu, free wi-fi and an excellent
choice of Portuguese wines.
Mirage Bar & Restaurant: 282 788524/ 912771713. Portuguese, English and German spoken.
Our Club Evenings this year surpassed themselves. We had full houses for Fado, opera and Afro Beats, and repeat customers right through the winter! At last, there is a place to go for people who like music, culture, good company, wine and tapas.
When life quietens down again in September we will invite you back to our weekly Club evenings. In the meantime you can look up what’s on regarding live music by clicking on our website www.artealgarve.net. We update every weekday, and you’ll find information on events all over the Algarve.
And with luck we will see you very soon, either when you visit the gallery or when you come to see our next OPEN VIII exhibition, opening on June 15th. June will also see the opening of our „Galeria Tasca“ running daily from Monday to Saturday, from midday to 3pm. The idea here is that you can sit surrounded by art, and eat and drink well and inexpensively!
Happy summer sunshine to all of you from all of us at Galeria Arte Algarve!
Os nossos populares Club Evenings entram em pausa. Tivemos sempre a casa cheia nos serões de fado, música clássica, afro beat e rock jazz. Muitos dos convidados não quiseram perder uma única noite de convívio – o nosso obrigado. Finalmente existe um evento que encanta pessoas de todos os cantos do mundo, ue adoram uma boa música ao vivo acompanhada com petiscos deliciosos e excelentes vinhos.
Em Setembro, após a época alta, regressam os nossos Club Evenings semanais. E mais, no nosso website www.artealgarve.net diariamente actualizado encontrará informações sobre onde decorrerá o seu próximo concerto.
De certeza iremos encontrar-nos em breve, numa visita à nossa galeria de arte, ou quem sabe na inauguração da nova exposição no dia 15 de Junho pelas 15 horas, ou também a partir de Junho na nossa Galeria-Tasca que estará aberta diariamente entre as 12 e as 15 horas onde pode comer e beber bem por muito pouco.
Toda a equipa da Arte Algarve deseja-vos um Verão esplêndido!
Für unsere diesjährigen Clubabende ist die Saison zu Ende. Wir hatten „volles Haus“ bei Fado, Opernmusik, Afro Beat und Rock Jazz. Viele Gäste kamen doch tatsächlich zu jedem Event – danke! Viele sind glücklich, dass es endlich einen Ort für Leute gibt, die Wert auf klasse live Musik sowie auf die Gesellschaft sehr netter internationaler Leute legen und leckere Tapas und Weine schätzen.
Wenn es im September ruhiger wird, laden wir Sie wieder jede Woche zu einem Clubabend ein. Im übrigen können Sie in unserer täglich aktualisierten website www.artealgarve.net immer nachschauen, wo es gerade live Musik gibt. Wir informieren über die gesamte Algarve.
Wir werden uns bestimmt bald wiedersehen, sei es bei einem Galeriebesuch, sei es bei der nächsten Eröffnung am 15. Juni oder ebenfalls ab Juni in unserer neuen Galeria-Tasca, die täglich von 12 bis 15 Uhr geöffnet sein wird und wo Sie prima und preiswert essen und trinken können.
Wir alle vom Arte Algarve Team wünschen Ihnen einen fröhlichen Sommer!