|Janas Wood, Colares, Sintra|
|View into "Mexico", Palace of Monserrate Sintra|
|Palace Border, Monserrate|
|Wisteria, Palace Garden, Monserrate|
|Hemlock and Queen Anne's Lace|
|Palm Trees near Monserrate Palace|
|The Colares Road, Winter|
|Palace Border Flowers|
|late summer bindweed Portugal 2013|
|Red Hot Poker, Monserrate|
|tea house Monserrate|
Notes on the title "Enchantment"
What is the nature of enchantment?
A layering of realities, a resonance which has a sense of “the other”, a scintillation of significance, human time suspended or slowed, plant time unhindered, weaving into the abandoned spaces.
“We are drawn to sights sounds and energies which resonate and amplify our own. As a child I lived in fairy tales, in the descriptions and images of enchanted worlds of imagination and mystery. The illustrations to fairy tales so beautifully drawn and sometimes influenced by art nouveau seemed to me to be works of pure genius, and I had no idea that some of the trees plants and buildings which wove through the stories could be found here in Portugal, and particularly in Sintra. Here, the fairy tale world of my childhood has been brought to life.”
Portugal is a country rich in enchantment; so many places of magnificent beauty, and some of these are caught in a lavish and seductive wilderness of neglect. The improbability and charm of beautiful ornamental features in buildings, gates, fences, walls and garden ornaments, mixed with the exotic and rampant plants build an environment which creates the spell.
With its repeating history of both splendour and decadence the palace and gardens of Monserrate emanate this quality of enchantment.
In any weather or time of day the mood may change, but the sense of enchantment remains; and part of the nature of enchantment is the way we happen upon it, our discovery is filled with a sense of chance as though we are being led in, that things are being revealed to us.
ABOUT THE PAINTINGS (painting medium)
Painted using the medium “Distempera" (pure pigment and size) also gouache, and casein for the larger pieces on paper and on board. The pigments come from a variety of sources, metals, chemicals, the earth and stones.
Note: Distempera is related to tempera where the pigment is mixed with egg or some other binder; it is also likened to fresco painting where the pigment is painted into wet plaster. It is a water-based medium with a matte surface. It has been used throughout history, for example, by Renaissance painters Mantegna, Raphael and Leonardo, and schools of, for the under-paintings or cartoons for frescos. Distempera was also occasionally used by Matisse, and most beautifully by the French painter Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940)