above: solstice stone near my little house at Obras
Cydney and I picked up our rental car in Lisbon on Monday and drove to the residency in the country where we will spend 5 weeks. It is beautiful rolling hills with cork trees and olive trees and vineyards everywhere. The region is called the Alentejo region in central south Portugal just a few hours east of Lisbon, renown for its wine.
The founders Ludger and Carolien greeted us at Obras. They have created a beautiful residency and place for artists in an old farmstead they have completely rebuilt, using the existing structures. Thank you Amy Clay for suggesting this place! I gave them both a hug from you.
Ludger showed us both to our accommodations and my studio. Cydney is staying in an apartment in the old farmhouse with a lovely porch and view of the countryside.
I have been given the little casa up the hill that is very possibly the ruins of an old chapel. There is a remarkable ancient stone outside my door (pictured above) which points directly south on the summer solstice. It is lovely to have this privacy and space to live and be inspired by. I would like to work in the landscape here at Obras later on in the residency. Here are some pictures of mi casa and also the swimming pool, beautiful strange flower and places around the grounds of Obras.
I also have a large studio to work in. I will start Part 1 of my projects here at Obras with my “inhabited drawings” that I started in my studio in Boulder with the cloth constructions that Bella Newell made for me. So the whole thing seems to be a great set up for working! The outside of my studio and just starting to move into the space with drawings I did in Boulder.
We had an artist presentation last night with a Dutch video artist who is here in residence and dinner after with our hosts and neighbor Luis and the other 6 or 7 artists who are here now. Good food, good wine, good company. Cydney and I both feel very comfortable from the start. Five weeks!
Here is the link to the Obras website, it is a beautiful place they have created: