Garden, Digital Photograph, 39 x 26 cm, 2014

A — The studio — Garden, Arqueta Residence. Open since June 2014, the art studio has been set up in the countryside, in a house in Arqueta Valley, in the Portuguese Serra de Monchique. It is composed of one living room, one bathroom, a study containing an art library, a bedroom and a rural kitchen. Painting can be done outside or in the house, as the entire house and its garden are considered the studio.

The garden is situated in the land of a traditional farmer.  It is composed of three small levels of land, trees, bushes, flowers, vegetables, a permanent water source (a diverted stream), and a workbench. Living here invites a study of flora and fauna, but also offers a perspective on the difficulties of agriculture with permaculture, and of the aesthetics of the water cycle according to the season.

‘I would say as much for subjects relating to mathematics, those who study the creators and not the works of nature are in art the grandchildren and not the children of nature, the ultimate guide of great creators. Note the remarkable folly of those who blame whoever studies from nature, neglecting the authorities’ censorship, disciples too of this same nature.’

The study of the garden focuses in part on optical perspective, and in part on seasons and landscapes. A film based on the texts from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, as well as from other painters’ views on perspective, accompanies the development of the FOREST and its photographs.

B — FOREST: An Embryo. Seeds and saplings, bushes and plants, were sowed in pots throughout autumn and spring. Together the pots formed a forest-to-be. The intention was to plant this forest by a river. This first forest in gestation is considered the first piece of the FOREST work. The pots are positioned under a carob tree outside the studio, and kept watered throughout the summer.