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A Portuguese Mash-Up

What’s your preference – EVERYTHING matches or NOTHING matches?

Most of the time my preference leans toward nothing matching. I really like different styles, opinions, expressions and tastes – you’ll see it in my house, nothing matches. Likely this is a result of my curious nature.

I believe this “nothing matches” preference also comes out in my choices of painting subjects. While my inspiration comes from travel and local wandering around, I love drawing and painting a variety of subject matter. And if this variety is included in ONE subject, then I’m in Curiosity Heaven!

Like in my newest miniature, “Praça da Ribeira, Porto”, where the definition of “mash-up” is on full display!

#151 – Praça da Ribeira, Porto

Last summer I visited Porto for the first time, a city named the 2017 Best European Destination – a city that focused the last 5 years on major civic improvements. Prior to all the investments in restoration/renovation, Porto had a reputation as a bit of a tough town, having fallen victim to Portugal’s previous economic troubles. As our Airbnb host explained, it’s still a city in progress, but very much reinvigorated.

Everywhere you go in Porto, there are restoration projects and renovation scaffolding. Older buildings are getting facelifts, inside and out. Trendy restaurants and cafes have moved into rundown neighbourhoods, injecting new life. Local artisans are being celebrated, beyond just the famous port producers. And one of the places that captures all this new energy is Praça da Ribeira on the waterfront, in what used to be the gritty ship docks area. Many of the original buildings in the square with historic azulejo tiles have been restored, while others are still awaiting their turn. There are numerous restaurants and a strong outdoor café scene here, where it’s almost impossible to get a seat after 10am. And then above a 17th century fountain is a modern cube bronze sculpture by José Rodrigues. Old with new! Love it!

I spent one night in a hotel on the square and captured some early morning photos of the empty square, that have become the inspiration of my 151st miniature:

2.5″ x 3.5″ ink and watercolour

If you love lots to look at, I recommend you visit Porto, and if you have, what were your impressions?


(Original available now at my Etsy Shop, ArtWeWonderful)


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