I described recently a trip we had made to Portugal. At the end of it we visited an old university friend of mine who has retired to the Algarve. Well, he has retired there recently, but for twenty years his wife has lived in the villa. I started a painting of their house as a present for them, but the painting went a bit pear shaped and I said I’d do one on my return.

When I returned home I saw a photograph my wife had taken. I had done my first painting from below the house in what can be loosely described as the orchard, but my wife’s photo was taken from the pool deck and showed the place in a much better light. However, there were bits of furniture and a big metal cube covered in gauze where you could sit in the mosquito season by the pool. Some of these objects looked odd. So I decided to put Bob and Grace into the painting to conceal the gap I had created by these omitting the strange furniture.

The view had a Hockneyish, Californian, feel about it. So I thought that I would plonk a cat onto Grace’s lap to echo the painting of the Clarks by Hockney – they also own a cat. It got worse, I added some palm trees which I could see from the orchard and had included them in my first painting – though I think they are hidden behind the villa in this view.

So here we have the painting. I may tweak it a bit more before I show it to them. They already have a few paintings of mine which were on the walls when we visited, for the first time, so hopefully it might amuse them – even though it’s a bit more than the painting of their house I initially promised.

Other townscapes are available for purchase on my website:


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