Monday, August 8, 2011

...and Home Again

I hardly know where to start telling you about the Symposium - from flying into Lisbon, metres above the terracotta rooftops, to the final farewell party in the by then familiar square of the Faculdade de Belas Artes -three and a half days of amazing, pinch me experiences. 
Tia gave me an A++ for my sketch of her lecture
'From sketching together to a Group Exhibition'!
The first sighting of the legendary Tia and her husband Albert at the luggage carousel; being greeted by the enthusiastic waves and warm smiles of the Lisbon team come to meet us and take us to the Hotel Borges in the heart of old, historic, colourful, vibrant, bustling Lisbon... whoever would have thought mere sketches would have brought me to such a place and time, with so many people with a shared passion, so excited to meet each other?

The entrance to the Faculdade de Bel Artes of the University of Lisbon, the base of the Symposium
Photos I've seen around the internet - Asnee, Ea, Nina, Simonetta, Marc... more and more surreally familiar faces came into three-dimensional, animated life and the reality of this dream started to dawn.
I soon met my workshop partner and fellow African Urban Sketchers correspondent, Isabel Fiadeiro, who took me under her competent wing, explaining, encouraging, translating, calming my jitters about teaching for the first time, "when the time comes, the words will come, you will know what to say" - and so it proved to be.

And Gabi Campanario, the originator and powerhouse of it all, dealing graciously with every question and situation that arose, and the team of Portuguese hosts and volunteers, who must have worked themselves to a standstill to plan and organise the mammoth production of displays, lectures, workshop venues, every little detail thought of and taken care of for this enormous event, with unending good humour and hospitality.

Listening to Matt Brehm's lecture - one Liz Steel - at last we've
met for real!
I, like many of the instructors, didn't have time to do as many sketches as you'd think, as our focus was on guiding and teaching, which turned out be a richly rewarding experience. As Matthew Brehm said in one of the excellent lectures that were delivered every day after lunch, "teaching is a very aggressive form of learning", as I discovered both in the preparations leading up to the trip, and during the one-on-one sessions with the participants, of which more later.

These watercolour sketches were done on the first morning at the 'Waterscapes' workshop - more about it on the Symposium website - as my first teaching session was in the afternoon, a pleasant and relaxing way to lead into the packed days ahead.


Bridget Hunter said...

This is a great post Cathy - as are the sketches you've shown so far. It sounds like a terrific experience. I'm sure you were a great teacher.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Beautiful brush sketches, Cathy. What a treat it is to have you share this adventure. Thank you.

A Brush with Color said...

Love, love, love what you did here, Cathy!! So inspiring. Each of these tugs at my heart. Sounds like it was fabulous.

Benjamin J. said...

Wow, once again wish I could have been there. So did you learn quite a bit acting as a teacher? I'm sure your trip was grand and can't wait to see more of your work.

Benjamin J.

RH Carpenter said...

I'm so happy it was such a wonderful experience for you and I know you taught your students well :) Love the sketches!

Unknown said...

I wish I could have gone to meet you in person and experience such a wonderful event. Maybe next year??!

I like the watercolours you managed to do.

Cathy said...

So glad to read all the details! I love your watercolour sketches!