I'm slow on catching up with the rest of the world sometimes so have only recently discovered Google Street View and an opportunity to combine art into technology.
The Virtual Paintout is hosted by Bill Guffey and consists of choosing a city a month and letting people explore it, choose a view, paint or draw it then have it posted on the VP blog.
Its easy to get lost (literally and figuratively) in these cities. As you explore narrow streets, view local sculpture and scenic spots, its difficult to decide on a particular place as they all have appeal.
September's city is Lisbon, Portugal. After much exploring I came across this stone outbuilding in the older part of town and couldn't resist a pen and ink drawing of it to capture the feel in black and white. I felt that colour would bring it too far into the present day somehow.
Anyone over 40 from St. John's will be quite familiar with the White Fleet. Until the early 70's the Portuguese fishing fleet would leave Portugal for a season's voyage, or a campanha, to fish off the Grand Banks. The fleet was known as the White Fleet because all the ships were painted white. Many of the sailors in the fleet were fine musicians who brought their instruments ashore or played on the boats tied up in the harbour.
Portugal and Newfoundland have had strong ties for more than 400 years through the fishery. In the 1960's and early 70', the waterfront was lined five deep with the Portugese White Fleet and downtown St. John's became cosmopolitan with Portugese fisherman speaking a language few knew, their olive colouring a stark contrast to the sun starved inhabitants of this island.
...The launching of the new ship also marked the quincentennial celebration of the Portuguese presence in the waters off Newfoundland. There were celebratory masses. The St. John's film council organized a special film festival for the fishermen, with showings of the films "Portuguese Grand Bankers" and "Portuguese Golden Beaches," with announcements printed in both the Portuguese and English language. The festivities ended when a parade of 4,000 Portuguese fishermen marching to the Basilica of St. John the Baptist bearing a three-and-a-half foot high statue of Our Lady of Fatima, a gift of gratitude and friendship intended as a holy link between the two peoples. A statue of Gaspar Corte-Real also stands looking out to sea, in remembrance of the Corte-Real brothers' 1501 and 1502 exploration of these coastal waters, to which they ultimately lost their lives...
So 12 R. das Quelnas now has a place in my heart and I will be back there to see more and draw more, even if only from the comfort of my chair for now.
White Fleet ship saved from scrapyard
Portuguese company now owns two historic fishing vessels
The St. John's Telegram article says:
Pascoal & Filhosa fish company - in an emotional dockside delivery - took possession weeks ago of the Argus - one of the final four surviving members of the Portuguese White Fleet.
The fish company has strong family ties to the White Fleet and now owns two White Fleet vessels. The other - called the Santa Maria Manuela - is undergoing complete restoration at a Spanish shipyard. The company plans to sail the Santa Maria Manuela to Newfoundland in 2010 to celebrate Portugal's ties to St. John's and the Newfoundland fishery.