Wednesday, October 23, 2013


"Saudades" is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English.  It describes a deep emotional state and a melancholic longing for an absent something or someone.  It is "a recollection of feelings, places, experiences and events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.  It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling."

I grew up in the beautiful country of Portugal.  It's been over forty years since I left there to come to the United States to live and yet I still find some of my greatest pleasure in painting Portuguese subjects.  I suppose you could say I have "saudades".

A window in the quaint Portuguese town of Óbidos.

"Lace Curtain"   29" x 21"   Watercolor


  1. Your description of the word, Saudades, must surely be accurate, for the subject matter, lighting, shadowing, rich color and warmth of your paintings are rich with emotion. Love your work!

  2. Hi, James.

    I just stumbled upon your wonderful blog. I'm very impressed by the warmth you infuse into all your portraits, even some of the more formal corporate types. Nice. Also enjoy seeing the progressions and your architectural pieces. All so inspiring.

    One question I do you pick the colors you use to block in your pieces. You seem to favor yellow frequently, I'm just curious what your rationale is. I'm struggling with this issue at the moment. My default, burnt umber, is nice and neutral, but sort of boring, too.

    Thanks for you response. Best regards, Candace

    1. Thank you, Candace. I appreciate your kind comments! I often use yellow ochre for my initial block in. (I also sometimes use burnt sienna) I guess the lighter color keeps me from getting too dark too soon. Not really sure - it just feels right!