I painted this from a very old black-and-white photograph. This was actually right at our back yard when we lived in the Azores, Portugal and this was my son having a great time. The town was called Praia da Vitoria. The Portuguese people were friendly, hospitable, and hard-working.
My son was two years old when we got there, and he spent the whole first month standing on a little stool looking out the window in amazement as farmers drove their cows and pigs down the street, with an occasional oxcart with its squeaking wooden wheels laboring by. Ever heard an axle that is wood on wood? Very noisy! I have to say, a litter of piglets trotting down the street is a very cute sight. Their little ears flop up and down in the most adorable way, while the farmer walks along behind them with a long stick to keep everything orderly.
How I wish I'd been a serious painter then! The landscape looked like Ireland, green with stone fences; the ocean was gorgeous, and there were cliffs and mountains, as well as picturesque villages with cobblestone streets. The faces of the people were wonderful, too. I need to go back there sometime and do better.
My good news this week is that I won First Place in the Contemporary Fine Art International Juried Fall Show, called "The World Outdoors," for my painting of Cathedral Rock outside Sedona, Arizona. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and I poured myself into the painting.