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Capturing the Essence of Lisbon through Art

Lisbon has a long tradition of ceramic arts derived from multiple cultural roots.¬† Prof. Anne Simpkins brought her mixed media art class to the Jer√≥nimos Monastery in Lisbon, built in the 16th Century, for the class's in-port class (field lab) to learn about the stylistic traditions of Lisbon's many cultures. The monastery is one of Portugal's finest examples of Manueline-style architecture. Simpkins, an art professor at Elon University, teaches painting and mixed media art on the Fall 2013 voyage. “The students really do get to see the building from a completely different perspective when they are asked to draw or paint details, which take time, and not just snap a picture and move on,” said Simpkins.

Professor Anne Simpkins (right) and her student, Jalisa Harris from Washington State University, gaze at the lines and details of the archways at the monastery during the daylong field lab.
Lindsey Greenwaldt (left) of the  University of Oregon sketches the curves and archways of the Jerónimos Monastery while Rex Hendrickson and Josh Freeman, both from the  University of Denver, ponder how best to draw the details of what they see.
Throughout the day, students in the class, such as Stefany Tost of Rollins College, learned to draw as a recording method to help them capture and remember what they saw.
Sarah Bond from Pennsylvania State University focuses on the finer details of a section of the monastery.
Students in Simpkins' mixed media class had to focus both on larger areas and then on small specific details of tiny forms during the class. Here, Laura Pastores for Westminster College finishes up works on an ink drawing of a small tile she noticed on the wall.
Simpkins' class carted paintbrushes and paints on their field lab to capture the depth and colors of the Portuguese tiles they saw during the day. At left, Jalisa Harris does a quick sketch at one of Lisbon's tile museums before painting in the details.
Lindsey Greenwaldt (left) Josh Freeman (middle) and Carly Davidson of Ithaca College practice the art of Azulejos, traditional Portuguese tile painting and design, at a Lisbon artisan workshop.
The traditional colors of Portuguese tiles are blue, gold, and white. Here, bottles of the paints from the day lay empty from the students' use for their tiles.
Tile creation takes patience and a steady hand. An initial part of the process is creating a stencil of an image.
The next part of the tile design process is carefully painting the stencil image that was created.
Stefany Tost (left) and Ilana Notis of UC Boulder (right) demonstrate the art of tile design as if they were professionals.
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