Thursday, April 30, 2009

The ascension / A ascensão


There are two points I would like to address about this work, another commission that I painted with the greatest pleasure:
First, as all my friends and regular visitors know, all my landscapes are always imaginary, although based on personal memories and references. Most of the times these references are relatively vague and can only refer to a certain geographic location. Sometimes, however, they're so obvious that it would be difficult to omit them. It was the recent case of the Corgo train, and is also the case of this work, strongly inspired by something that existed in reality: An old tram line that linked the city of Braga with the sanctuary of Bom Jesus and its funicular, snaking on an ascending road among a romantic scenery of chalets and villas... Ok, what we see is not the real place, the houses are not the same and the scale of the scenario is different, as any local person with the memory of that time can see, but I really must refer to this nostalgic past scene from which few traces remain today ...
And that is the second strange thing: This tram line disappeared two years before I was born, as well as much of the buildings, and even the road is now a wide dual carriageway... It is amazing how something that we never knew has the ability of creating a so great fascination, getting implanted in our minds with it the same familiarity of our dearest memories!
I apologise for the blurred edges in the image, this painting being too large for my humble scanner.
Há dois aspectos que gostaria de abordar acerca deste trabalho, mais uma encomenda que pintei com todo o prazer:
Em primeiro lugar, como sabem todos os meus amigos e visitantes regulares deste espaço, todas as minhas paisagens são sempre de locais imaginários, embora baseados em memórias e referências pessoais. Por vezes essas referências são relativamente vagas, podendo apenas remeter para uma certa localização geográfica. Outras vezes, porém, são tão óbvias que seria difícil omiti-las. Foi o caso recente da linha do Corgo, e é também o caso deste trabalho, fortemente inspirado em algo que existiu na realidade: A velha linha de eléctrico que ligava a cidade de Braga ao santuário e funicular do Bom Jesus, serpenteando por uma estrada no meio de um romântico cenário de "chalets" e quintas... Ok, o que aqui vemos não é o lugar real, as casas não são as mesmas, e a própria escala do cenário é diferente, como qualquer pessoa da região com memória daquele tempo poderá constatar, mas não queria deixar de fazer referência a essa nostálgica cena do passado de que hoje poucos vestígios restam...
E é aí que reside o segundo aspecto curioso: A linha de eléctrico em questão desapareceu dois anos antes de eu nascer, assim como boa parte das construções e a própria estrada é hoje uma larga via com um separador central... É extraordinário como algo que nunca conhecemos consegue exercer um enorme fascínio e se implanta no nosso imaginário com o mesmo à-vontade das mais queridas recordações!
Peço desculpas pelas margens desfocadas na imagem, devidas à pintura ser grande demais para o meu humilde scanner.
Sold / Vendido

11 comments:

Arménia Baptista said...

...E eu que ía dizer que esta era para mim!... :))
Todas são bonitas, mas acho esta especial; pelas casas, (todas tão bonitas) pelo eléctrico, (tenho uma certa paixão por eléctricos) e... aquelas "alminhas"!!... (iguaizinhas a umas que ficam ali no Lugar do Mosteiro:-))
Parabéns

Terry Banderas said...

Nice one, Paulo. Love the cobblestone used for pavement.

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Arménia, não foi desta... :)
Também gosto bastante de eléctricos, e tenho um certo fascínio por esta linha que nunca cheguei a conhecer... Quanto às alminhas, esse é um "assunto" ao qual aqui irei regressar.

Thank you, Terry. I couldn't catch the "real" trams, as they disappeared before I was born, but still remember this cobblestone style in many streets in the city that inspired this scene. Also they appear in several old postcards...

Sheila said...

AMAZING! The stone road and the detail on the tile on the house. the cat on the roof and the the streetcar. This is fantastic Paulo!

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Thank you so much, Sheila :)))

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Paulo: I didn't know you did the landscaps from your imagination! That's why I asked you once whether you lived in a village like the one you had painted. That's talent.

I just love the tram going through the middle of this village. Looking at it makes me feel young again, I don't know why, but it does. And, that's a great thing:)

Paulo J. Mendes said...

I think I understand your feeling, Nancy. Maybe it's a little bit the same feeling that makes me want to paint this tram and all scenery around it... maybe I'll be back to this subject again.

glorv1 said...

I see a lot in this painting with the tram and the people. There is one lady handing a roll to probably her husband going to work. A man stands outside his yard waving and the kids play freely. How nice that a tram would pass through a neighborhood to pick up and drop people right in front of their yard. What a way to live. It seems, without a care in the world. Beautiful painting with so much meaning. Thank you so much.

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Today's life is much more complicated than it is in these peaceful places I like to imagine... That's why is always a pleasure to "escape" into them :)

Rob Carey said...

Once again, you have produced an amazing story through watercolor, every detail adding to the well-designed composition. Beautiful piece.

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Thank you, Rob: This scene and this road are fascinating me since I was child, and it is very likely that this wasn't the last time I came into this subject.