Friday, July 27, 2018

Friends in Porto

Met and talked to so many people in Porto that I started losing my voice by day 3 (paying for it now with a laryngitis). It was funny how I kept bumping into the same people, out of over 800 sketchers in the city. Annie from Normandy, Ludmilla from Ukraine, Jane, Judith, Chantal,... Talked to sketchers from Belgium, Australia, Canada, Switzerland (via Ōsaka and Singapore), Germany, the UK, France, the US, India (via Waterford), Bushmills (via the Languedoc), and so many other places.

On the evening before the start of the symposium, a group of us met up - we had got to know each other through Liz Steel's Watercolour online course.  I had started a thread in the forum to find out who was going to Porto - a good few people responded. Of these, I got to meet three over the course of the Symposium: Marjolijn from the Netherlands, Chantal, also from the Netherlands, Annie, from Normandy. Ladies, it's been fantastic meeting you!! When it came to the dinner - thank you Marjolijn for organising! - only Marjolijn, Chantal and myself could make it, but we brought friends along - Deb from Perth, Australia, whom I had got to know through Liz Steel's Buildings course if I remember right, Deb's husband John, and Pat my friend from Urban Sketchers Dublin. The Symposium hadn't even started and friendships were already forming! All thanks to Liz Steel! (In hindsight, we should really have invited her for that dinner, but I thought it would be imposing on her too much - next time, definitely next time!)

We ended up forming a little core group - in the evenings, Deb, John, Pat and myself met up for dinner most days. For lunch, we always made sure that the other two were not alone, no matter how little time there was between workshops.

And Deb and myself became good friends - I think we knew the moment we met each other that we were on the same plane (not a flying plane, a mental plane - what's the word I'm looking for?). We sketched together, we made a TV appearance together (more about that later), we giggled a lot. We had a blast. A certain sketcher even commented that we made a lovely pair!! (Mmm...) Can't wait till next year in Amsterdam to see her again!


  1. This is so true of all symposiums - we find friends in an instant because of some online-art related connection, the values and spirits match and it's sealed. Will wait to see your core gang in Amsterdam again.

    1. That is so true, Uma! Instant connections are formed, and they become the basis for life-long friendships!