Art is Everywhere – Portugal

Walking the streets in Porto,  Portugal on a beautiful June morning it seems as though every surface has served, at some point in history, as a canvas for painters, ceramic artists and story tellers. Vibrance and colour are simply everywhere.  This is in large part due to the ages old practice of using hand painted, ceramic tiles as exterior covering for their buildings.

Tile adorn the store fronts and facades in Old Porto, Portugal
Tiles adorn the store fronts and facades in Porto, Portugal

The Portuguese initially adopted ceramic tiles for the exterior of their buildings because they offer inexpensive and effective insulation.  The colour is really the icing on top of functionality.  Many of the tiles are hand painted in unique floral or geometric patterns, and are almost always in bright hues.

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Despite an astronomical economic crisis that has left many buildings abandoned and dilapidated, with broken windows and collapsed ceilings, these colourful tiles reflect  the optimistic nature of the Portuguese people.  Part of my trip was spent participating in a Habitat for Humanity build in Braga, located about 40 minutes drive north of Porto.

Braga is a beautiful village, with remarkable residents, who, like the rest of the country, are working hard to restore their livelihood.  My days there were spent on the worksite and the evenings visiting traditional restaurants and listening to live music while sipping port at one of the many sidewalk cafes.

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This tiled mural, that reflects the towns folklore and history, hangs on the exterior of church in Barcelo.

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Modern sceptre in the harbour in Viana do Castelo. Portugal

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Sometimes it’s just the little things, like these window boxes, overflowing with flowers and stung with paper decorations celebrating a recent religious procession.

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And even where there are no tiles, there is art.  I spotted this striking stencilled art on a side street in Viana do Castelo. I’m looking forward to dedicating some serious studio time to creating some Portuguese inspired prints in the meanwhile, if you’d like to bring a little bright into your everyday, check out this colourful collection.

Obrigada Portugal!

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Off You Go Curated Collections

One of the goals of Off You Go Paper Co. is to make home design easy.  We are treating curated collections of Off You Go artworks that combine to make visually stunning wall galleries.

We’ve just started adding our Curated Collections and thought we’d take the time to share a few product shots as they go up.

The Blue collection is the first to hit the virtual shelves.  I love this collection for it’s masculine, bold and unique finishes.  Best of all, when you buy a curated collection from Off You Go Paper Co. you save %15 off the purchase price at checkout.  Just use code Collections to earn you savings.  Click here to purchase the Blue Collection now.

Blue Collection

Of course, it is summer, so to celebrate, we have also introduced the Summer Collection.  Fresh off the press with that ever popular make you smile style, bright surf colours with just the right amount of quirk.  Click here to pick up your Hello Summer Collection and save %15 when you use code Collections at checkout.

The Summer Time Collection
The Summer Time Collection