Archive for the Art Category

Watergarden – a piece of heaven at your home

Posted in Art, Life, Nature with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by Silvia

What I’m going to show you is a sample of my husband’s artistry.
He did all this with his bare hands and a few tools (as you can see below).


This is a suggestion of a way how you can take advantage of that little empty space in the corner of your garden and give it a special feature, your own vision, making it become your space of reflection and Peace.


First of all, you need to clean it up, to pluck out all the grass and the weed that can prevent the growth of new plants. You need to move the earth too, the little stones, and create depth to insert your reservoirs. The easiest way is to buy rubber ones, but you can also isolate the ground yourself with liner. If you chose this way, it’s convenient that you put a layer of sand over the earth, so that you can minimise the risk of perforation and leaks.


The flow of rocks, the way you display them, is of major importance to achieve a good balance. The landscape you create with your hands must seem natural, must appear in your eyes as if it had been there all the time. You must look at your landscape and feel it as a part of you, as a way to your inner self. Of course this is not an unique recipe to everyone, because each person has a different way to see the little corner of his or her dreams.

The rocks were chosen one by one, literally. Everywhere we travelled across the country, we were looking at the ground “This one we like, this one we don’t.” The schist gives a water garden a very special shine, contributing to a very calming healing through light. It’s radiances flow between the golden and the orange, the reddish and the ocre. It’a a very beautiful rock. We used too pebbles that we caught in the river, beautifully polished by the water torrents.
There are no straight lines in a true Feng Shui garden. They are unnatural and imprisonate the spirit, while the curves liberate it. Building a pond is a work of patience and dedication; in my vision a “natural looking pond” is a true artistry. These stones were moved several times, before they found their perfect positioning.

The sound of water cascading over the stones is like a song in the silence. Though it may not seem. A submersible pump must pull the water to the cascade, from the lower preformed liner to the cascade on the top. Of course you must think of the leaning on the ground and you must fit your reconduction tubes before building your stone puzzle.


 The water means wisdom, while the rocks grant the spirit the security and the protection of the life within the mother’s womb. That’s why the combination between the two is so vital. In practice, we need to create a little cove with peaceful singing waters, surrounded by the majestic
envelopment of the mountains (in a small scale, of course!)

This is the final conception. A cascade on the top, from where the water falls in a first large basin. Then, it flows through the ground, isolated with liner, among the shinning rocks, to a second one; it has a little cascade from where the water falls into a third, and so on. If you close your eyes, you hear a constant flow and a song that won’t stop dripping in your mind, as if you were in the most isolated and quiet refuge in the middle of the mountains.
What you see here, growing over the rocks, is Verbena and Poligonum (knotgrass). You can give it colour with Irises, Water Lilies and Lotuses. You can give it flow, using rushes with light pending leaves that flow in the breeze. The Bamboo is very musical and refreshing, and its presence gives a mystic oriental atmosphere to your garden.
The Japanese lantern is so beautiful that we couldn’t forget it. Though we didn’t have much room to build a small wooden bridge (moonbridge) as we wished, this lantern provides so much magic to this garden, specially at night, that we almost forget everything else. It is the representation of the Earth, Water, Fire and Wind.

Ca you see the colours?
The yellow means the mind, the optimism, the ability to reach, the reflexions. It’s the energy, the justice and the honesty.
The green is a bridge, like the heart. It’s the idealism, the unselfishness, the understanding.
The blue is the highest intelligence and the depth of truth. The blue inducts contemplation and tranquility.
The white shows us the shine and the supreme purity of the light. The white is faith, is reason and is also hope.
And many other colours have different meanings. I just tried to give you an insight of what you can see in this picture.

And, as Nature takes its time, this is the way how it looked, after one year.


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Magic brush

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by Silvia

Pedro Duarte Silva Freitas was born in Lisbon 22 of October 1953, son of the sculptor Silva Freitas. His works are part of many diverse art collections private and public, all over the world. His peculiar art style is stronger in the impressionism and abstract constructive categories.

Show me a way

So that I can follow you;

I’m so alone,

I don’t know what else to do…

Everything in this life

Lost its sense.

I feel so lonely;

I have no reasons to live.

The dreams are shattered

In a thousand pieces,

As a water mirror

In the moonlight.


I look through the window

At the light of Dawn;

The hopes revive,

A warmth in the heart.


Sweet clear-blue mist –

Fairy or angel?…

Give me Life!

Give me Love!

Give me the air that I breathe…



One day, when I wake up…

I will be born again!

I must say that, even though I’m not a Poet, I thought that this special painter would deserve one attempt. The words came to me slowly, during the day, as I thought about each of these paintings. My father knew the Artist; he is still a mystery to me.

1. Jesus

2. Untitled

3. Untitled

4. Blue Angel

5. Fire bird


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Africa in her hands…

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by Silvia

I met this extraordinary girl at the Education and Culture Journeys of Cascais. What can I tell you about her? She has one singular gift and she can do magic with her hands. Give her a piece of paper, a tile, and she will transform it in a piece of beauty. I remember one day going with her to Lisbon and, while we were waiting at the Mocambique Kultural, in a matter of ten minutes, she drew Dalai Lama’s face, with his smile, with the expression in his eyes, with all his wrinkles… Irreprehensible. 

In the Brush Marathon
In the Brush Marathon

I walked with her for a few years. We shared the same passion, the same dream, the same project. Filipa Goncalves, and her husband, the poet Delmar Goncalves awakened in my spirit a conscience of  of a world that everybody pretends to know but few know about. With them, I discovered the flaming colours, the sounds and the smells of Africa – a beauty beyond comparison. I learned about the Culture and the people of Mozambique – such sweetness, such generosity are hard to find nowadays.

But there was more than a mere awareness of Africa in this girl – a participation in all charity activities of cultural divulgation, a constant “reason to run” in the cause of Peace. She helped me in the creation of the Day of Peace and I have much to thank her for.

Her home is the most amazing collection of Art that I’ve ever seen (except in any museum). And, what most impressed me is the way how she gathered there all the heroes of Peace – Mother Theresa of Calcuta, the Dalai Lama, Johannes Paulus II, D. Ximenes Belo and many others…

Such a personality should never remain in the dark. So many times I look for her page and for her work and I can’t find her… It’s too bad to think that her talent may be lost. I promised to help her in every way I could. And though our paths told us apart, this is my way of paying her a fair tribute.

Feeling about East Timor

Feeling about East Timor

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Can you hear the call of Nature?

Posted in Art, Nature with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by Silvia

Yesterday, my heart was full of sorrow with the injustice of this world; I suffered from disrespect and had threats – I felt like giving up. But then, I remembered the sites I used to visit when I was looking for words of wisdom – the American Indian poetry. I went back, but I’m sorry to say that I haven’t found that many and such magnificent ones as when I used to look for them – around 2000.

The American Indian poetry and songs represent a cultural riches that we can’t afford to lose. Some of the most beautiful works I know are there, rooted in an ancient culture, strongly bond with nature. It makes us travel to a world that we don’t want to see disappearing. It teaches how to respect and preserve the natural resources, to look at any rock, any tree, any drop of water, any animal, as something rare and precious. It teaches us how to remember our ancestors and how to respect our elders. I remember having read that, in some American Indian cultures, the youngsters have the responsability of taking care of the elders, and they consider it such a priviledge, because they have the opportunity of learning with them and to grow up as human beings. What a difference to our progressive cultures, where the elders are many times seen as useless burdens and are left in some forgotten places like hospitals and homes – sometimes in the streets – without proper care, waiting for the moment when death comes. Shocking? Yes. I first learned about this when I was travelling through Lisbon with some East-Timorese Sisters (dear friends) and they told me that in their country, with all the misery and the war that they endured for decades, they could never leave an elderly or a child in the streets.
The American Indian give as an example to follow, a timeless wisdom to learn from. I always had the dream of one day having the priviledge of being there, of learning from those fantastic persons who have so much to say. When I started learning Phytotherapy I had the dream of travelling around the world, talking to people who learned the secrets of nature from generation to generation and bringing their knowledge to the scientific world. How much would we gain with this research? Perhaps the answers to so many diseases that worry Humanity. I did tell you, when I was talking about the Brazilian rainforest, that the Brazilian Indian medicine men know the cure to Skin Cancer.
There are most marvellous things in this life than our tiny minds can imagine (the sentence isn’t mine and wasn’t told in these words). The answers are there, and we sometimes don’t need to go to school or University to reach the sky of greatness. To this greatness I pay my tribute and I bow and believe me, if I had the chance of doing anything to save those cultures, I would, because it is our “Home”, the cradle of Humanity.

Sunset in Fantasy World

Posted in Art with tags on June 9, 2009 by Silvia
Sunset - design by Robert wWeber

Sunset - Design by Robert Weber