Pretend I packed you in my suitcase – Portugal

Hoo boy…I’m on the cloud above cloud 9. I’m staring down at cloud 9 with binoculars.

I came to Portugal expecting an Art workshop, sitting and journalling in cafes, and eating a bit of Portugese chicken at some point. The reality was far greater as I really got to experience Portugal in an insanely intense swallow. Our trip organiser set up a hugely ambitious schedule, but I think the added time pressure to ‘get things done’ worked in my favour…because when we were in the workshop, I was a flurry of paper, paint, pencils and pens. I can’t even say I’m exhausted, I’m exhilarated.

I am head-over-heels in love with Teesha and Tracy Moore. Two of the best, most generous, and talented people walking on the planet. Plus they love Battlestar Galactica and are therefore super-awesome. I am still spinning from the privilege of having so much time with Teesha, who I idolize, even though she’s now my friend. And Tracy is hilarious and the most perfect example of grace under pressure. Plus he is a Lomo Freak and is therefore completely cool. I’ve been invited to teach in Seattle at The ArtFest Annex, their art workshop space – I mean – hello?!!! I can’t even talk about it yet because it’s so exciting.


My classmates were a great group of women, with much hilarity. I lifetime bonded with Elisafish ( my roomie and newest BFF), Cynthia ( who is the most amazing Flea Market treasure hunter/ Magpie), Maxine ( who was always laughing with me) and Taylor ( my darling Ratay, which she would hate me telling you-  the darling part, not the rat part. She likes being a rat…you had to be there…! ). Because the week was so INTENSE we grabbed each other and hung on. I picked up an AWESOME nickname…”Danger”. Danger Davenport! ( We even had a special way of saying it : Dane-jah….! ). So I will now only answer to that. Too funny!

Jane Davenport Unicorn girl tileOn the first evening, we all painted our own Portugese tiles. We were instructed by the tour organiser to stick to the traditional stencils provided. This caused a few shockwaves of resistance…telling a group of artists what to paint? A risky move! I of course did not obey… and with narwhales and unicorns on my mind from Paris, I wasn’t at all surprised to see what I painted.

But back to the MAIN EVENT. My workshop Art Journal is my Precious. I love it so much… It started off with a bang, and then I hit the wall on the 3rd day…it was ugly, disjointed, i was lost in all its collage-yness.

Creating is like a roller coaster….you start full of thrills and anticipation as you head to the big dippers…but then comes the chugging up the big hill part, where you have time to think and notice how high and out of control you are, that you feel a bit nauseous…you start to wonder “why am I doing this again”, “Get me off!” …but then you hit the top of the hill…and for a split second you are suspended in a clear vacuum and you can see the final loop the loop approaching. And that’s when I rememeber, “oh, yes, this is what i was heading for all along, weeeeeeeeeeee!”. So by Day 5 I was flying again, my hair streaming back in the creative rush of loopdaloops!

I recorded my new journal coming together from the start, so I’ll add a video next week when I get back to Australia.  So keep your antennaes tuned…

Here’s a little sneak peak of the unfinished cover…

Janes Portugal Art Journal

x Jane

Pp.s. And Sunny, if you are reading this, I did indeed hello from you to the Moores, and they big smiled, she’s awesome-ed  back!

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Showing 25 comments
  • Geri

    LOVE that unfinished cover! Thanks for joining artsee bloggers!

  • kass

    just saw Teesha’s photo set on Flickr and WHOSE journal is the only one she’s shown???? YOURS of course!

  • Tracy Verdugo

    Hi Jane..just wanted to touch base and say hello from beautiful Jervis Bay…would love to have you down this way some time to join forces and tun a workshop extraordinaire..shoot me an email…also have some questions to ask about visited your shop last New Years and it definitely is the cutest as are you xo

  • Jane Davenport

    oooh, my dearest Ratay, she who speaks the truth! Kisses to you!

  • Jane Davenport

    I jUst made it home today! 6.30 am arrival, no sleep throu the flight from Singapore – felt ok though. Slept at home all day, and about to hit the hay again…I’ll be back in form tomorrow!

  • Karen

    Love, love love the cover Jane xx

  • Cynthia

    Danejah, darling, what a perfect blog to describe our trip. I’ve been procrastinating on my blog, wondering how to say it all in one post and here you have done it for me – such a talented girl you are, in so many ways! I am indeed thrilled and honoured to be able to call you my friend.

    • Jane Davenport

      Cynthia! She of the eagle eyes! You should see the things she found in the Flea Markets…

  • Ratay

    So fun to read this. Anything I read by you I hear your voice and smile and think you are right next to me. “Look vegetarian” is my new wake up and laugh motto. Miss you,

  • Tammie

    i love reading about your trip. so glad you are having a marvelous time and in so many ways.

  • Lisa Cousineau

    Oooh sounds like so much fun it may just be illegal! And I Fracken love Battlestar Galactica too! Does that make me cool?

    • Jane Davenport

      oh, yes, it makes you very, very cool indeed Lisa.

  • Kathie Vezzani

    Yes, I am so excited that you will be coming to Seattle! You will love the Art Annex, it’s a great space and Tracy and Teesha have done a great job with it. And what about ArtFest? I second Sunny, you should come there, too.

    • Jane Davenport

      Well I am certainly going to work towards that Kathie. I so want to enjoy Journal Fest too…in fact anything the Moores organised, I would want to go to!

  • Sunny

    Oh, how exciting! I wish I could have gone with you!! The cover of your journal is absolute eye-candy (as is everything you do!!) I hope you show your techniques in the upcoming video. Thanks for “hello-ing” the Moore’s for me! LOL They are just the greatest. You should come to Artfest next year! I can’t wait for your next post!

    • Jane Davenport

      Hi Sunny, yep the Moores are rad…and I saw your drawing in Tracy’s raygun journal – how cool is that! I drew a narwhale…!

  • Dianne Porter

    Madison and I have been watching all your adventures ever since the Brissy Exhibition and she has been so very inspired by everything you do. Thankyou so much for the journal – she was sweating on it arriving whilel on holidays and has done a great 1st page. So lap up all the atmospheres you are in and enjoy it all, we will be keeping an eye on your exploits. Cheers and keep safe!

  • Tracie Hanson

    ooooh so you’re coming to the U.S…..I see many visits from the Tribe sisters in your future!

  • Ruca

    Wow, that sounds like a blast. Where in Portugal were you? I’m in a little village in the Algarve. I keep an illustrated journal about my life as a street dog artist.

    I must say that even though you didn’t use the stencil, your tile looks very Portuguese to me – with a twist.

    Tchao-wow. I’m off to check out some of your older posts.

    • Jane Davenport

      Nice to meet you Ruca. i was in Estoril mostly with visits to Cascais, Lisbon and Sintra (of course!).

  • kass

    Sounding all too sublime Miss Jane, we simply must TALK soon as I have an idea which I have been cooking up which you might like to hear about! Get home!! xx

  • jane Davenport

    Thankyou Caity for that lovely reminder! Wait till you see the vids I have planned of the journals we all made… You will wear your pencils down to Nubs quick smart!

  • Caity

    AWESOME!!! Jane, I am so thrilled for you that you are having such a fantabulous time! Can’t wait to see the journal, loving the cover already. (And I’ve been playing with my new pencils – just wanted to remind you that YOU inspire so many of us, even as others are inspiring you!)