Introduction by Mariana Santos
Most of these drawings of Portuguese landscapes and buildings come from my sketchbook, which I take with me everywhere. What most captures my eye are contrasting colors and architectural details, and pretty much anything that is not in pristine shape and that has an unusual quality to it. I’m also very interested in the people who inhabit these spaces—how they live and how they interact with their surroundings. “Lisbon Stories,” especially, was born of people-watching.
Lately I’ve been doing a series of sketches called “Lisbon Ruins.” It’s wonderful to go around the city in search of beautiful buildings that have been abandoned or are under renovation; you can see a bit of history in the shades of white on a door or in the indentations of a stone wall. Lisbon is an ideal place for this sort of exploration.
About the Artist
Mariana Santos was born in Lisbon in 1995 and developed an interest in art at age 13. She’s been drawing her surroundings every day since. She studied the arts in a specialized high school in Lisbon, taking professional courses in ceramics and visual art. Since then, she’s been developing her artistic practice and branching into other areas like engraving and sculpture. Her work has been featured in a number of exhibitions throughout Portugal, including group shows at the National Tile Museum, the National Museum for Contemporary Art, and the City Museum of Aveiro. She’s also taken part in a number of illustration projects, including a children’s book and a book of illustrated poetry.
ARTerrain Gallery | A Portuguese Sketchbook
By Mariana Santos
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Header image: View of a building and the castle from Calçada do Duque, by Mariana Santos.