Postcard from Funchal, Madeira: Orchids and chocolates
Orchids and chocolates?
Most of my paintings include the sea, the sky, and boats and are based on photographs taken close to my home town of Salcombe.
When I’m on holiday, I have different subjects at my disposal.
Anne and I are staying near Funchal in Madeira and were persuaded to join an excursion which boasted Chocolates and Orchids. How could we resist?
First stop: Orchids at Quinta da Boa Vista
Quinta da Boa Vista boasts the best orchid collection on show all year round and we were given a guided tour by our host, owner, Patrick through a greenhouse packed with hundreds of colourful varieties.
While he explained how to care for them (do not overwater!), we took photos. The featured image above is just one of many.
Here are some more.
The variety of colours and sizes was a feast for our eyes.
There were huge blooms, with no fragrance …
And tiny blooms with an intense scent …
Both, tactics to attract insects for pollination purposes.
Some has a single magnificent flower – others were grouped on a single stem.
All of them were beautiful.
And then we enjoyed tea and cake in the delightful garden overlooking the town of Funchal.
Next stop: handcrafted colourful flavourful chocolates
The next stop on our excursion was into the centre of Funchal, to Rua da Queimada de Baixo, nº 11 where the chocolatier UauCacau have a coffee shop and display their colourful chocolate selection.
We sat outside in the sunshine and were presented with a tasting tray of six exquisite chocolates, together with a glass of Madeira wine.
Our tour guide explained the methods used in the factory below the shop, and the origins of the delicious fillings: mango, banana, passion fruit, madeira rum, …
We were then invited into the chocolate coloured (dark!) interior to choose what we wanted to purchase.
A work of art! We were hard pressed to choose 20 to take back to our apartment.
Back at the apartment: painting!
Of all the orchids I’d captured on my camera, I chose this one to paint first.
I chose a pink orchid because so much of the background was green and green is the complementary colour to pink.
This would, in theory, make the petals stand out better than for any other colour of orchid.
Here is another sketch.
The orchid is orange and note that I have used a blue wash in the background, blue being the complementary colour of orange on the colour wheel.
It’s unlikely I’ll take the subject of orchids any further, although we are tempted to fill the house with these wonderful blooms once we are back home.
My ‘market’ back in Salcombe is the usual diet of sea and sailing – but it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon … playing with my watercolour kit.
This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.