Lisbon in Us by Jolanta Rikveile Mourinha

fotografia de jolanta rikveili mourinha em frente a um predio forrado de azulejos tradicionais portugueses

This time, we will get to know another urban sketcher who participates in the illustration of our first publication LISBOA MARCA, a book of bookmarks that highlights some of the icons and curiosities of this city. We present Lisbon in Us by Jolanta Rikveile Mourinha, an artist originally from Latvia, who has been living in Lisbon for several years, reveals to us how this city has become one of her greatest sources of inspiration.

I’m from Latvia, and the first time I visited Lisbon, I was 19 years old. At 21, I moved here to live, and without realising it, 17 years have already passed. When I first arrived, it was already late October. In Latvia, autumn was already at its peak with grey foggy days and falling leaves, but here I found a hidden summer between the blue of the Tagus River and the rustling of palm trees stirred by the wind that resides in the city (as I later realised).

It’s hard not to like Lisbon; I immediately fell in love with its architectural treasures (my first thought when I visited the city for the first time was, “There’s so much to draw here!”), its steep streets going up and down, and its unique light accompanied by bougainvilleas and lilac jacarandas, yellow trams, and the green of the sea. I found people to be very open and curious to learn more about Latvia, often mistaking it for Lithuania or Lapland, frequently adding that I come from the land of Santa Claus.Shortly after moving, I joined the National Society of Fine Arts to continue learning drawing. It was there that I was taught to truly observe, use a sketchbook to practise drawing outside the classroom, and learn to record what surrounds us. “Diários de Viagem” (Travel Journals) by Eduardo Salavisa was the book that inspired me to always carry a notebook and pen with me on my trips to create a parallel record to the camera.

It was also at the National Society of Fine Arts that my interest in watercolour technique began and where I continued exploring oil painting. At the moment, I mainly work with watercolours, capturing things that catch my attention in the neighbourhood where I live, in the São Domingos de Benfica Parish. It could be a drawing of a violet shadow of a tree reflected on a yellow wall or a reflection of the sky in a puddle of water on a day with many passing clouds. In Lisbon, I don’t need to go far from where I live because inspiration can be found just by looking up.

I also do live model drawing on Sundays in a welcoming environment in Carnaxide, in the “Life Drawing by Ciro Alcarpe” group, and I am also a member of the Urban Sketchers association since 2016. The meetings organised by the Urban Sketchers have allowed me to get to know the hidden treasures of Lisbon, and there are so many!

Lisbon in Us by Jolanta Rikveile Mourinha
Mini introductionI am from Latvia, and I moved to Portugal at the age of 21. In Latvia, I studied Finno-Ugric languages, namely Finnish and Estonian.
I work in the field of public procurement, but my passion is painting and drawing. I started studying drawing while still living in Latvia, and I continued my studies at the National Society of Fine Arts here in Portugal for 9 years. I have been a member of the Urban Sketchers association since 2016, and I’ve participated in various collective and individual exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad.
Currently, I am deepening my knowledge in watercolour.
Follow my work on Instagram or Facebook
An inspiring placeMarquês da Fronteira Palace and its gardens.
An unmissable visitSão Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint
Her mouth waters with…Grilled sardines, bolo de bolacha (biscuit cake), serradura (sawdust pudding)
A song…I really like Xutos e Pontapés and Delfins.
I suggest a song from each band: “Circo de Feras” and “Aquele Inverno” respectively.

The project getLISBON has been very rewarding and we want to continue revealing the singularities of fascinating Lisbon.
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