Thursday: Lingering look at windows, week 29

Canvas portraits of windows in Casa das Portas

Canvas portraits of windows in Casa das Portas.

I’m focusing on a very particular group of windows this week.  Don’t be fooled by the dilapidated appearance of the wall above.  It’s part of a real and well deserved success story in Tavira, in the Eastern Algarve.  The shop, Casa das Portas (House of Doors), features the work of local artist Jane Gibbin.  Like myself, Jane fell in love with Tavira, spending hours photographing the local doors and windows.

The photos always seem to create a talking point.  As you’ve probably seen from some of my posts, Tavira has a delightfully down at heel look and is a great subject to work with.  Ten years ago, looking for something distinctive, but not too expensive, for the bare walls in our Tavira home, I was much taken with Jane’s doors and windows.  Poster form was the cheapest, so we selected three, had them framed, and today they have pride of place in our living room.

You can barely just see two of the framed posters here

You can barely just see two of the framed posters here

Jane started out with a market stall selling her photographs then, as interest grew, progressed to a shop in the warren of back streets.  As well as the photographs and posters there’s an eclectic mix of objects for the home, and pretty jewellery pieces.  I often stick my nose in and the assistant is unfailingly polite, even though I seldom buy.

In July 2011 success was confirmed when Jane opened a second shop, right beside Ponte Romana; a prime target for tourists.  The ideas continue to flow and at my last visit there were some lovely small canvases with paintings of the doors.  I was very tempted, as was Cathy who was staying with me at the time.  Her luggage was already overflowing, so she dived into a colourful heap of scarves instead.

My photos aren’t the best as I had one or two distractions that night (yes, Cathy!), but I’ve wanted to tell the story of the shops for a while.  For a clearer idea of them you might visit the Casa das Portas Facebook page.

I hope Dawn doesn’t mind a slightly different style of lingering at my windows (and doors) this week.  Please visit her at Lingering Visions to see the other entries, and maybe add one of your own.


  1. I have a fetish for windows and door … when it’s putting my camera against … them – just love them as objects .. *smile – there is something intriguing with them. Open doors … or shot doors … windows from inside out or outside in .. something very exciting. Just love the paintings here.
    There is a very posh restaurant in Dublin that don’t have any windows what so ever .. in the restaurant itself. They have put up massive mirrors with big candle holders in front them – with real candles … it’s called La Stampa. – and the the effect it has .. and you don’t miss the window .. the roof is of beautiful stain glass.

      1. Missed you too … not back in full swing yet *smile
        Never stayed on the hotel … but I had quite a few dinners at their fantastic restaurant with the massive mirrors.

  2. Having been in this shop, Jo, I think this is perfect for the challenge. I got some great pictures of some of Jane’s photo canvases, and now I REALLY regret not buying one or two of them. That’s what I get for having too much in my suitcase!!

    I really loved the doors and windows throughout Portugal, and I’m sure you will get sick of seeing them when I start posting today about my time in that charming country. I like how you describe Tavira: “Tavira has a delightfully down at heel look and is a great subject to work with.” When thinking of Spain, which is charming in a pristine and orderly kind of way, I can’t help but think of Portugal as the scruffy but delightfully charming little cousin. 🙂

    1. I think that’s a fair comparison, Cath. Not sure how the Portuguese would feel though. 🙂
      You could maybe blow up and frame a couple of your shots, as memories? I’m quite looking forward to reading your take on Portugal.

      1. Yes, I was thinking the Portuguese might not like that comparison, but since I traveled through both countries on the same trip, I can’t help but make some comparisons. I’m sure they wouldn’t like being grouped together with Spain at all!

        Maybe I could do something with those photos as you suggest! We’ll see. Right now, I just want to get all the posts done, but I know it will take some time as each one is quite time-consuming.

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