Husb and I have spent a few days in Madeira, a gorgeous mountainous island in the Atlantic. The climate is wonderful so we set out with a picnic and drawing materials to climb and explore the upper reaches of Camara do Lobos. The little terracotta tiled houses are scattered higgledy piggledy up the steep slopes, reached either by winding roads snaking their way up precipices or via incredibly steep footpaths and steps that are almost vertical, and in places quite terrifying, but much more interesting as they lead to all sorts of nooks and crannies.
It seems that every spare scrap of land is cultivated and we passed papayas, tangerines, figs, bananas, dates, custard apples, avocados and fruits we weren’t familiar with, possibly loquats and tamarillo. But above all, grape vines, millions of them. We stopped to eat our sandwiches and I had a scribble onto handmade paper tinted grey, using Daler Rowney soft pastels. When I got back to the hotel, I thought the drawing needed something to lift it a bit so I touched up the wooden struts supporting the vibes using a white pastel. I think it’s made the world of difference.