COLOURS OF the Estoril Coast and Lisbon will be the title of an exhibition by Swedish-born watercolour painter and long-time Cascais resident Lars Rejbrand, which will open today (Friday, December 3) at the Villa Albatroz hotel in Cascais. The exhibition will consist of around 20 of Rejbrand’s remarkable watercolours, with subjects ranging from fishing boats in Cascais Bay through to castles in Sintra and Lisbon’s Tower of Belém.
It is easy to love the Swedish artist’s paintings. Technically impeccable, they are light, charming and depict places well known to many living in Cascais. “Watercolours are my speciality,” Rejbrand told The Resident last week. “I like the sensitivity, lightness and softness of the genre”.
Before he came to Portugal in 1991, Lars Rejbrand was a graphic designer and art director at advertising agencies in Sweden, Canada and New York, where he worked for J. Walter Thompson for two years. “But I got fed up with my job,” the artist explains. “There was no creative freedom, because you always worked under strict guidelines. And then there was the permanent stress of deadlines. At a certain point, I decided to quit, go to Portugal and become a painter. Being a full-time painter had always been a dream of mine. Portugal I knew already. I’d been here six times on holiday, a few times even before the Revolution, and I liked it.”
Rejbrand (“not Rembrandt”, as he often points out, jokingly, when introducing himself) has now lived and worked in Parede, Cascais, for 14 years. “Portugal is one of the best countries in Europe for painting,” he says. “Because of the light and the large variety of subjects.”
The exhibition at Villa Albatroz is due to run until December 14, but there is a possibility that it will be extended. And should his work inspire you to pick up the brush, Lars also gives private painting lessons.