Portugal has always been a country that is dear to my heart. Even though I grew up in Germany, my family has close ties to Portugal, which meant many memorable summer vacations and even a year abroad in this vibrant country with a rich past.
While many people lump Portugal in with Spain, the two countries are actually quite different. In many parts of the Portugal one gets the feeling that time has stood still. The Portuguese love their traditions, food and colors. No other place exemplifies this adherence to tradition than Portugal’s capitol: Lisbon. The narrow cobblestoned streets that wind up the seven hills, the grand boulevards and the tree lined plazas evoke memories of Portugal’s long history as a world power and perseverance in retaining their cultural identity.
Three colors that are emblematic of Lisbon serve as the inspiration for my three colors from the Lisbon series: Alfama Green, Sant'Anna Blue and Lisbon Yellow.
The Alfama district is one to oldest and picturesque areas of Lisbon. Cable cars wind their way up the narrow passages that lead up to a medieval castle at the top of the hill. Many shutters and window frames are adorned with a dark green which formed the inspiration for the Alfama Green Milk Paint. A nice rich deep green that works well as accent color and contrast to lighter shades. Portugal’s long tradition of painted tile work is evident throughout the streets of Lisbon. Emblematic of the typical Portuguese tile is a dark grayish blue that is used in countless shades as an illustration tool. It is this shade of blue that inspired the Sant’Anna Blue Milk Paint. Named after one of the oldest tile companies in Portugal: the Sant’Anna tile factory still produces their gorgeous tiles to this day.
Portugal is all about contrasts and no color collection would be a complete with a stark counterpart to the two dark shades. In Lisbon many building facades are adorned with a pale yellow that emits a clean bright hue, that reflects the bright sun beating down on the plastered walls. The Lisbon Yellow Milk Paint lends itself well to cover expansive walls, but also as a splash of color on furniture. While there is a plethora of colors for the eyes to admire, these three shades have always been the cornerstone of my own Lisbon Color Palette.