Ana Coucello


I was born in Lisbon, and have lived here ever since - Lisbon is my home. I'm a self-taught watercolourist. I opted for watercolour because I considered it the medium that best “slotted in” with my scarce spare time. I also found its whimsical and surprising character rather stimulating. I first started painting at home, between four walls, until the early hours of morning, always adhering strictly, as I still do, to the classic canons of watercolour. Gradually, however, I became seduced by the challenge of painting open landscapes on the spot and alla prima. Although I often return to studio work, I prefer to try a spontaneous and fluid record, without artifices, inspired by the landscape around me rather than subjecting myself to the discipline and planning density that other subjects and larger formats usually require. My watercolours do not pursue photographic realism, they are just impressions - my own impressions. Not forgetting the genius pioneers of scientific illustration who resorted to watercolour such as Albrecht Dürer, my preferences go to the English school painters who in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, established watercolour as a work of art in its own right instead of being a mere stepping stone towards the work of art - with JW Turner (1775-1851) leading the way. To this day, Charles Reid (1937-2019) is the contemporary watercolourist whose work I most admire. Among the Portuguese watercolourists, I appreciate the Oporto painter António Cruz (1907-1983). I have never felt the urge to exhibit my work - for me, painting is the art of recollection in a solitary and subjective quest where I feel no particular need to share except maybe with those closest to me. Nonetheless, several of my watercolours currently feature in private collections.