Change Lisbon to Rural Madeira? Yes...Diogo Cardoso for Art Center Caravel

“Art is whatever you feel to do.

It’s about feelings, not the final object, but about how you express yourself to the world around you.

It’s when you want to add something to the universe, if you just make something for sale, it’s not art.”


Diogo in his studio


Diogo Cardoso came to Madeira 3 years ago, moving from Lisbon.

He already painted in Lisbon doing some art courses at school and working in design too.

Coming to madeira made him feel more energy and having more time to work, he thinks that life here is less hectic than in Lisbon and that there is more space to relax and produce art which helped his creativity to flourish.


He paints in his house but outside too, for example he goes to Santana in the middle of grass and trees and he looks for a silent place where he is alone to paint en plein air.


His works includes paintings inspired by classical music, his favorite one, and canvas written with Shodo calligraphy.


When he creates his paintings, the process starts with putting a song which has a potential for composition, he listens to that song daily for weeks and starts thinking about a possible drawing.




Sometimes he has images already in his mind like with a Madeiran scene inside a house which he wanted to transform with the energy of the music of “Lacrimosa”.

The painting appears as a triangle composition where you don’t know the time of the day and if they are eating or not, and it depicts a lot of death.










Another example is a portrait he created after a Rachmaninoff composition, a song which he considers very romantic and strong.

He linked that music to picture of a Tatarian girl, taken from Instagram which he represents in a particular unstable position.

















He learned shodo while he was studying Japanese, he had classes online and had Japanese friends in Japan he talked every day with.

He got interested in calligraphy because when he practiced Japanese, he had to write it a lot and he was overwhelmed from all the different letters to learn.









Japanese sandals



He finds it beautiful the handwriting, so he decided to try himself, buying some brushes to start doing it.

With time he got the hand, painting helped him learning how to hold a brush to write but it’s actually very different from painting for the way of pressing, for how you tale the color and the movement involved.

Shodo calligraphy


He said that Shodo calligraphy and paintings are linked but they are different for him.

One is Western art, the other is calligraphy, no just words but balance between white and black, dark and light.

The process is also different as in the paintings he is inspired by music and then he starts a composition, while in shodo there is absolute silence because he has to focus on his breathing, He feels like meditating while he does that, just trying to feel the movement of the world with the brush.

The paintings instead are very noisy, like an orchestra.

He said that the 2 types of art he is making represent 2 different energies that are both inside him, like Jing and yang.




He likes to keep some of his works for himself, but sometimes people convince him to sell them later.

Usually, he never thinks about selling while he works, otherwise the interest would disappear because he would think about business value instead of creativity, it’s something that he considers once its finished.


By Steven Gheno






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