Toni Dade has lived in the Algarve for nearly 18 years, following completing a Natural History Illustration course in the 90s, she told The Portugal News that she has always painted and that since her daughter has grown up, she has had more time to focus on her passion.

Toni explained that it was “I changed direction in 2017 and focused more on botanical work. I think it was because I was spending so much time walking my dogs in the Portuguese countryside that my love of the Algarve’s landscape and the plants around grew. I am inspired and work with the beauty and decay of seasonal nature around me.”

Author: Toni Dade;

Since then, Toni’s work has just flourished and her work has become well-known in the botanical world. In 2021, Toni received a gold medal for a series of six paintings she did called ‘Seasonal Observations of a Pomegranate Tree’ from the Royal Horticultural Society which she said “was a real achievement” and “I then continued to show work regularly in London.”

Author: Toni Dade;

Toni also provides botanical art classes in the Algarve which I am sure will delight art enthusiasts as they are for all abilities. “I run weekly botanical painting classes in watercolour at the Escola de Artes Mestre Fernando Rodrigues in Lagoa, which I started doing since just after the first lockdown.” Additionally, Toni runs a monthly workshop at the new art shop Arco-íris in Alcantarilha which also has a lovely gallery at the back of the store which has been hosting exhibitions from the ARTLINK Collective which Toni is a part of.

“Botânica em Aguarela”

Those familiar with the art scene in the Algarve will most likely have seen Toni’s work, in my opinion her botanical pieces are simply mesmerising. If you are in the Lagoa area, I urge you to visit her latest exhibition “Botânica em Aguarela” if you love nature because you will not be left disappointed!

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Toni Dade;

Toni explained “This exhibition in Lagoa is the first time I have seen a lot of my work together, so you will find a big body of my work at the gallery. I am so pleased that I am exhibiting my work there, it is just brilliant.”

Toni shared that this exhibition consists of "watercolours inspired by years of attentive observation of nature found in the Algarve countryside. I hope these paintings will make people take a closer look at the visual wonders that the natural world offers."

Author: Toni Dade;

“In terms of this exhibition, I have focused on the journey of nature from the flowering to the end of their life. The main series in the exhibition is the Magnolia grandiflora, so I have them at all different stages and also the flowering part as well and I have painted 8 Strelitzia’s which I believe has 4 on show and they have all different appearances as well.”

Commissions and More!

Toni told The Portugal News that she is currently working on an almond blossom commission which she exhibited last year in Val d’el Rei through the ARTLINK Collective which managed to sell out twice. If you are interested in any commissions, please do reach out this talented artist. I also could not go without mentioning her brilliant pet portraits which you can see examples of on her website, with Toni adding “I love animals and I don’t mind doing pet portraits at all.”

Author: Toni Dade;

In terms of what is in store for the year, Toni hopes to continue to do more exhibitions and is submitting work to the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, USA. As well as exhibiting at the Mall galleries London with the Society of Botanical Artists as a fellow member.”

For more information, please visit and alternatively for any commissions or enquiries please contact Toni Dade on You can also keep up to date with the artist by following her on Facebook by searching ‘Toni Maria Design’.


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes