Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Painting in Amsterdam, Athens and the Greek Islands- 2013

This summer, my wife and I took a trip to Greece for three weeks.  After flying into Amsterdam from Japan, we hopped on a plane to Athens, spent a couple of days there,  then took ferries to the Cycladic Islands of Milos and Santorini and rented apartments by the sea.  The next couple of weeks were glorious days of painting, swimming, lamb and ouzo.

1st painting upon arrival in Milos.

"Afternoon off the Coast of Milos" - 6" x 9" oil on canvas board 


quick lamppost drawing in pen on a canal in Amsterdam

"View of Mt. Parnitha" - 8" x 10" oil on canvas
Athens, Greece

The perilous paradise that is Papafragas beach.  Getting down to the bottom is an "enter at your own risk" situation. 

Papafragas Beach

"Papafragas Beach" - 9" x 12" oil on canvas board

time for a swim!

a face carved into the side of the cliff

" Mitakas Beach" - 6" x 9" oil painting on panel - north Milos Island, Greece

Baglama (small Greek  instrument) sketches 


"Oia Village, Santorini" - 9" x 12" oil painting on panel

               a quick sketch of one of the many blue-domed churches perched on the mountains of Santorini.

plein air painting in Plaka, the capital of Milos Island in Greece.

 Graphite study of the Head of Anytos at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece 

Statuette of a Boy 

Head of a boar 350 BC

horse detail of wall relief 1st c B.C.

This was part of a special exhibition featuring sculpture and artifacts found from the Antikthera shipwreck at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.  The sections of the sculptures that were buried in the sediment of the sea bed were well preserved while the other parts, that were left exposed, had eroded over 2000 years. The effect of the eroded sections contrasting with the preserved sections were really stunning and were my favorite pieces in the museum. 

"The Acropolis" - 8" x 10" oil on canvas

           quick Diana sketch

more greek sculpture

wild lily

"Evening off the Coast of Milos"

"Papikinou beach" 8" x 12" oil painting on Milos Island

At Red Beach on the southern part of Santorini. The beach and surrounding mountain was a beautiful rust red. The juxtaposition of the turquoise water and the red beach was stunning and surreal. 

6" x 9" -1 hour oil sketch on the shores of Red Beach.  These small paintings are fun because I don't feel pressure to make something amazing.  They are meant to be quick records of light and color and left looking loose and immediate.

"Red Beach" - 8" x 10" - oil on canvas board 

The beaches of Santorini are known for their unusually colorful volcanic beaches.

Some beaches, especially Tsigrado Beach, were actually quite dangerous to get to, especially with painting gear.  This picture doesn't do it justice,  but we basically had to use a rope to hoist ourselves down the narrow, slippery passage till we reached the ladder. The only way to and from the beach, except by boat.

attempting to paint at Tsigrado beach, but the wind/sand combo coming off the cliffs was quite brutal

painting at Paleohori beach

6" x 9" oil on canvas board

our apartment's balcony view in Milos

quick sketch of the coast near our apartment in Milos

painting during the wee morning hours in Santorini

"Hay Field" - 6" x 9" - oil on canvas board - Milos

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