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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lindos Hiking Adventure

After getting to know some of the residents in Lindos they saw I was very interested in painting the old buildings and natural landscape. They would recommend places for me to explore away from the main tourist areas. Great!!

A windmill ruin and the Kleoboulos tomb were places I was told to check out. These were located on a peninsula of land across from the main harbour of Lindos. To get there I was told to follow a small trail behind some buildings at the far end of the main beach. I was to start climbing up the "trail" but the problem was I couldn't find it at all with only rocky piles in my view. Not quite what I had envisioned. I thought if I just continued toward the windmill direction it would become easier. Nope. Plan b...I stopped when I could see the rocks becoming even steeper than before, backtracked a bit, then headed higher up the hill. This was the best idea as I soon found the path and it was much easier going after that!
Lindos view from the rocky "path"

View of  the windmill and tomb from the path

The trail on the way there followed along the top of a cliff which offered the most incredible views of the windmill (small circular structure on the left side) and the tomb of Greek philosopher Kleoboulos (more of a tribute as he's not buried there) This is at the furthest and highest point.

Rocky "path" up to the tomb.

After waiting periodically for goats and sheep to pass I made it to the top.

 I could see forever. It was so peaceful and absolutely beautiful!

I have included some sketches of my hike there.
Lindos Windmill Ruin

Inside the Windmill - 1

Inside the Windmill - 2
I fell in love with this old windmill and know I will be painting it for years to come ~

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Simi,The Island of Light part 2

I met many wonderful people from England here too on the island of Simi. One couple I talked to, Su and her hubby Marcus,are now retired and working at their blogs as they post their travels and daily life activities. Nice!  Another couple, Rene and Gordon told me they came here years ago and fell in love with Simi and have been coming back ever since. Hmmmm sounds pretty good to me!! Come to think of it, I did see some "For Sale" signs on some fixer upper properties!!

"Simi Ruins" sketch 

I think all they need is just a "little" elbow grease!!

That was the story of another Canadian couple too who have purchased some property and now make Simi their permanent home. I met them and their guests who are also from Canada. Turns out Catherine is a potter (wonderful raku!!) and lives near to where my daughter lives in Southern Ontario. Small world! I can certainly see why people love it here. Everyone I talked to, Greeks or landed residents spoke only of their love of this place and the peaceful quality of life. 

Simi, The Island of Light part 1

I spent one day on the Greek Island of Simi exploring the narrow streets looking for interesting things to paint. As the ferry approached the harbour I could see some old ruins at the top of the hill that looked interesting so that became my mission. It didn't look that high or far away and of course I had to keep asking locals the directions. All they kept saying was "up" pointing to the sky. Makes me smile even now as I remember this day!  

"Blue Pots"
I saw these blue pots as I headed up the hill.

Along the way I saw some beautiful stone homes that were brightly coloured as well as some old ruin walls that were interesting. I could have spent a week exploring these narrow streets but must say after a few sketches and 400 photos later I feel I got a pretty good feeling about the place! I will be painting images of Simi for years to come.

Colourful Simi Home ~ sketch
6" X 9"

Stairs on Simi - Oil on Linen
15.5" X 12"
I painted this oil later when in Lindos village from the sketch below. The light was so pure making the whitewashed walls and peeling blue paint electric. When I saw this staircase I knew I would have to paint it and look forward to creating a larger one in my studio soon.

Stairs on Simi - w/c sketch
11" X 7.5"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tuscan Friends

I have now returned home from my great and wonderful adventure. It seems hard to believe that I was just in Greece and Italy for 5 weeks. I do miss it already and look forward to future travels. I will continue sharing these random stories so that you too can experience what I saw and felt as I made my way along.

With this sketch I wanted to capture a little of the daily life in Montalcino, Italy. This small Tuscan town was filled with beautiful old buildings and interesting people. I do love the challenge of including figures in my work and look forward to doing a larger painting of this old man and his town.

Spirit of Montalcino 

I met Silvana Biasutti when out exploring the Tuscan countryside. (This was early in my travels when with the two couples from England I mentioned in an earlier post.) She saw me taking pictures in her small village and we started talking. I said how beautiful her town was and through conversation discovered we were both artists. She invited me into her home so I could see some of her work. Her drawings were amazing and she also showed me a book an artist friend of hers had written. Wonderful!  She gave me contact information should I decide to return there one day. She and her daughter would find an apartment for me to stay in and Silvana would tell me about special places in the area to paint. 

Sylvana Biasutti

I do love these random encounters with like minded people. It was especially memorable because we knew our meeting was because of our art. It really does open the door for some great conversation and learning.

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's All About The People

I arrived last night in Rome and will enjoy this, the final day of my painting adventure. It’s hard to believe that 5 weeks have passed and yet when I think about all of the things I have seen, painted and experienced, it feels like a lifetime.

Every year this painting exodus becomes a richer and fuller experience and I know it is because of the people I have met on my journey.

During my first dinner in Florence I met Elinor from England.  She was sitting at the table next to mine as I was enjoying my first caprese salad. We started talking and before long we were sitting at the same table sharing stories about our lives and travels. She is living in Florence studying opera for a couple of months. What a great opportunity for her! She and her girlfriend have recently returned from a tour in Cambodia and the surrounding area which she told me about.  I always meet the most interesting people in my travels.

Then I met a young couple from Brazil. I can’t remember their names but I do remember commenting on hers. I told her it reminded me of a flower. It was a really pretty name and sounded musical when spoken. They were very nice and excited about life. It’s wonderful to see!! We met when standing in line at the Acadamia Gallery where Michelangelo’s statue of David is. (Magnificent doesn’t begin to describe!) They had just arrived that day and were enjoying their time in this magical city too. We shared many stories about our lives and our country.

Michelangelo's David 

The next day I headed to the small walled ancient village of Lucca. It was very nice and quaint. While on the train there I met a family and we talked about travel and life.  They explained to me the best way to explore Lucca was to rent a bike and tour around the top of the wall and then throughout the village streets, which I did and it made my visit there all the more memorable. Thank you!!

When sitting in the main piazza in this small village I met 2 ladies from England. We really enjoyed getting to know one another.  I had been sketching a lamp post and through our talking discovered one of them used to paint. She said she really did enjoy it but hadn’t touched a brush in years. Before I left them she was convinced to give it another try. I said don’t be concerned with the outcome because it really is all about the process and the enjoyment you get out of creating art. It’s nice to think I have inspired her to try again.

Lucca Lamppost

I will continue posting stories about the many wonderful people I met when on my travels and also include many of the almost 50 sketches and paintings. I also took almost 5000 photographs and will continue to post some of those as well. 

Thank you so much for following along on my Artistic Journey!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Anthony Quinn Beach sketches

And so it comes close to the end of my latest adventure. I am now in the airport on Rhodes, Greece where I will fly first to Athens then on to Rome. I have 2 nights there then am back across the big water to Canada. It's so hard to believe that 5 weeks have come and gone! But what wonderful weeks they were! I have had my most productive trip yet and know I have found a painters paradise on this beautiful island of Rhodes. Here are a couple of sketches I completed at Anthony Quinn Beach just south of Rhodes Town.

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