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Bougainvillea and Geraniums, Halki, Naxos

Posted May 30th, 2010 by | 1 Comment

This was one of my favorite painting experiences this trip. Brad and I had been to Halki the day before, and I wanted to come back to paint the pink bougainvillea and red geraniums in front of this old, late nineteenth century coral house. Happily, there was a coffee shop just across the street, and Brad sat and anchored my spot while I painted. What anchoring: Greek coffee with loukoumades (Greek donut holes) fresh from the bubbling oil! The owner an extremely nice man with a very polite young son who served us and kept telling me my picture was going fine even though I was having trouble with all the pinks. And across the street Penelope (as we later learned her name was) weaving in her shop on a wooden loom, just as her grandmother had done. Penelope is a true artist with a great, warm, outgoing personality and I hope to see her again on our next visit to Naxos.

Brad while I'm painting

Brad anchoring my spot in Halki, Naxos

Flowers in Halki, Naxos

Bougainvillea and Geraniums, 16 x 12, Oil on Linen

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The Ancient Ones, Olive Trees in Sangri, Naxos

Posted May 30th, 2010 by | 2 Comments

We found a track to pull off the very narrow road from Halki to Ano Potamia. The track lead into a freshly tilled grove of the very, very old olive trees which grow around the town of Halki. In this grove, the large central trunks of all the olives had been cut a while ago, and there were fairly large newer branches growing just below the cut. I loved the way the trees cast shadows on the freshly tilled dirt, and also the way the four big trunks of the tree on the left came out of one stump. Hundreds and hundreds of years old. I’m in awe of this grove of trees.

Olive Trees near Halki, Naxos

The Ancient Ones, 12 x 16, Oil on Linen

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The Old House on the Hill-Sangri, Naxos d

Posted May 30th, 2010 by | 1 Comment

We’ve taken a vacation from our vacation and have come to Naxos for some different sights, some shopping, and the famous Naxos cheese. The landscape is golden now, especially on agrarian Naxos, and shade is a precious commodity. I found some in the churchyard of Our Lady of the Ascension in Sangri, a small town about 20 minutes from the capital of the island. The house is an old “archondika,” sort of a mansion, in a state of disrepair you rarely see anymore in modern Greece. I loved seeing the crumbling moldings, and how the cactuses and trees had grown to cover much of the house. I also loved being out of the sun in the cool churchyard.

Churchyard in Sangri, Naxos

The Old House on the Hill, Sangri, Naxos, 16 x 12, Oil on Linen

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Morning Shadows, Katapola

Posted May 30th, 2010 by | No Comments

I remembered painting here a few years ago and wanted to return, but the scene had changed quite a bit. The cascade of yellow flowers which used to hang over these steps is gone–the tree which supported them cut way back. So this feels a little empty to me. I couldn’t include the music, laughter and talk coming from the shop next door, which belongs to a butcher who only opens this store in Katapola in the summer.

Steps by the Butcher shop, Katapola

Morning Shade, 16 X 8, Oil on Linen

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Yellow Chair and Blue Door

Posted May 30th, 2010 by | 1 Comment

It’s getting warmer and warmer on Amorgos, and this morning I decided to take it easy, so I set up in the courtyard under the grape arbor and put Brad’s chair out in the sun. Boy do those shadows move down the wall fast!

Courtyard Chair

Yellow Chair and Blue Door, 16 X 12, Oil on Linen

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Detail – Blue Gate, Langada

Posted May 23rd, 2010 by | No Comments

This is Sunday of a three-day weekend in Greece (Pentacost, and Trinity).  All the action is up in the main square, so I set up my easel on a set up step going down to a village below Langada.  The people who own the house haven’t yet arrived for the summer, so I have no fears of getting in their way.  My only problem is the sun, which is fierce, but that’s where the umbrella comes in handy!  Other problem is that I’m just about backing into a huge group of cactuses which hang out over the steps.  No stepping back to take a good look at this composition!

Blue Gate Detail, Langada

Gate Detail, Langada, 8 X 16, Oil on Linen

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Triplets – Three Chapels in Hora, Amorgos Sold

Posted May 23rd, 2010 by | No Comments

This is a late afternoon painting of a group of three chapels in the island’s main town, Hora.  Each (inhabited) island in the Cyclades has a Hora, though sometimes the town is known by another name.  Some people consider Hora, Amorgos, the prettiest Hora in the Cyclades. It’s full of winding streets with a lot of bougainvillea and geraniums.

Three chapels in Xora, Amorgos
Triplets-Three Chapels in Hora, Amorgos, 8 X 16, Oil on Linen

Plein Air |

The Academy of Foreign Languages, Katapola

Posted May 23rd, 2010 by | No Comments

It was cloudy in Langada, so we drove the 25 kilometers to Amorgos’ other port, Katapola. Cloudy there, too, but I thought I could paint the bougainvillea in the street behind the square anyway, because it was so brilliantly colored. The sun came out about 45 minutes into the painting, and gave me some nice highlights on the walls and railings.

Katapola Back Street

The Academy of Foreign Languages, Katapola, 16 X 12, Oil on Linen

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Coming in from the fields

Posted May 23rd, 2010 by | No Comments

After a couple of days of clouds and even a nice, soaking rain (kind of unusual for this time of year), we woke to a clear, cool morning and started off towards the Church of Our Lady of the Upper Village, and the fields where the villagers keep donkeys and goats. About a third of the way out, I turned and saw Langada shining in the sun. I stopped by an approx 15-foot-high wall with a nice bush providing shade, and began to paint. Soon two goat kids, probably having heard me give directions to a couple of hikers, peeped their heads over the wall and began to clamber over the gate and down to me. A few stones started falling, and I was a little afraid they might eat my paper towels, so I (reluctantly because they were so cute), shooed them away.

View of Langada

Coming in from the Fields, 16 X 12, Oil on Linen

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Agios Pavlos Dust Storm d

Posted May 18th, 2010 by | No Comments

Safe Harbor?  Dust Storm at Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos Dust Storm, 12 X 16, Oil on Linen

May 13, 2010. Passing Agios Pavlos, a wonderful beach across from the island of Nikouria, we saw that a bunch of goats had taken up residence in a stone bus stop. They were on the benches that lined the walls, and even sitting in the building’s little windows! We got out to take pictures, but of course they ran away. Meantime, the sky was getting darker and darker and the sea, more and more dramatic. I knew I had to paint this, so I rushed to the trunk of our rental car and got out the trusty Soltek. The wind was coming up, but I thought I’d be OK in the shelter of the bus stop. I set up as the clouds thickened and the wind swirled. Dashed paint on canvas. The wind so strong it tipped the Soltek, so I put a nearby rock on the palette and painted with my right hand as I held onto the panel with my left. Just as it was all getting impossible, the big, fat raindrops started to hit. Gathered up my stuff in a hurry and ran for the car. That was the start of a howling dust storm that plummeted the island for a day and a half. Fine sand all over everything, and everybody hating to leave their houses. I think this is as close to the Sahara as I ever want to be.

Plein Air, Uncategorized |

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