Monday, May 18, 2015

Art Walk Greece 2015 - Part 3

Monday, May 4, started early again. Our ferry to Naxos left Amorgos at 6:00 am, and we had to have our luggage outside our door by 4:30 am; it was about a 45 minute drive to the port and our hotel had a light snack for us before we left. Carlo arranged for us to be picked up in Naxos by the Naxos Resort Beach Hotel. They served us breakfast and kept track of our luggage for us so that we could relax and/or explore the town.

Then back to the port in the early afternoon for our second ferry of the day to Mykonos. This time it was a "Master Jet," which was much faster than our earlier ferries. After we'd had time to settle in, Carlo took anyone who was interested on a walking tour of the area.

Tuesday morning, May 5, several of us took a bus to Platis Gialos Beach with Carlo and then walked to Paranga Beach. In the afternoon we had our sketching class on the veranda of our hotel, overlooking the windmills of Mykonos.

Most of us took a boat to Delos on Wednesday, May 6, where we had an English-speaking guide. Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical and archeological cites in Greece. The excavations in the island are among the most extensive in the Mediterranean. In ancient times, Delos was believed to be the birthplace of the god Apollo and his twin sister, the goddess Artemis, making the island sacred. After the tour, we had some time to visit the Archaeological Museum of Delos.

Our last full day in Greece, Thursday, May 7, we visited the Mykonos Folklore Museum (according to Wikipedia: "the oldest house on the island houses a collection of 19th-century furniture, jewellery, ceramics, embroideries, marble sculptures, tombstones and a variety of other trinkets. The museum also pays tribute to Mykonos' traditional nautical roots with models of 19th-century Mykonian ships, maps and an anchor and canons used during the Greek War of Independence.") and Panagia Paraportiani (the Church of Our Lady) (again, according to Wikipedia: "The building of this church started in 1425 and was not completed until the 17th century. This impressive, whitewashed church actually consists of five separate churches attached all together: the four churches (dedicated to Saint Eustathios, Saint Sozon, Saint Anargyroi and Saint Anastasia) are all on the ground and constitute the base of the fifth church that has been built on top of them."). I sat in the hot sun to get the view of the church I wanted for my sketch (I usually try to avoid the sun, but sometimes one must sacrifice oneself for one's art).

Here is my map of all of the places I visited (except for Delos, which I didn't know I was going to visit when I made the map).

Early Friday morning, May 8, I flew from Mykonos to Athens to Philadelphia to Dallas/Fort Worth to Tulsa. I was supposed to fly from Philadelphia to Chicago to Oklahoma City, but my flight to Chicago was delayed and I was very likely going to miss my connection to Oklahoma City, so I was re-routed. Luckily, my husband was picking me up, and I was able to call him before he left for the airport (since it's about an hour and a half drive from either airport to our home). There were still delays, so I arrived home at about 3:00 Saturday morning. My luggage, however, didn't arrive until Monday, May 11. I've been lucky in my travels; this is the first time my luggage has been delayed. I was VERY glad to get it back!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Art Walk Greece 2015 - Part 2

Even though I upgraded to a cabin, I wasn't able to sleep much on the ferry ride to Amorgos. We arrived at the Aegialis Hotel & Spa around 4:30 am on Wednesday, April 29, and fortunately I was able to get some sleep in my room. The hotel was nice enough to keep their breakfast up for us until 11:30 (it's usually put away by 10:30). We had a tour of the spa after breakfast, and many of us (including me) booked spa appointments for later in the week. We went into the nearby town of Aegialis for some shopping (where I bought a Pashmina shawl and some postcards) and lunch. Jane picked some poppies on our way back to the hotel for our painting class in the afternoon. None of us realized how delicate the poppies would be once they were picked. Even though we put them in water, they didn't last very long at all.

I also took pictures of designs that were painted into the concrete in the town and included some of those on my page.

On Thursday, April 30, we went to the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, which is situated on the side of a cliff northeast of Chora. It was built early in the second millennium to protect a religious icon, dating from the year 812, from intruders. I counted 275 steps coming down from outside the monastery, and that didn't include the steps inside! We had planned on painting on location, but it was hot with little shade, and everyone was tired after climbing all those steps, so we changed our plans and had our lesson at the hotel after we returned. The lesson was on sketching a landscape, which was the view from the terrace of our hotel.

I had my spa treatment after the lesson, so I had to finish my sketch a couple of days later. It's the first time I've ever had a spa treatment, and I loved it. I had what they called the Detox Deluxe, which included the Hydro Therapy Spa Jet (which several people nicknamed the car wash), facial, scalp massage, full body exfoliation, and full body massage. It was quite wonderful.

On Friday, May 1, we toured an Herb Distillery in Lagada. The man who ran the distillery was very knowledgeable about all the local herbs and he seemed to be a very kind and gentle soul. We ate lunch in Lagada and had a lesson on quick sketching a long narrow landscape. The idea was to set your rectangle first, then sketch only as much as would fit into the space. I didn't have time to sketch from the restaurant, so I sketched the view from my balcony later in the afternoon instead. I added the design and journaling at the bottom later. I also had a pedicure in the afternoon, which was very nice as well.

Saturday, May 2 found us in Katapola, the harbor town in which our ferry arrived (and from which it would depart on Monday May 4). We had lunch near the harbor and then painted a church on location.

Everyone approached the sketching differently, and it was fascinating to see all the differences. Some sketched the whole church, some did parts, some included trees and/or other shrubbery, some used watercolor, one used pencil only, but all were wonderful.

On Sunday, May 3, some of us went back to Aegialis for more shopping (I bought a hat). The town is close enough to the hotel to walk, but the walk back to the hotel is all uphill. In the afternoon, we made our portfolios to hold all of our pages (most of us were working on a watercolor block, so after we finished a page and removed it from the block, it was loose). I haven't finished decorating mine, so I haven't taken a photo of it yet.

Monday, May 4 we headed to Mykonos. More in my next post.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Art Walk Greece 2015 - Part 1

I just returned (at 3am Saturday, thank you very much) from a wonderful 2 weeks in Greece with terrific art teacher Jane LaFazio, Carlo Roberts of The Blue Walk, and 14 other intrepid travelers and journal artists. I will be sharing some of my experiences (and journal pages) with you over the next couple of weeks.

You may have already seen this sketch I did of my new suitcase before I left, but I'm including it again here for a more complete record.

I arrived at my hotel in Athens (The Electra) at about 8:30 pm on Saturday 4/25. Sunday morning, I met Carlo (our tour director) and a few others at breakfast. Pene and I decided to do some shopping that morning and then we took the Athens Open Tour bus tour in the afternoon, which gave us a good overview of the city. We all met back at the hotel at 4:00 to introduce ourselves and hear a bit about our "agenda" for the trip. Then we walked to our restaurant for drinks and dinner, where I did a quick sketch of our view and my drink.

On Monday, I discovered that several others were going to the Acropolis, so I joined them. Pene, Ellen and I walked there, while Mary, Helen, and Louise took the bus. It is such an amazing site, and so hard to comprehend how old it is. We climbed LOTS of steps. Pene, Ellen, Louise and I walked back while Mary and Helen took a taxi. We met everyone back at the hotel at 11:00 and then we all walked to the National Garden, where we had our first lesson.

I did some shopping in the afternoon and then we had our fabulous welcome dinner.

Tuesday morning I went to the Acropolis Museum, which is a beautiful new building with so much information that really helped me to understand more about the Acropolis. I returned back to the hotel by 11:00. We all walked to the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea, which is a Greek Orthodox church and one of the oldest churches in Athens. I used a Tombow marker (with water soluble ink) for my sketches.

Tuesday evening, we took a ferry from Piraeus (the port city near Athens) to the island of Amorgos. It was a long ferry ride (from 5:30 pm to about 3:30 am). More in my next post.