Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love letters from Dubrovnik

It was a busy day in Dubrovnik, with crowds on the main street and along the fortified walls.

But I was alone.

For some reason I'm drawn to things that others pass by, and left cold at the things they find compelling.

Not for me the shops, the cafes with laughing diners, the wide marble avenue choked with people.

For me the beckoning window on a back street, the carving viewed at an angle guaranteed to give a stiff neck to anyone not too captivated to notice.

I wandered into a Franciscan monastery and lingered over its details...

Writing of the sort I have never seen in stone before called my name and inspired my fingers to itch for ink and nibs.

I find myself wishing I knew how to carve stone.

The lettering fascinates me. I am alone in the monastery's corners, admiring the stones at my feet and wondering who were these Franciscans who loved letters as I do.

 I spend an hour sketching in the quiet courtyard, praying as the pencil dances across the page. 

Finally I tear myself away, re-tracing my steps and leaving as I came.

I enjoy the details of paintings on the walls, inset stone fountains, door rings.

Even the little bell by the door calls to me, well worn by years of faithful service.

Now out to the streets of the city. 

My eyes are again drawn to the letters I find sprinkled everywhere.

I notice where the letters are a little squished and smile knowing how it is that sometimes you get going with a project and then realize you have less space than you'd thought. 

I feel connected to the letterer of long ago.

On and on through the city, loving the details that set Dubrovnik apart.

Tomorrow more photos.

Thank you most sincerely for sharing the journey with me.

More Greek colors

 I love the brilliant colors, but Greece isn't all drama. Her softer hues and the reflected light are also gorgeous.

You can step into a back alley or a monastery

and find colors that are at once gentle and brilliant.

Someday I'm going back. 
I will sit on the beach a sip a glass of wine while I watch the sun slip behind the horizon.

For now, the memories, the photos and sketches are enough.
And the art that's beginning to flow from so much inspiration.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Greek colors

Greek colors are enough to take your breath away.

The sky is the color of my favorite crayon.

But way more intense.

And the white is so pure you can hardly trust your eyes.

The Greeks plaster their homes and paint them white, and then add slashes of brilliant color for trim, splashing blue on their church domes and doors, painting windows and trim in brilliant red or yellow or green.
Even the little back streets in ordinary neighborhoods stunned me with their beauty.
Greece made me feel like I had walked into a travel brochure.

The plainest white steps possess a sense of drama and high design.
I darn near swooned.
And you would have, too.


Ordinary windows are like a still life. 

And the light casts shadows that are a work of art.

I'm convinced that you can look anywhere in the Greek Isles and see colors that are astonishing.

What do you think? Aren't Greek colors truly amazing?

Tomorrow I'll share more photos of my adventures. 
When I close my eyes at night I can still see visions that will color my work in the days ahead and you can probably see why. It was an artist's living dream.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The donkeys of Santorini

Why is it that some memories stick hard and fast while others are so fleeting?

For me, the donkeys of Santorini were at once a gleeful wild ride and a charming taste of everyday Greek life I'll never forget.

When you approach the harbor at Fira by boat, you can't help but notice the steep zig zag path leading from sea to town. 
While there's a modern lift, I wanted to take the traditional lift of a donkey up the cliffs.

What an adventure!

Proud Greek donkey masters managed the animals carefully and with great dignity...

They seemed to me like men from another era, and foreign in ways I can't even pinpoint.

It was my first peek at Santorini and I felt I was living in a book that had magically come to life.

Bells around my donkey's neck rang merrily in chorus with those of the others on the trail, and I laughed hilariously as she suddenly ran uphill and just as abruptly jerked to a stop.

We spotted donkeys carrying families around the towns of Oia and Fira while we were in Santorini, and the Greeks seemed to love their rides as much as we did.

I am home now, but the laughter and the happy sound of hooves and bells
 echo in my mind, as they always will whenever I think of Santorini and the welcome given me by one small donkey who shared with me the joy of a bright blue Greek morning.

Monday, September 20, 2010

From the Aegean with smiles

I'm afloat in the middle of the Aegean Sea, smiling at all the
passengers whose portraits I'm snipping, and at you, too, long distance!

So sorry the blog posts look so horrid when I email them... it's an
unreliable process at best and I promise I'll do better once I reach
home. I am so tickled at how many lovely photos I've taken (though
admittedly a bit embarrassed at the vast number of shots I've taken!)

More in a week, when I reach home.

The arches of the Acropolis. An angel snapped in Dubrovnik.

Windows and shutters (do you remember how many I posted in November
after I got home from Italy?)

My sketchbook is filling up slowly but surely and images for new work
are piling up. Happy peeks soon!

Meantime these are a few peeks at Dubrovnik...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another hello from Greece

Please forgive the last posting... the one with the photos that
didn't show! I'm hoping this one will do much better. If not I'll
just tantalize you by saying that I have the most wonderful pictures
to share when I return to a dependable internet connection. Posting
via email was supposed to be problem free and so easy a child could
do it. But clearly it would require a child much smarter than I am,
and one not paying the wild costs of satellite internet incurred on a
cruise ship!

Once again I'm going to try to show you the view from the Old Fort in
Corfu, Greece...