Hi Friends. How have you been? Last month I was busy working on a commission for dear friends. We had traveled to Greece years ago and enjoyed sightseeing and lunch arranged by a local fellow. I had painted a picture of that lunch and it now hangs in my dining room, and they asked me to paint one for them.
It was fun to revisit a painting. I feel like my art decisions were made more knowledgeably than when I painted the first one, and I arranged some of the items a little differently. The bottom line is they loved it, and I’m honored that they wanted to have one of my paintings to hang in their home.
It’s definitely autumn here, my favorite season, and I’m enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful, bright colors of the leaves. Hopefully all is well in your neck of the woods. Take care, and thanks for stopping by!
A few years ago, we were lucky enough to travel to Greece, and my all-time favorite stop was the island of Corfu. We hired a local man, Spiros, who drove us around, showed us some of the gorgeous off-the-beaten-path beauty, and explained what daily life was like in the small town.
Corfu Canapés – Lunchtime in Corfu, Greece Watercolor
At lunchtime, Spiro stopped at a tiny store and bought a loaf of fresh, crusty bread and local soft cheese. We drove down the road to a building that had outdoor seating, as well as gardens of basil and tomatoes. Spiro sliced the bread, cheese, and tomatoes, drizzled them with olive oil, and sprinkled fresh basil and herbs on top. This was served to us with local olives and tastings of red wine followed by shots of powerful, black-licorice-tasting ouzo. I can still remember the crispy bread, the creamy, delicate cheese, the pungent herbs, and the fresh-pressed olive oil. Opa!
In looking back at photos from our trip to Greece I knew I wanted to paint this branch of olives that we saw on the magnificent island of Corfu, which boasts over 4 million olive trees. Our guide Spiros took us to olive groves where the trees were hundreds of years old; the trunks are HUGE which does not allow machinery to shake the olives free. Because of this and because of the relaxed nature of the folks of Corfu, they simply lay nets on the ground and allow the olives to fall from the trees to be gathered in the nets. This produces a film of olive oil on the ground which made walking a little slippery, but it was worth it to see these ancient gems.
Watercolor of Olive Branch, Corfu, Greece
I’ve been practicing watercolor a lot for the last few weeks and am finding that some subject matters seem to come more naturally to me than others. I definitely enjoy painting birds, flowers, and plants more so than landscapes and buildings, so maybe I should focus on what I like for a while to improve my knowledge, techniques, and outcomes. Then I can focus on what I find more challenging. I wonder if other aspiring artists out there feel like this and how they plan their journeys.
I hope your week leading up to the Christmas holiday is joyful and relaxing.