I’m currently relaxing in Northern Greece following two wonderful weeks on the gorgeous island of Skopelos. It really is a beautiful island with the main town spilling down the hillside in a confusing maze of steps and laneways. Many of these are draped with brightly coloured plants, lined with pots, and scattered with churches and tiny chapels.
I was on Skopelos to tutor at the inaugural Skopelos Art Painting Holidays and what a great week that was. Our base was the Mercurius Bar which looked out over the turquoise harbour and bobbing boats. We had a great group of all abilities, some from Sydney and some from New Zealand, and for a change they all spoke the same language as me!
We launched into the painting by having a play around with the great palette of brilliant watercolours provided, initially painting some colourful still lifes, then moving onto something that caught the eye of each student – there was a huge amount to choose from very close by, with bougainvillea and other climbers in every direction, typical Greek street scenes (you needed to tuck your legs in quickly to save them from the odd passing car or motorbike), a nice selection of interesting pots and plants, lovely window frames, old doors, and even a little chapel.
At the end of the first morning, we were rewarded with a huge lunch at Agnondas, a serene little fishing village further along the island, and we ended the day with lots of swimming and loafing about. Well deserved I think!
Towards the end of Day 2 we moved onto acrylic paints, with a quick still life in acrylics, in readiness for some On Location painting the following day, when we once again headed off to Agnondas, Here we set up in the shady taverna on the water’s edge and each student selected their subject to paint. Everyone worked incredibly hard all morning, and produced some great paintings, all strangely enough in a very similar colour palette!
The next few days passed in a blur of creativity, continuing to paint in acrylics, coming to grips with the use of the ink and stick, and battling two very hot days. We were well looked after with plenty of iced water and frappees and coffee each day, along with some very yummy almond florentines from the bakery. Paintings were finished and new ones started, including a small canvas. It was wonderful to see the paintings appear and the confidence so quickly gained, and everyone’s style becoming evident.
It was a great week that went by far too quickly with some wonderful paintings to show for it. Thank you Margie and Andrew for making it possible.
If you like the sound of painting, sunshine and plenty of good fun on a beautiful Greek Island, why not consider joining us next year on Skopelos?!