Whew! I feel like I’ve run a marathon!
I know I said I just wanted time out to paint this year….Well! Paint I certainly have, non-stop almost, which is fine because the weather here on Skiathos has been so unpredictable these past few weeks – rain and spectacular thunderstorms mostly – so I haven’t felt I’ve been missing out on any sunshine by staying cooped up in the studio. Actually it’s been really cosy in there with just my music for company, while the storms raged relentlessly, just outside! I took a couple of days out to have a huge (long-overdue!) clear out and a tidy up and it’s been a pleasure to work with so much free space, instead of the usual chaos and clutter for a change.
Yesterday I delivered a large commissioned work; an fellow compatriot’s house in the old town. I’ve really enjoyed doing this one – it’s such a pretty, traditional old Skiathos townhouse – and seeing the couple’s delight, made all the weeks of hard work worthwhile. I was thrilled they were so happy with it!
Oil on Canvas 60 x 80 cm
Being an oil painting, it was a slow process so, in between waiting for the layers of glaze to dry and constantly inspired by how beautiful and fresh the island’s looking at the moment, I continued to aim for ‘a painting a day’. These are a few of the ones I’ve done so far (all of which are for sale HERE as originals, prints or greetings cards):
‘A Quiet Corner’ – oil on canvas 25 x 25 x 3 cm
‘From the Lower Terrace’ – oil on canvas 25 x 25 x 3 cm
‘Blue Shutters’ – oil on canvas 20 x 20 x 4 cm
Some days I ventured further afield, to the wild and windswept north side of the island where the gathering storm clouds made for some pretty dramatic skies:
‘Cape Elias’ – oil on canvas 30 x 23 x 2 cm
‘Looking towards Kechria’ – oil on canvas 60 x 50 x 2 cm
Painting in Skiathos, with its wonderful light is so different to painting in London. Before I left we’d had endless weeks of grey skies and gloomy weather so, to cheer (and warm)myself up, I completed two huge canvasses to add to my growing collection of ‘Saudi Arabia Paintings’.
Where I live in London, near the Edgware road, anonymous figures, concealed underneath metres of voluminous ‘black’ are a regular sight.I thought it would be interesting to reveal what (once upon a time, anyway) is underneath. These two paintings (also oil on canvas) show the traditional bedouin tribal dress, jewelery and daily objects of Saudi women – from two very different regions: Asir, in the mountainous Hijaz region in the west and the capital Riyadh, in the empty plains of the open central desert. Of course they are painted in accordance with Islamic law (no depiction of living things, people or animals, are allowed) So, despite the colourful finery the women themselves still remain anonymous – and mysterious:
‘Behind the Veil – Asir’ oil on canvas 102 x 76 x 4 cm
‘Behind the Veil – Riyadh’ oil on canvas 102 x 76 x 4 cm
Both paintings can be hung separately but are designed to work well as a diptych too (the sky colours do match in real life!):
I have one more commission to finish by Friday (and send back to UK) which should tie in nicely with the weather (hopefully!) changing for the better and then I think it’ll be time for a bit of a rest. The island is still exceptionally quiet at the moment but I’m sure that’s about to change as friends, regular visitors, have already begun to arrive. Long hot days lie ahead and I’m getting excited about family coming to visit soon too. I look forward to getting out and about, swimming, sun-bathing and socialising – and just enjoying the island like a tourist myself, for a change! Rain or shine, despite all the doom and gloom and uncertainty of the Greek ‘situation’, Skiathos continues to be a simply magical place to be!!
Have a good summer everyone! Kalo Kalokairi!