Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home in Paros

I just finished a painting today. I decided that I wanted to create a series of paintings based on my travels around the world, as I've been to some pretty interesting destinations over the last few years. I've started to go through my photos and see which ones would work well in a painted representation. That is, without wanting to create photographic likeness - paint something that will remind me of my experiences abroad.

To begin, I chose one of my favourite photos from my trip to Greece about a year ago. My good friend, Jessica, and I spent a chunk of time on the small Cycladic island called Paros. What stood out there was the beauty found in the simplicity there. All the houses and buildings are white, and very simple in shape. Accents such as doors and shutters, all blue. And you get the occasional extra colour such as the gold seen here. We both spent a great deal of time photographing the homes and shops, just in amazement how something so simple could carry such great beauty. Perhaps much of it was the way the hot summer sun shone on the buildings and both highlighted areas and defined shadows.

Here is the photo I chose to work from. It's one of the photos in my album from my trip that seems to grab a lot of attention from those who have viewed it. Beautiful simplicity.

And so to turn this into a painting presented another unique challenge for me. As I mentioned in my entry about my painting of the Vancouver skyline, the idea of painting straight lines really has no appeal to me. As much as I love math, a mathematical painting or drawing lacks the same satisfaction of painting free hand! The other challenge is that I generally enjoy painting with a lot of colour: splashes of colour everywhere. The simplicity here and focus on shades of white presented yet another challenge for me - one which I still wonder if I made a good choice or not. In the end, I have what is a good painting that I am quite pleased with: one with personal meaning to me as it reminds me of a lovely trip I took with a close friend. But it seems to stray slightly from the style I'm trying so hard to define as my own. I suppose that's ok though. I suppose it's fine to have some stylistic variation.

The finished product...

This all being said now, I look forward to my next travel painting. I'm thinking of something from Namibia. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Michael said...

Yes, the light and air of the Greek islands has enthralled artists for eons.

You certainly captured the Greek stairs; they are never uniformly even.

Read more about painting on Paros: