Thursday, 22 June 2017

Mount Pyrgias

                        Koutouloufari in Northern Crete is a village of approximately 600 residents, it is situated at the foot of Mount Pyrgias. I drew and photographed this impressive landmark many times and here are two works based on those images.


                                     Mt. Pyrgias with palm - Mixed media on paper  10"x10"

Mt. Pyrgias with agave - Mixed media on paper  10" x 10"

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Greek village street photography

                        Some images of the street life in the Greek villages of Northern Crete.


                                            "WALKING FROM KOUTOULOUFARI"
                                         It's hot. The mercury is nudging thirty degrees when I
                                         leave the village of Koutouloufari. Within a few minutes
                                         I reach the crossroads where the tavernas and shops finish
                                         and pass the white painted church with blue gates set back
                                         from the road against the ever present Mount Pyrgias.
                                         I stop to take a few photographs of the panoramic view
                                         stretching down to the coast and the Bay of Hersonissos,
                                         the olive grove golden in the bright Cretan sun.
                                         I'm on my way to the next village, Piskopiano, and pause
                                         to make some quick reference sketches in my notebook of
                                         another group of olive trees set against the mountain
                                         I  reach the edge of the next village, quiet in the heat of the
                                        day. The big Greek Orthodox church is set back off the main
                                        road and I take a seat in the shade of a taverna opposite.
                                       I order a beer and set up my sketchbook and camera overlooking
                                       the big square in front of the church with it's gleaming white
                                       frontage and terracotta decorations. I'm drawn more to the
                                       original 14th.century church next door with its bell tower and
                                       dangling rope tied to the outside wall. This is what I'll draw in
                                       my small sketchbook and note the name "The Church of the
                                       Presentation Mary".          
                                       My eye is suddenly drawn to the priest who has come out of
                                       the church and is walking swiftly across the square, his grey-blue
                                      cassock swaying around his ankles as he reaches the door of the
                                      older building. I manage to fire off a couple of photographs before
                                      he's gone.
                                      The white painted houses with blue doors and shutters are so
                                       typically Greek, but I want to photograph and draw the Cretan
                                       village characters so I leave the taverna and head back to the tiny
                                       main street.
                                       On the corner of the narrow road, leading to the church, a big guy
                                       is sat on a white plastic garden chair, playing with his worry beads
                                       and watching the world go by. I stop to smooth a tortoiseshell cat
                                      that's asleep on the wall of a shop selling rugs for the tourists when
                                      an old lady, dressed all in black, walks up the hill. I manage to snatch
                                     two quick pictures of her as she inspects the goods outside of the shop.
                                     I walk on to the village of Hersonissos Old town, a world away from
                                     it's modern namesake down on the coast less than two miles away.
                                     Outside of a shop, just off the main square, a dog sits patiently waiting
                                     for some food scraps.
                                    The "old boys" of the village sit at a taverna table in the square,drinking
                                    their small, thick, black coffees with glasses of iced water whilst they
                                    talk and smoke. Meanwhile a cat positions itself by a nearby table, it's  
                                    wearing a paper napkin fashioned as a bandana around it's neck.
                                    As I leave the village I see a young boy who is leaning over a wall
                                    watching an old lady eat her lunch,sitting in the shade at the front of
                                    her house. I snatch two quick shots ,one of each of them.
                                    Is she the boy's grandmother?
                                    I saunter back along the way I came - back to Koutouloufari.           

Sunday, 18 June 2017


                  To the Greek island of Crete and a stay in the small village of Koutouloufari,that along with the adjoining villages of Piskipiano and the "old town" of  Hersonissos overlook the bay of Hersonissos on the North coast of Crete.
                  Some sketchbook drawings and photographs reveal a very "Cretan" way of life.



                     "Koutouloufari"             "Olive grove"                              
Some "rough cuts" in preparation for some acrylic paintings

Thursday, 1 June 2017

St. Malo landscape

               Working from the photographs/sketches and notes from the recent Brittany trip ,I've produced a semi - abstract painting that encapsulates the "feel" of the coastal port of St. Malo and its surrounds.


                                 "St. Malo - panoramique " - Acrylic on canvas  20" x 8"