I have been practicing with my new camera that I got for my birthday and sampling a new way of painting after watching Bob Ross. He was on during lockdown and since I think we’re soon to be locked down again I thought I better get cracking.
The Lefkás pictures are not mine by the way. (Also, I’m still reading the feminist books as I took a break for my birthday to visit friends and have my parents visit me.)
Since here in the UK the lockdown is only just starting to be eased with shops opening, social distancing being reduced and the ability to see friends and family through bubbles I thought I would show some of my art that I have made recently.
Lefkás inspired ones followed by Coronavirus inspired ones and pictures of the area.
I know the feeling because today I vacuumed the house, did some more laundry, dishes and weeding. I also wrote a couple articles which will turn up in the next couple days and called a couple people since physical distancing is good but social distancing is not.
This is a style of art from the 1930s that was again a reaction to the harshness of world war 1. It took its name from a exhibition that took place in Crystal Palace show casing all of the new items for sale. Art Decoratif in French or Art Deco as it came to be known in English. Wikipedia has a very good article on this so I don’t need to go into too much detail here but it was fascinating when I went in the Design Museum in Berlin to see object from this era on display. I also love it when I come across examples in painting, architecture or tile.
I really like this as it’s angular and embodies the principles of form and function without redundancies. There is not superfluous lines there just to make it look good. It is streamlined and efficient. It is also aesthetically pleasing.
It was taking place not long after the Bauhaus movement in Germany. It also influenced many of the Greek poets that I have previously written about since they lived in Europe at the same time. I have also written about Bauhaus along with Picasso impact on Cubism.
Which art movements have spoken to you over the years?
I can’t believe I’ve never written about one of my most favourite art movements before! I absolutely love Cubism. I have been a fan of this style since I first discovered this at college. I did an Access course to higher education which grants you entrance to university after one year instead of the usual 2 if you were not able to do your a levels for some reason.
I had a good Art History teacher Lorraine Monk who was also a bit of a feminist so we studied people like Frida Kahlo which is another one of my interests and one of the reasons why I was very happy when I got to visit Mexico. Anyways this is getting away from Picasso.
Picasso invented cubism with his seminal art work Demoisselles de Avignon in 1917. He was affected greatly by the First World War as was everyone else who served in it. Being Spanish Picasso was very emotional so the world was constantly recreated in an abstract way on his canvases. When a friend of his committed suicide he entered his blue period for the next couple of years until he had recovered. It was the Spanish Civil war which caused him to paint Guernica which is another era defining painting.
I think a certain amount of anguish is necessary for art to be created as we need to tap into that resource of feelings which are usually hidden behind logic. The best music is usually created by musicians when they are currently under going some kind of trauma like Rumours by Fleetwood Mac or the Winner takes it all by ABBA.
If you like my art that I have previously shared, Some of my own artwork and Some pictures of Lefkás. You can now see it all on my Instagram account that I have created just for the purpose of sharing with you all. AthinaMinerva7
During Panagiotis’s life he was rewarded with land on Lefkas from the Venetians who were currently ruling. This was a reward for his services in the army. This enabled him to focus on his art and he didvided his time between where he was born in Corfu although his family was from Kalamata, Corfu and Zante.
The Heptanese school shows a gradual evolution of style away from the previous Byzantine influences towards a more Venetian style. There still religious in content but new techniques are being introduced to differentiate them from previous works. The major factor here was the introduction of oil paint instead of mixing with egg white and the move towards a Western Renaissance style in the realistic depiction of faces in portraiture.
Panagiotis also wrote on the subject of painting which was so controversial it wasn’t published until after his death and is still being debated today albeit in scholarly circles that concentrate on 18th century art.
Nikolaos, having been born in Kalamata, returned to Lefkas to join the army base here and continued painting in a style inspired by Leonardi Da Vinci and the other Italians greats in an effort to modernise Greek painting for a new era. His work is on display in Zakynthos and in the National Art Gallery of Greece in Athens.
The Heptanese school of painting also contains works by Spyridon Ventouras (1761-1833) whose work has sold well at auction previously.
There are many schools that are called Ionian/ Heptanese so you have to follow them with what they refer to ie Painting, literature, Philosophy and Music.
Theodore Stamos was a Greek-American artist who was part of the “irascible” group that included such notables as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. So he can be considered a pioneer in abstract expressionism and is internationally renown for this; but as usual he is one of those that you don’t hear about. You need to be specifically interested that particular period in art and history.
Theodore’s father was from Lefkás and his mother from Sparta although he was brought up on Manhattan’s lower east side in the USA.
When he visited Lefkás he created a sub series from his Infinity Fields series of paintings. This was from 1970 until his death in 1997. It was expressionistic in style his paintings.
He was born in Athens but during a trip to Constantinople as it was then called, ww1 broke out so the family stayed there.
He later spent some time in Paris and served his time in the army as all Greek men still have to do, then gained work as a translator afterwards.
He was in Athens in 1932 to join the school of fine art and it was here that he met Andreas Emberikos a fellow surrealist poet who also had spent time in Paris.
In 1945 he is commissioned to design sets and costumes for a play by Nikos Kazantzakis.
In 1979 he is awarded the state prize for poetry.
It seems from reading about him that although he wrote many poems including Bolivar (1942) inspired by Simon Bolivar, he is in fact far more famous for his art. Having looked at his art it’s almost Daliesque and I wonder why it’s not more popular.
He has had many exhibitions of both his poems and his art mainly in Athens and after his death.
He is one of those people that require you to search deeper on Google than your average person as most of the information is hidden inside of books.
He is the first in my series of painters simply because the poet list is becoming rather lengthy.
Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.
This is an artwork by Zois Rombotis that is in the National Gallery in Lefkás town.
1st and 2nd Delphic festivals were held in 1927 and 1930 and they were festivals of the arts. These celebrated art, plays, poetry, music, dance and fashion. Not just Lefkádian styles but they had input from all over Greece as were the patrons who attended.
These were instigated by Angelos Sikelianos and his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos. They were however such a huge undertaking in terms of organisation, promotion and financial cost that the burden proved too much for them. Since there was little state funding in those days, that they had to file for bankruptcy after the second one. This is why they have never been reinstated. Considering how popular they were, how well connected they were and with the amount of money that they must have had at their disposal with only have 1 child, you gotta think are there other forces at work here?
Eva had to return home to the United States to try to acquire funding for more festivals due to the bankruptcy but was never permitted to leave again while her husband was alive due to political tensions and her own leanings. There is something slightly dodgy about this yet this is exactly what is written on the wall. There isn’t an explanation so your just left to wonder how such a thing could happen.
It was so painful for the pair to be separated that he got there marriage annulled so he could get married again with her consent yet she never did. Neither had any more children. The family tree is on the wall though. It is through them that some of the exhibits are there.
There is lots more information about both festivals in the Angelos Sikelianos museum situated in their house in Lefkás town. It was their pet project after all. If it wasn’t for the many donors who contributed to the museum, it probably wouldn’t still be there.
Dominikos Theotokopoulos is a well known Byzantine painter that I have actually heard of before I came across this reblog. He is not usually known by his full name as it is quite a mouthful hence they shortened it. It’s much more memorable that way too. If you search for El Greco you can find lots of information out there but I just like the native viewpoint as you don’t come across it often.
As the weather continues to be abysmal here I thought I would share with you some of my art. I know I said that I would cut down on the amount of time that I would spend on here but the weather hasn’t really assisted me here. I have been drawing from photographs in case your wondering why the images don’t match up to what I’m saying.
Yes I have painted the same image in watercolour paint, pastel and water colour pencil. Just in case you were curious about what you were viewing. I’m rather scientific in my approach to art as I like to see what works best. I also like to look at my progress in blogging and art.
I’m learning about Greek Easter traditions so along with taking your decorated candle to church and dying your eggs red/painting them; we now have a new tradition. The Easter tree!Καλό Πάσχα! Happy (Greek) Easter.
As you may have noticed the primary purpose of this blog is to write about things that are Greek in some way. I don’t always have sufficient material to write this so sometimes I take a break and write about things that while not inherently Greek; perhaps got there start there or have a rather tenuous link to the Greek culture etc
I get distracted easily so I often having many projects on the go. Reading a Greek newspaper is very demanding as I have to look up lots of words etc so if I’m not in the best of health like right now; I will chose easier hobbies like watching videos about how Greeks came to America…
It is ok when you are focusing on something so much to allow yourself a little time off. This often provides clarity and stops you getting into a rut. As an example, one of my friends is getting married soon and we went dress shopping but since she had seen so many dresses, she was getting colourdrunk. The more common phrase for this scenario is you can’t see the wood for the trees or you can’t see the bigger picture as your focusing too much on the detail.
These things trip us up more than we think and we mentally berate ourselves for not doing enough or for not being perfect. We are all human at the end of the day so we need to take a chill pill occasionally.
After the break we should have regained our energy to be able to fire on all cylinders once again. However we have to be careful not to continue with the same habits that created the problem in the first place. Our daily lives need to be adjusted to cope with more flexible working hours etc. Re-education is a constant way of reminding ourselves that there are always better ways to do things both at work and at home. Innovation only comes through rest though as stress is its opposite.
So here I am, Angela the English Introvert taking a break like I do most weekends in a bid to find some creative energy to make comment worthy posts. Filakia (little kisses) as is said in Greece.