Sweat the small stuff

I have a friend who likes to write articles contrary to popular opinion and sayings to get you to analyse what is really behind those words and thoughts. Quite often what applies to the majority or what worked in the past no longer applies especially under our current circumstances.

These common phrases often irritate me because while they may apply in some sense to my life they frequently do not. I am not like other people. I am a woman, therefore a human but since I don’t drive, work or have kids that’s where I am vastly different. I have not had the same experiences so I lack that common base.

I am just as intelligent maybe more so in some areas but not in others. It is my differences that seem to cause problems as I am not business minded where as there they would be an asset. I have social skills now although I no longer have any chance to practice them living under my 3rd lockdown. It is tough living with the same people since practically March last year when the first lockdown began.

Banana bread

I now bake bread/cake weekly to keep myself occupied. I didn’t bake in the first lockdown or watch Great British Bake-off but now I have. My bread recipe book and breadmaker are very useful in helping me achieve my edible, creative pursuits.

Pepper and onion bread
Coconut wax dyed and scented candles

I also make candles as gifts. These are comforting hobbies just like encaustic art is. This is an art form that was first made in 6th Century Greece by monks with beeswax and mastic gum from Chios. It is quite tricky to get hold off and to get right so I tried experimenting with lots of different types of paint and wax first because it’s not generally something you have lying around. It’s very tempting but also expensive to order the world off Amazon right now. Jasper Johns also managed to make artworks in this format in 20th century America. Thankyou once again internet, Google and Wikipedia.

Coconut wax dyed, scented and decorated candles

I found that my acrylic effect (sand, silver, gold, white, crystal) paint from Lidl in combination with my dyed coconut wax worked really well. I used some drip paint too (from the Range) for the colouring of my flower meadow. It was quite relaxing to just drip the candle wax where ever but you do have to be careful as it is hot and some candles burn quite furiously if tipped upside down. Don’t do this is you have young kids at home.

Candle wax and acrylic paint on oil paint

In addition to my canvases I have started linocutting also not a child friendly activity. Landscape artist of the year on Sky is responsible for me getting a sudden interest in this and the continuing lockdown that has no end in sight despite progress on the vaccine front.

Linocut test prints

As a result Linocutting is quite calming carving out your pieces ready for printing. The rollering of the ink is surprisingly tricky to get right to produce a good print but I think that is half the fun of it. Enjoying the magic of a process that is both simplistic and random because it is quite the art to getting the ink to stick where it is supposed to and not anywhere else.

Another linocut, the same image but expanded
Trying colours on the linocut

Soon I am going to start indulging in my inner Warhol with screen printing to get better at the ink part of linocutting. That is after all where you make your image come alive. I feel I owe it after visiting the Warhol museum last February. That seems almost a lifetime away now with all that has happened since.

Sweat the small stuff

I have a friend who likes to write articles contrary to popular opinion and sayings to get you to analyse what is really behind those words and thoughts. Quite often what applies to the majority or what worked in the past no longer applies especially under our current circumstances.

These common phrases often irritate me because while they may apply in some sense to my life they frequently do not. I am not like other people. I am a woman, therefore a human but since I don’t drive, work or have kids that’s where I am vastly different. I have not had the same experiences so I lack that common base.

I am just as intelligent maybe more so in some areas but not in others. It is my differences that seem to cause problems as I am not business minded where as there they would be an asset. I have social skills now although I no longer have any chance to practice them living under my 3rd lockdown. It is tough living with the same people since practically March last year when the first lockdown began.

Banana bread

I now bake bread/cake weekly to keep myself occupied. I didn’t bake in the first lockdown or watch Great British Bake-off but now I have. My bread recipe book and breadmaker are very useful in helping me achieve my edible, creative pursuits.

Pepper and onion bread
Coconut wax dyed and scented candles

I also make candles as gifts. These are comforting hobbies just like encaustic art is. This is an art form that was first made in 6th Century Greece by monks with beeswax and mastic gum from Chios. It is quite tricky to get hold off and to get right so I tried experimenting with lots of different types of paint and wax first because it’s not generally something you have lying around. It’s very tempting but also expensive to order the world off Amazon right now. Jasper Johns also managed to make artworks in this format in 20th century America. Thankyou once again internet, Google and Wikipedia.

Coconut wax dyed, scented and decorated candles

I found that my acrylic effect (sand, silver, gold, white, crystal) paint from Lidl in combination with my dyed coconut wax worked really well. I used some drip paint too (from the Range) for the colouring of my flower meadow. It was quite relaxing to just drip the candle wax where ever but you do have to be careful as it is hot and some candles burn quite furiously if tipped upside down. Don’t do this is you have young kids at home.

Candle wax and acrylic paint on oil paint

In addition to my canvases I have started linocutting also not a child friendly activity. Landscape artist of the year on Sky is responsible for me getting a sudden interest in this and the continuing lockdown that has no end in sight despite progress on the vaccine front.

Linocut test prints

As a result Linocutting is quite calming carving out your pieces ready for printing. The rollering of the ink is surprisingly tricky to get right to produce a good print but I think that is half the fun of it. Enjoying the magic of a process that is both simplistic and random because it is quite the art to getting the ink to stick where it is supposed to and not anywhere else.

Another linocut, the same image but expanded
Trying colours on the linocut

Soon I am going to start indulging in my inner Warhol with screen printing to get better at the ink part of linocutting. That is after all where you make your image come alive. I feel I owe it after visiting the Warhol museum last February. That seems almost a lifetime away now with all that has happened since.

Covid ink drawings and paintings

I have been doing some oil paintings recently along with some ink drawings and Covid has infiltrated my brain.

I didn’t realize there was a prompt list for Inktober so I drew this instead.
It was very difficult to paint this artwork but it’s proved popular with viewers so far.
This was my first Covid inspired artwork
This is the second but you would have to be a Pokemon fan to realise that.

Photography and oil painting update

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.)

Lockdown art

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.A boat on the lagoon in Lefkáda

A boat on the lagoon in Lefkáda

A boat by the shore in Lefkáda

A boat by the shore in Lefkáda

A beach in Lefkáda

A beach in Lefkáda

A collection of dystopian, coronavirus and loss inspired artwork
A collection of dystopian, corona virus and loss inspired artwork

The sporting events that didn’t happen in 2020

The sporting events that didn’t happen in 2020

The news cycle of spring 2020

The news cycle of spring 2020

The house
The house

A lake view with pier and bridge

A lake view with pier and bridge

The house with next door chicken farm

The house with next door chicken farm

Another view of the lake by the swing

Another view of the lake by the swing

The lake and the house

The lake and the house

Quarantine art

I thought I would share some of the many pieces of art that I have created recently.Paisley art

Paisley art

More geometric star art

More geometric star art

Geometric star art

Geometric star art

A Feminatrix (Pokemon peacock)feather

A Feminatrix (Pokemon peacock feather)
A peacock feather

Stone art

Stone art

A Pokemon I invented

A Pokemon I invented

Wave art

Wave art

Shape art

Shape art

Pattern art

Pattern art

Geometric art

Geometric art

Islamic and geometric Art

Islamic and geometric art

A mandala

A mandala

Abstract art

Abstract art

More mandala practice

More mandala practice

Mandala practice

Mandala practice

My past couple years worth of work

My past couple years worth of work

Abstract artwork with a piece of string

Abstract artwork with a piece of string

Abstract artwork with a comb

Abstract artwork with a comb

Peacock

Peacock

A bird of paradise over a forest into a sunset

A bird of paradise flying over a forest into a sunset

Ophelia by John Everett Millais

Ophelia by John Everett Millais

Neo-Apocalyptic Dust Mites

In my self-isolation due to Covid-19, the house has been cleaned and re-cleaned to a point of sterilization. Between cleanings, I’ve been reading, …

Neo-Apocalyptic Dust Mites

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.

Automatic art

I tried to do some art without thinking too much. My husband likes that these are less representational than usual and more abstract. http://renminds.org/2020/03/25/neo-apocalyptic-dust-mites/ liked the idea as he had done something similar so here is a link to his work. Paisley inspired with echoes of people becoming batteries in the Matrix

Paisley inspired with echoes of people becoming batteries in the Matrix

Getting back to Bauhaus basics with PlayStation symbols
Getting back to Bauhaus basics with PlayStation symbols

Inadvertently copying the T-shirt design that was top of the pile
Inadvertently copying the T-shirt design that was top of the pile

Inspired by an Indian picture I took a week ago
Inspired by an Indian picture I took a week ago

Peacock love
Peacock love

Art Deco

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?

Best wishes

Angela

Picasso and Cubism

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.

Best wishes

Angela

My Art

Vasiliki bell tower acrylic paint on stone
Vasiliki bell tower acrylic paint on stone

Vasiliki pastel on watercolour paper
Vasiliki pastel on watercolour paper

Graphitint and pastel on watercolour paper
Graphitint and pastel on watercolour paper

Lefkás town ink on canvas
Lefkás town ink on canvas

Lefkás Library acrylic paint and paper
Lefkás Library acrylic paint and paper

Lefkás town acrylic paint on canvas
Lefkás town acrylic paint on canvas

Cypriot church gouache on card
Cypriot church gouache on card

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

Best wishes

Angela

Some of my own artwork

I thought as a nice follow up I would share some of my paintings with you.

Nidri bay in watercolour
Nidri bay in watercolour

Vliho bay watercolour
Vliho bay watercolour

Vliho bay

The sunset over the Princess Islands. Watercolour
The sunset over the Princess Islands watercolour

The sunset over the Princess Islands.

On Nidri hill watercolour paint
On Nidri hill watercolour paint

On Nidri hill.

Dimosari waterfall acrylic paint
Dimosari waterfall acrylic paint

Dimosari waterfall.

A mountain goat I walked acrylic paint
A mountain goat I walked acrylic paint

A mountain goat I walked.

The view of Nidri bay from high up.
A view of Nidri bay from high up acrylic paint

The view of Nidri bay from high up.

What do you all do besides blogging?

Best wishes

Angela

Ioanian/ Heptanese school of painting

The above school was founded by Panagiotis Doxaras (1662-1729) and continued by his son Nikolaos Doxaras (1705-75). They too have a street named after them.

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.

For a look at my other work see here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Theodoros Stamos 1922-1997 Greek/American artist

Programme in Lefkádian Cultural Centre
Programme in Lefkádian Cultural centre

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.

Art in Lefkádian National Gallery
Art in Lefkádian National Gallery

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 is honoured on the island by having the Theodore Stamos exhibition hall bear his name as well as exhibiting his work. He also has the honour of having a street named after him. Here is the Wikipedia entry on Theodore Stamos.

He is the second part of my Greek painters series:-

Other series include Greek Poets, Authors, Painters, Art, Musicians, Museums, specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Foreigners with an interest in Greece, Greek islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here: Series links.

Do you have any artists in your country that you think the world needs to know about?

Best wishes

Angela

Nikos Engonopoulos Greek surrealist poet, painter and critic 1907-1985

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.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    1st and 2nd Delphic festivals in Lefkás

    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.

    Festivals held in Lefkás

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) 1541-1614 painter reblog

    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.

    Painters

  • For all my other posts Series links.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    Some pictures of Lefkás

    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. Easter Fireworks charcoal

    Easter fireworks charcoal

    Nidri bay watercolour pencils

    Nidri bay watercolour pencils

    Kathesma beach watercolour

    Kathesma beach watercolour

    Princess Islands pastel

    Princess Islands pastel

    Nidri bay watercolour pencil

    Nidri bay watercolour pencil

    Nidri bay pastel

    Nidri bay pastel

    Nidri bay watercolour paint

    Nidri bay watercolour paint

    Agias Nikitas watercolour

    Agias Nikitas watercolour

    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.

    Best wishes

    Angela