Sketches in Crete – Sept 2018

I was experimental. I had a large sketchbook with rough pages, given to me for my birthday. I turned over the pages and tried things.

As we drove back from Aptera one evening, the sun was setting and fired up the mist between the hills. Back at the kitchen table, I had a go:

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It was stormy. We had some amazing sunsets.

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I did a lot of quick sketches with some special Koh-i-noor sketching pencils that friends brought me from the Czech Republic:

We walked up the Diktamos gorge. It is deep and leafy. Here is an impression drawn that evening, trying to show you the dark depths of the gorge, the high rocky walls, and the leaves. John is shown, sitting on a stone, bottom centre left.

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On the way to the airport we stopped in Agia Triada. I had 45 minutes to do a sketch. This is pen and ink.

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It’s a three hour flight.  One has to do something. I revisited the Diktamos gorge in pen and ink. The game was to use as few lines as possible, by not taking the pen off the paper. This is 3 lines.

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Sketching in Crete: May 2018

Aptera was a city in Greek and Roman times. The people went to the Theatre.

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Remains of the Greek and Roman Theatre at Aptera. The Greek period is something like 300 BC. Then the Romans adopted it when they took over 67 – 395AD. The Theatre was a total ruin when we first visited in 2011, with part of it missing and the stones used to make a limekiln. In 2017 the lime kiln was removed and the auditorium circle has been re-created.

From the small slab in the centre, the acoustics are perfect. John gave a rendition of the speech of Richard III “Now is the winter of our discontent….”.  I heard it perfectly, at this distance.

The place where we stayed looks out over the bay.

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Military vessels pass by into the NATO base opposite, including submarines. Some of them go past, and into Souda.

We drove into Souda, to find out where they went. We found only a peaceful fishing harbour.

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The military harbour is hidden.

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I took a new sketchbook on this holiday. It had rough pages which meant I needed to work in a loose style. There were some spectacular sunsets

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Watercolour in sketchbook from the Vintage Paper Company.

We shared the house with a gecko.

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There is a contrast between the peaceful location…..

…and the fearsome weapons of the NATO warships in the bay.

The ruins at Aptera have stood for two thousand years. Civilisations have come and gone in their time.

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Inside the Roman cisterns at Aptera. The city is mentioned in texts of 13th and 14th century BC. These Roman cisterns supplied water to the city. The city was destroyed by earthquake in 365 AD.

These pictures were done on location in various notebooks, using watercolour, pencil and De Atramentis Document ink.

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Agia Traida, view from the entrance, in Stillman and Bern Delta Series watercolour book, using only ink.

 

The Guardian of the Vines

Another collage postcard. I posted this one in London 18th May.

It looks a bit crinkled because the cardboard was damp with PVA glue, and then dried. The white shape on the bottom right is a flake of white paint I found on the ground. It must have been polyurethane paint, because it was flexible and easy to cut. I left the edge ragged, as found. Top left is a map of Crete from the packet of olives. The fence is made of palm leaf. The leaves didn’t want to go flat.

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Here is work in progress.

 

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The journey to the chapel of St Antonis

Here is a collage made for friends in Switzerland.

I posted it at the Post Office in Kalami on 8th May. The official there did not seem to be concentrating very hard. He looked dubiously at the word “Switzerland” on the address. I think I need to find out what “Switzerland” is in Greek.

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The card is made from seeds and bits found on the walk.

Here is the construction in progress. Clothes pegs are an important tool.

Agias Triada, small chapel

We visited the monastery again, before going to the airport. Two large coaches were in the car park.

As I drew the chapel, fragments of dialogue in French and German floated by. A French-speaker was relieved at last to have a call from Yves. He described in detail where the car was, naming the Greek village. He must insist it be ready by Thursday.

A woman with a German American accent told me my drawing was beautiful. I told her I was glad she liked it.

By and large people were respectful and did not stand in front of me while I sketched. But, according to John, a guy with a big heavy camera photographed the drawing, over my shoulder, without my knowing.

After an hour and a half John came to alert me that we should leave in 5 minutes.

Pen and ink. 1 hour 40.

Here’s what it looked like before adding the tones:

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