Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A look at Greece

I am so grateful to have been able to travel to Greece and Turkey. The Greeks are so wonderful, joyful, and faithful to their country & people. They are a truly united country.
We enjoyed true blue skies, sunny days and HOT weather. But, with lots of water, a good attitude and some good shoes, we had a great time covering a lot of the country and Islands.
We also had a chance to go to Turkey and taste a small bite of their thriving city of Istanbul.

The glory of Greece

We had the opportunity to go to an Icon workshop. Icons are an integral part of the Greek Orthodox religion, and a dying art in Greece. We were fortunate enough to be able to explore a workshop that teaches this art, but also creates beautiful work for the Greek Community. I might add that they were very rushed when we visited because they were doing a large order for the Vatican. So, the icons are also enjoyed by many of the Christian Faith.

The color palette

The ground up colors come from Germany and Holland, and are mixed with vinegar and egg whites to create the medium that each artist uses to paint the icons. Gold leaf is also added to create the true beauty of the icon.

The artist at work.....check out the easel with paint daubs all over it

I loved watching the artist work. It was very warm in the workshop, so the artists were working shorter hours until the weather cooled down a bit. I loved watching this artist mix his colors and then daub at the easel, until he felt that it was just the right consistency. I was just mesmerized by the process of his painting. I do not use an easel with watercolors, so it was just fun to notice the differences in style.

A finished icon

The finished Icons were truly masterpieces. I am glad that a Greek Orthodox Priest decided to start this workshop, find artists that would train others, and have his sister's (as in real sisters, not Nuns) run the business. It was a family operation based on deep faith and commitment to the art of Icons.

More tomorrow!!

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