We transferred from kissamos to Chania yesterday - visiting the Naval Museum ( with it's full size replica of a Minoan sailing ship ) before checking in our hotel. Views from the museum to the lighthouse and harbour.
The view from our room at El Greco hotel.
From our room looking South
From our room looking North to the sea (that feels very odd!)
Happy Easter! We're looking forward to some lamb later ( Ian has pink fingers from peeling a red-dyed egg for breakfast!) Woken up at midnight with lots of firecrackers and fireworks and bells ringing to announce'Christos anesti'.Still ots of firecrackers going off - I remember that from Nauplia. On Good Friday,seeing the processions of the Epitafios (biers) from many churches converging on the main square was both solemn and uplifting. From our balcony we could catch glimpses of lines of candles in the darkness with snatches of singing and brass bands.
The local wine takes a bit of getting used to - it's brown sherry like rather than red but works well with the food. We've had a lot of little doughnuts in honey for pudding . Seen lots of beehives both square and in doorways. Not too many crumbly doors yet but I have hopes for Chania
Making cheese pies at the Taverna Odyseus in Polyrhinia last night
On a walk to the sea on the far west coast of Crete, we at last see a few orchids - Anacamptis pyramidalis and Orchis italica mainly. Seeing so many in one spot (above) and distracted by a consultation about an anemone I trip over a stone and twist my ankle! Luckily we weren't far from a taverna and I whiled away an hour painting while others looked around a ruin and was able to get a taxi back.
Spent yesterday at the museum and a picnic lunch by the sea.
My ankle is a lovely colour now ( and I've discovered some other bruises in unexpected places) but hopefully with resting again today should be fit for a short walk tomorrow.Meanwhile , thanks to digital cameras , I'm still acting as consultant for flowers seen along the trail such as this Ophrys lutea.
A busy week at work making sure my plants will be happily growing while I'm away , a weekend packing bags and then today the treat of being a tourist up in London. After clearing the fridge for breakfast we've been eating out since. We got the train from Brentford to Vauxhall (only 30 minutes) and walked over the bridge to Tate Britain and went to 2 contrasting exhibitions ( with a Vietnamese lunch between and coffee and cakes after!). It wasn't too busy in the Watercolour exhibition so could close and see the detail. Some new discoveries ( Lucy Skaer, Uwe Wittwer, Callum Innes) among the old favourites of Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Paul Nash . Neither the 'exhibition ' pictures(too much like oils) or the botanical illustrations(too much like work! ) do it for me but some interesting pieces in the war and improvisation sections. Work by Alexander Cozens looked bang up to date - until read they were from 1780's!! But the star was Turner.
There was some fascinating multimedia installations in the Susan Hiller exhibition, mixing ephemera with anthropology, exploring themes of memory, language and imagination. I loved 'Dedicated to the Unknown Artists' featuring postcards collected from seaside town captioned 'rough sea' , also 'recycled works' where she had cut and bound old paintings with thread into sculptural blocks. You could see hints of paint at the edges -by coincidence I noted that effect in my old watercolour books (picture above) when I was choosing my painting materials for Crete. Takes 'repurposing' to a whole new level.
'Witness' was completely magical and mysterious - walking among hundreds of suspended microphones/speakers with whispered testimonies of UFO spotting.
Another slow walk home from work along the Thames towpath, taking photos of the boats. This time I ventured a little further coming out opposite the boatyard. So many people on their houseboats, sitting on the benches and grass alongside basking in the sun that too inhibited to draw ( and as the walk was impromptu, not much sketching gear anyway). On the way back at St Pauls Church there was a display of application plans to expand the Kew Bridge development - left my comments as a pedestrian and cyclist who goes past it every day.Opening up access should be a good thing although I hope it doesn't change the character of the place too much.
In preparation for Easter, chocolate sculptures have been popping up around Kew ( various people in fluorescent jackets have been wielding paintbrushes and pots of brown stuff). Not quite the Henry Moore that so inspired my quilts in 2007 but fun nevertheless. We'll be in Crete for Easter but have a couple of Lindt Chocolate Bunnies on the mantelpiece next to the Staffordshire pottery dog awaiting their ritual slaughter. Ian is rather shocked by the violence with which I decapitate them.
The week didn't end too well - an ATM ate my card!! But taking Friday off work to sort out some of the financial fallout ( and Ian paying a brief visit to his parents) meant I had some time to concentrate on various projects and accomplished quite a lot over the weekend. I put my new Pfaff walking foot through it's paces turning up jeans that have been in the wardrobe for a couple of year as well as Ian's new work trousers. I also used my Journal Quilts as practice pieces and have got ahead of myself for once!
The theme was circles and I've tried to develop each piece from the one before, based loosely on images from work
March 'Petri Dishes' was manipulated using 'cutout' filter in Photoshop combined with some commercial fabrics.
April ' Positive Negative' again using Petri dish images cut out and the 'holes' also used.
May ' Stained Leaf Sections' printed micrographs of cut sections of leaves showing stained cells. The letters are a transition to the next challenge block - text.
I also finished off sewing the 'secret books' to the metal frames that make up my interpretation of the 'Taplow Vase' . The label will be in the interior - just name and title. I'm happy to sell this piece but am struggling to price it. Should I price it using the same formula as my other work or cheaper as it's an experiment which uses less materials and time to make (although it took oodles of planning and thought)??
A Conservation Biotechnologist by profession, in my 'playtime' I create art textiles inspired by the natural world. I am currently exploring ways of interpreting sketches directly onto fabric. Besides printing paintings and photos onto fabric using the computer, I am constructing densely quilted pieces overpainted with acrylic paint.