Saturday, September 17, 2011

Art, Golf and a Sunset

After a chatty breakfast with Dora we went to the studio of {insert name}, noted painter and sculptor. The light in the studio came mostly from one wall and fell on a forty-year accumulation of canvases, plaster busts and medals, mosaics and stained glass panels.
I loved that the abstract canvases – some very large – all had very harmonious colors but a strong sense of movement as if the swirling fragments might converge into something new if one only looked long enough. All of the artist’s human compositions in either plaster (later to become bronze) or in paint had a warmth I have not seen in portraiture in some time.

My favorite piece, though, was a small composition on paper – again a rapidly but quietly moving abstract – in an incredibly beautiful frame of leaves and cherubs ornately wrought in bronze. The artist rightly commented that the piece combined with its very contrasting frame became a separate work that neither could have achieved alone.

I create works in a variety of materials and it has often worried me that this was not sustainable; this studio and this artist have shown that not only is such variety sustainable, but that it can also help produce better works through interchange of disciplines.

[insert pic of studio, artist, busts, stained glass and piece in bronze frame)

After leaving the studio we were taken to the Athens Golf Club in Glyfada where we leatned that gold was a costly sport to maintain in Greece due to the water requirements involved in maintinaing a course. So far we have only heard of three courses in Greece. We learned to hit balls, strokes for long and short game as well as putting…though golf was never a favorite of mine, our coached made thigns simple and I had a good time.

Instead of a more formal meeting of the younger Rotary club of Athens, we had a lunch meeting at the gold clubhouse chatting sociably with those we had tootled around the course with earlier.

After lunch we bundled into a couple cars for an excursion to the Cape of Sounion (Maria had to return to work, Sevy joined us and I rode with Jimmy).

After sweeping around curves over hills and through valleys we drove up Cape Sounion to explore the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon at the top. It was an incredible fitting site for such a temple so that it’s god could accept his offerings and keep an eye on his watery kingdom at the same time. The site was also one of ancient tradgedy, we were told, when an ancient Greek king threw himself from the cliffs mistakenly thinking his son had gone to battle and been killed when in fact he had conquered and merely forgotten to change the color of his sail as agreed upon before leaving home.

The massive standing columns and seemingly random piles of colossal pieces of marble combined with the sunshine, wind and sparkle of the sea to make one of the most romantic sites of our trip so far.

[Photos of Temple]

On our way up to the temple we had driven past a group of abandoned buildings and I requested a stop on our way to the bay to explore a bit. The church was the most interesting to me because it was unlocked and most of the bits of paper and prayer cards left behind dated from 1969. It almost seemed as if the last prayers were offered and then the church was left to the howl of the wind and the sand swirling restlessly across the floor.

[photos of abandoned village and church]

The day’s activities closed with swimming in the bay below Sounion as the sun set. Had dinner at a lovely Taverne with Dora before crashing for the night.

[sunset at sounion photos)

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