It is illegal here to have bonfires after the end of March. We have until then to cut back and burn the 'jungle' that each year does its best to swallow the paths and tracks around our land.
Monday, 18 February 2013
Through the few years before I came to Greece I made charcoal in the woods of East Kent. In the photograph from which this drawing was made I am filling the rim of the lid of my charcoal kiln with sand to make an airtight seal.
Part of the deal I struck when I agreed to buy the house was that it should have a new roof, that the upper story of the 'extension' be demolished and the ground floor of it made safe, a flight of steps be built to access the first floor and the iron balcony on the front of the house also be made safe; hitherto access to the first-floor was by climbing glorified ladders and through trap doors in the first-floor floor. Three generations of a family had lived, devoid of running water, sanitation, heating or electricity in this building.
By the spring of 1998 I had bought the house. The new roof was on and other pre-purchace work completed. The photograph from which I made this drawing shows work in progress of stripping what was left of the original lime-plaster rendering and repointing the stones with mortar.
Drawn from a photograph, taken in the early 90s, of my house as it was when I first saw it and committed myself to buy it. The main part of the house had been built in the first years of the twentieth century, the much less well built 'extension' on the left was added later and by the time this photograph was taken was dangerously unsafe.
The car I bought last summer, a Suzuki SX4, is excellent. As a comfortable, easy to drive, economical vehicle it more than adequately serves my needs but it would be cruel, particularly in the winter, to expect it to cope with the kilometre of track, which has more in common with a rocky stream bed than a road, that runs from Mystraki village to my house. In order to save my SX4 further pain I decided to buy another vehicle; one better suited to off-road use. My friendly Suzuki dealer had in his stock a twenty year old, built like a tank, Vitara which he sold to me for not a lot of euros with a year's unconditional guarantee thrown in. Elisabeth has named our new 'village shuttle bus' Delores!
I need a lot of practice at drawing everything, cars in particular!
Friday, 8 February 2013
Church of Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, York. My daughter, Annabelle, recently visited this wonderful old building and was kind enough to send on to me the guide leaflet she picked up there. I made this drawing after the photograph reproduced on the front of the leaflet.
I made this quick sketch while waiting for friends to arrive to join me for dinner at a local taverna. Time permitted neither starting the drawing in pencil not too much detail. This drawing is my first attempt to draw people close enough to me to know that they are the subject of my attentions; these men did not seem to be concerned about my sketching them.
Many years ago a visitor built this bench seat under the shade of the carob tree below the house, the tree has now in part grown around the plank of the bench seat.
I began this drawing too late in the afternoon, the light was rapidly failing stealing form and shadow from my subject. I abandoned the drawing and returned some days later to the same spot to finish. It was not a success so I chose to leave the drawing unfinished.