Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gobble and Strut

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
These big guys were roaming at large in a lot across the street from Maria's Apartments, where we were staying. The sight seemed so un-Mediterranean that it pleased us every day. The big birds did a lot of walking around and displaying tail-fans to not much discernible purpose. They both look like males to me, but I am not a turkey expert.
The photo shows how much difference there is in what you can call "white." And how a little touch of red brightens up everything.

Friday, June 27, 2008

From the heights of Milos

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
They found the Venus de Milo on this island. She's really Aphrodite, and she is made of Parian marble from the island of Paros. Parian marble lets the light penetrate the surface a full millimeter more than Carrara marble, for instance. The picture shows what you can do on volcanic soils in the way of olive orchards, vineyards and other agriculture. In former days, they mined obsidian on this island and it was traded all over the ancient world. This island is still a source of bentonite and perlite. I don't know what they use bentonite for, but I have encountered perlite in potting soil mixes. I've been meaning to look bentonite up; things are so easy with Google.
This was a beautiful day, you could see far out into the Aegean, other islands, fields. rocks and dwellings. This is another of the photos that I will try to use as inspiration for a painting. Good night.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cyclades Blues

Cyclades Blues
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
In towns on these Greek Islands, the houses are built adjacent to each other and abutting the walkways in front. These walks are paved in a variety of ways and sometimes painted, The houses are mostly painted white--relieved bvy an occcasional light pastel color. It makes a feast for the eye and the lens. It wold seem odd, though, living with your front door right at the sidewalk, and touching the next house. They seem quite small, too, but I never was inside one. They really make you want to pick up crayons or paints, quick!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking out over Santorini

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Red, orange or yellow flowers always stand out here amidst the prevailing blue and white. This was near the King Thira Hotel, where we stayed. The hotel was on the heights above much of the city. Everywhere you looked, it was pretty enough to be a postcard, if it wasn't already on the rack. Each day was a little too hot to be really comfortable, but not so hot as to cause misery. Already, I find it hard to believe I was really there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Breakfast at King Thira's Hotel

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Every day in Santorini, this was our breakfast. The silver cup is filled with that delicious thick, creamy Greek yoghurt, It was wonderful with the peaches. All the Greek toast I had was striped like this. The cake was pretty, but too dry to eat. We could also have cereal and there was butter and jam for the toast. There was coffee, but I liked a glass of water. On two of the islands where we went, the water was non-potable in four languages: Greek, German, English and French. The tablecloths were fresh every day, and as everywhere on the islands the white and blue was made even more vivid by touches of orange or geranium red. My photographs are almost too blue. . .

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The gesture

The gesture
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I had more fun watching the little fresh motion of my granddaughter's ballet group! Tomorrow I promise I will get back to Greece. Participation in activities like this is very important for children, I think. My daugher-in-law is very good at choosing activities for Little Miss Pink Tutu here. I think the dear child is thriving and learning many useful skills.
My memory of ballet class is not good. I think it was a series of clasees--ten or twelve weeks. I had to take the bus into Schenectady and I think I was about seven. One day the bus driver yelled at me for trying to cheat him with the transfer I presented. It was the one the other driver had given me. I carried only enough money for my bus ticket, and couldn't pay again. I cried and he must have let me continue, but I am not too clear on how the two of us came to a resolution.
I know this is silly, but I can still get anxious when I take the bus or train. I am very careful to find out as much in advance as I can about how things are done, and to try to do them correctly. I had no talent for dancing and my mother did not force me to continue to lessons once the few weeks were up. Since she herself was a physical education teacher and had majored in dance, this was a big concession from her. Thanks, Olga, now gone to heaven!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blossoming cherry

Pale blossoms
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
These blossoms last such a short time. Already months have passed since the cherries were in bloom in California in early March. These red stamens make me want to reach for a red pen, Today we bought some columbines in bloom and a pot of lupine with a spire of white bloom and a spire of blue. Gorgeous. There's a bud left and I hope to see what color it will be. One of the columbines was one of The Origami Series, which I had never heard of. But now I'm a fan! The plant is covered with off-white or pale yellowy blooms, with a lot of extra thready parts. I should photograph it tomorrow. When we got home tonight, the light was gone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Cyclades shot every photographer takes

Originally uploaded by jhhymas

And I took it too! It is hard to believe these white buildings in the blinding sun! I made it back OK and have a huge number of photographs to deal with. I am already wishing I had used another camera and etc, etc, etc, fuss-fuss-fuss. The buildings reminded me of sugar cubes and toy houses tacked onto the hillsides. The people were very nice and helpful. The water of the Aegean is an unbelieveable blue; we kept trying out different tubes of watercolor. Cobalt is good, but not quite right--my sister-in-law voted for Prussian Blue. I also tried manganese blue hue and various mixtures, wihtout feeling I had found the definitive answer,

I ate a tomato and cucumber salad almost every day. They were just lightly flavored with oregano and sometimes had Greek olives and sliced red onions in them, too. Yum! I come back to find out there is a tomato famine here. . .