Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sideline

Alongside the main project I have made a few other pictures on A3 size paper. The size is determined by the limitations of how much I can carry on the plane home. A3 paper seems to be convenient.
The above is three differing versions of the same stretch of water-covered shingle. The work is done in coloured inks. Each frame, as can be seen is different. A variation on what I am doing anyway.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Project Completed

The main project I had embarked upon in Cyprus was to make a frieze of twelve pictures each 30 cms square thus making the entire piece 12 feet long. It shows a stretch of Mediterranean shoreline drawn from on site drawings. Hence my morning trips to the beach. The first image is a full painting in monochrome grey and progressing rightwards, each image becomes more and more a drawing until image No.6 is a line drawing in contour only. From there to number twelve it progresses to becoming a fully developed drawing not unlike a black and white photograph.
But now the project is completed and mounted in a presentation portfolio.
The above picture shows images numbered four through six.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Man Who Loves Cats

Followers of my Blog may remember me talking about the Man Who Loves Cats last year while here in Limassol. Howevr I did not photograph him but have done this time. Here he is. He has looked after the feral cats of Limassol for years. At 10-00 am every morning he arrives at the end of Limassol Old Port pier and puts food out and a bowl of water. These cats just know when he's coming. They appear from all the nooks and crannies around and follow him in a great furry mass.
Interestingly enough, there is a monastery not far from here dedicated to St. Nicholas of the Cats.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sunday Morning

This should have been yesterday's posting but the server in Cyprus failed at the crucial moment as I was uploading. So here it is a again.
Cypriots are very devout Greek Orthodox Christians. The overcrowded churches and the throng of people outside during services are testimony to that. The service is relayed to the outdoor faithful via tannoy. So I too get to share it though I cannot undestand much of it aport from when the Greek words resemble Latin, for example, "Sanktos Jesos Christos" etc.
However, while I sit on the beach doing an outdoor sketching session, (the sketchbook is filling up fast with drawings of the seashore), the surging whispering waves weave their song with the priest's chanting. Sometimes the chant is solo and at others, two or three voices, each on a different pitch. It all makes for a beatiful harmonious sound. Some of the chant tunes vaguely resemble those we use at Throssel. Not surprising as Rev. Master Jiyu set the translations of the Scriptures to varoius European chants both Catholic and Orthodox.
I would like to have photographed the crowds outside one of these churches but I felt that this would be an intrusion somehow. They are seriously getting on with their religious practice, not putting on a show for my benefit. Instead I have posted a picture of a Cypriot fishing boat hauling in its net over the front wheel on the prow. A peaceful scene I think.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Early Mornings

A grey dawn breaking. Not a typical Cypriot dawn this morning. There is a storm over in Crete and Cyprus is getting the backwash. It is still a nice warm 25 degrees or so but cool by local standards. It makes a change to see the sea looking more Cornish than Mediterranean.
This is the more usual dawn. Flat calm sea, blue skies and the promise of another hot day. As I write, the Cretan storm has moved on and the sun is back in a wall to wall blue sky.
Incidentally, the sea was warmer than a swimming bath when i was plodging as shown here.
As mentioned in previous blogs, the best time to do any drawing at the beach is early morning while the day is [relatively] cool. It is verry peacefull sitting on the shore just watching and observing the sea and drawing it. Cypriots are very religious and the main religion is Greek Orthodox. There are services held continuously throughout the early morning. The end each service and the beginning of the next is announced by the church bells.

Rhythmic beat of the waves
On the shore
The rise and fall
Like the pulse
Of time itself
*
Through the constant surge
A distant bell

Perhaps the above verse is the best way I can put it

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Norse Legend Re-visited

Each morning I walk along this particalar stretch of shore on my way to a sketching point. This beach is away from the tourist honeypots and is consequently undeveloped. Indeed it is backed by industry, a container depot, and a brewery among other things. On the way to this beach I pass through a waggon yard and past a couple of Greek orthodox shrines. Definitetly not part of the tourist zone.
There are a couple of stray dogs that quietly go about their business of scavenging. One thing that is noticeable is that one dog is both blind and has no sense of smell. The other has these faculties but is lame, it limps along as best it can. But they help each other out.
They remind me that even in this sun drenched paradise, suffering exists. These two dogs must at some time have been more able bodied but now they struggle on somehow yet seem quite undismayed.
What is just as remarkable is that when I show up they fall in behind me and walk part of the way as if they were my own pets then at some point determined by them, they go on their way and leave me to do some drawing. A strange affinity forms when we're together.
Thought and Memory. The two wolves, - sometimes ravens, - that accompanied Odin the Wanderer. Thought and memory complement each other. Thought is short and memory long.Odin was worshipped by the Norsemen (Vikings) as the Allfather. This religion died out over a thousand years ago leaving Odin to wander through the legendary "fading" until the final battle, Ragnarok. The final showdown between good and evil.
So here I am, wandering along a beach like aome latter day Odin with a somewhat enfeebled pair of dogs dubbed "Thought and Memory."
If the real Odin is still around, he must be getting on bit by now and his two wolves/ravens must be getting a bit like these two dogs.
Rather strange that my wanderings on a Mediterranean island has me thinking of a legend from a more northerly land and distant past. But there you have it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Favourite Cafe


Cafe
Originally uploaded by Wulfric.
By around 10-30 in the morning the temperature really starts to rise. To continue sitting on the beach drawing is to invite a serious dose of sunburn.
So............
What to do? I do what every sensible Cypriot does. Go find a cafe, order a Kafe Kyprianou sit back and let the world drift by. Cypriot coffee is like Greek coffee; very strong and served in a tiny cup plus a glass of water. The trick is to take a sip of coffee and follow with a sip of water. Above all, you take your time over this. That small cup of coffee can easily last an hour or so. Native Cypriots are past masters at this, they can manage huge chunks of time in this manner.
This picture is the view from my regular table at the Fani Cafe. In the opposite corner is the Old Limassol Market. A covered market where local produce can be bought at way below the tourist prices.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Limassol dawn


This sculpture, some 12 feet high, stands on the sea wall at Limassol, Cyprus. I caught this image at sunrise.
It is necessary to be up and about very early here for even in October the temperatures can soar to the thirty degree mark and more. Consequently most work gets done in the early morning.