"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Big Greek Sightseers!

Greece is the Word, well the Place.
The 6th Graders of Ogden School in La Grange, Illinois have picked Greece as the place for this Artist to find a Traveler. The ball is now in my court as I show the process that I go through to make a painting.

Athens - All photos are from the Travelers photo album.

Before we started this project I did a quick call out to all my contacts and Travelers to see if any of them had been to these ancient places. With in minutes I had 7 messages from friends and Travelers who had been to Greece, Egypt, India, China or Italy. Any of these places the students studies about would have been wonderful to learn about and paint.

Santorini- lots of Churches in Greece.

But Greece, I've been waiting for quite a while to paint here. What a nice pick of a place! This should be a fun trip.

"Greek Windows and Doors to my Soul", by Traveler Diane.

The Beginning: With Greece picked, my next step is to pick a Traveler for this project. I received quite a few messages from friends and travelers about Greece. All of them with great photo albums and willing to take part in this project. But one Travelers story stood out and made the pick an easier one.

Traveler Diane our Greek Traveler.

Meet Traveler Diane, I heard about Diane's trip to Greece through a friend. And after taking a peek at her photo album I knew she would be a good Traveler for this journey. But after hearing her story for the trip, I changed that to a great Traveler.


Traveler Diane's Story: I would love to be part of The Artist and The Traveler. And there is a story to tell. I finally went back to my birth place for my 50th birthday. I went for 15 days. I went to Athens, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini and Evia.
Young Diane

I was born in Greece, adopted and came to the US when I was 11 months old. I grew up in a Greek family as well. But the voyage home was a very poignant one. I even visited the orphanage I came from. Amazing. - More story to come.

The Start of the Painting. Just as the Traveler makes plans for their trip the Artist must make his. I need to know where I am going, have the right stuff for the trip, and a map to get there.
Traveler Diane's photo of Mykonos Harbor that I will work from for the painting.

Deciding on which photo of Traveler Diane's to work from is the starting point for the painting. I picked Mykonos Harbor because it said the most about Greece to me in one picture. It has it's rich fishing history, the architecture and landscape of Greece all in one spot.

This is the same photo, but I've moved in to a more interesting point in it. I used Photoshop and moved some things around and made the from boat larger.
Photoshop detail of how these pieces will go together in the painting.

Traveler Diane mention to me how the houses were stacked on top of one another and I wanted that more in the painting. The Sketches: Usually I only show one or two sketches. And for me the sketches are a way of sticking the design of the painting in my head. I use the photo as reference but I don't paint the photo I paint the inspiration from the photo.
Rough sketch
How the design is supposed to move the viewer's eye.

Only thing left to do is squeeze some paint out and turn up the music and get busy. In the next installment I will show the different stages the painting will go through. if any of the 6th grade of Ogden would like to take a shot at painting this too I will show it here. Just email it to me at www.theartistandthetraveler.org.

Until next time Adio!

1 comment:

  1. you just brought me to tears! thank you so much for doing this! it's such a wonderful way to tribute my "journey home". what a gift!


Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.