I’ve just returned from Santorini in Greece. It’s a beautiful island and quite possibly the brightest place I have ever been... it physically hurt my eyes to not wear sunglasses! But, is it possible to translate this beauty into art, and would I even want to?
Ever since my first trip to St Ives in Cornwall, I’ve tried to think about how a place can inspire my art. I like the idea of using my travels to influence some of my artwork, (although it can take me a while to get around to it... I’m still working on my New York series 2 years after visiting!).
Santorini offers something different to think about. Pretty much everywhere you go; you get a stunning view of the caldera, or a view of white buildings clinging to the black cliffs. There are a lot of art galleries in Santorini, although most are souvenir shops full of mass produced pictures, and this is where the difficulty comes with creating art based on places. It’s all too easy to end up with a quaint picture of how pretty the place is. I don’t really see the point in such paintings... in my opinion a photograph can capture that much better. Despite this, I did feel quite inspired after my trip... from many angles the island had a limited colour palette (shades of white and blue). The architecture, although traditional, was almost modernist and reminded me of the suprematist abstracts that I’ve been interested in of late. The challenge for me will be to see if I can capture these inspirations and depict Santorini without creating pretty souvenir pictures.