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Plein Air Goes on Vacation

Last fall, my incredible husband and I went to Greece for our Honeymoon - and I knew I had to paint!

I knew it wouldn’t be easy to carve out the time. We’d have so much to see, eat, drink, and explore. But we made time, and I’m so glad we did.

In Athens, we tracked down and art supply store and I bought a handful of acrylic paints, some cheap brushes, and a canvas pad. A takeout tin and some napkins made my kit complete. No need to be fancy - this is guerrilla art!

Sitting in the sand under a line of olive trees, in the beach town of Vathi, Sifnos, I found my perfect time. We had just finished an incredible lunch at this mermaid taverna (with Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” in my head, though Joni and Carey apparently had their Greek fomance on Crete), I looked out into the bay as the sun sank behind the cliffs, and found my groove. My tube of Violet was completely dried out, I was using salt water to thin my paints, and getting sand in my brushes - and I wouldn’t change a thing. As soon as I finished that view, I turned about 180 to catch the setting sun hitting the church tower behind me...

The next time I found to paint was on the island of Naxos. We had a rainy afternoon - I had just set up on the beach to paint when the drops started falling. Luckily we had a sea view from our hotel with the french doors open, so I regrouped and knocked out a couple colorful studies...

I can recall so many spots I would have loved to paint throughout our trip. But I’m deeply proud of the time I was able to spend doing something I truly love in an unfamiliar and magical setting. There’s nothing like painting to make me feel completely present wherever I am. Having that feeling as part of our honeymoon made it an even deeper and more personal experience, and I am grateful to have had that in my life.

- MH 2016

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