Come join me on the enchanting Greek island of Milos this spring and paint some of the most stunning scenery in the world!
It is also the island where the famous Venus de Milo was discovered; this article will whet your appetite and your imagination!
The painting adventure on Milos will take our senses by storm on the 7th - 14th May.
The coves, caves and colours are unique - I can't wait!!
Our hosts will be the team from Salinara Sicily, well experienced in running painting holidays in Sicily and Greece. They will organise our accommodation, breakfasts and dinners. Anyone who has been to their Salinara retreats knows the love and care they lavish on their food! We will make our own choices for lunch from the wealth of cafes and restaurants on location.
They will also provide transport to and from Milos airport and to our daily outings and be on hand for any requirements we may have.
We leave - sadly, I'm sure - in the morning of the 14th and fly back to Athens.
Flights are not included in the painting holiday price (see the brochure below)
Overnight stays in Athens are also not included.
From Malta, we will fly to Athens on Aegean Airways on the 5th May, stay for two nights in local BnB's.
Here are some recommendations I have gathered....
The Art Gallery Hotel* Hotel Phidias** ApolloHotel***
For more choices, go to www.booking.com or www.tripadvisor.com and type in "Athens" - you'll find a whole range of hotels.
In Athens itself we can meet up on Sunday 6th for some sightseeing and sketching
On the morning of the 7th we fly down to Milos from Athens. There are two airlines for this, both with similar times and prices
Sky Express and Olympic Air
Returning to Athens in the morning of the 14th, we will have another day and night in Athens before flying back to Malta on the 15th.
Another option would be to extend your holiday to two weeks and fly with RyanAir, who only fly to Athens on Saturdays.
Every day of the glorious week in Milos we will explore this fabulous gem in the Aegean Sea, painting in the mornings and relaxing, sightseeing or sketching in the afternoons.
As any of my students will testify, my classes are relaxed and fun but packed with information and practical advice geared to the scene and the students' abilities. I like to 'play it by ear' rather than impose a set itinerary. I want to help everyone feel that they have learnt some practical skills and captured the scene in their own way. I also like to encourage new ways of working, using found objects and unusual ways of making marks.
On this holiday I intend to emphasise composition and interesting ways of seeing reality differently. We are artists, after all!!
All levels of expertise are very welcome
I will be sending a list of recommended materials when you book, but your personal favourites are always good to work with.
The price of the painting holiday does NOT include your flights Athens - Milos, or overnight accommodation in Athens 5th,6th and 14th May
For more details of the painting holiday please see the brochure below
Do contact me about the painting aspects.....
Bookings for the Milos holiday through Salinara Sicily
Brochure link -
Our idea is not a product at all though - we feel that we need to help address the very basic lack of awareness that is still evident around us. Our dream is 'ecoarti' - inspiring eco-responsibility through artistic ventures; workshops and events to underline the message that seems to have been around for ages but doesn't seem to be working. Our polluted air and plastic filled seas bear witness to the failure of the 3 R's;
1. Refuse unnecessary packaging and single-use plastic
2. Reuse it for as long as possible.
3. was Recycle, but it's pretty obvious that globally we are not coping with the sheer amount of waste we are producing. As ecoarti we will create installations from rubbish and waste materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Our third R would be aRt - make rubbish into something memorable and perhaps even useful. I don't suppose we'll ever make a fortune by doing this, but there are many ways to feel rich!
Our next project is "Bahar taz-Zibel" ("Sea of Rubbish"), working with 70 teens to create a mural 8ft x 52ft to make them more aware of the impact plastic and other debris has on sealife. If only a few of them go home afterwards and take the message with them it will be worth it.
We want to show that rubbish can actually be a resource when used with imagination and creativity. Instead of letting it depress us, let's reuse it to make Art.
I've been meaning to write and tell you about the great time we had at Salinara Art Farm, painting in and around the Marsala area of Sicily last April.
Time flies and I get distracted so easily.... but I just have to show you some photos and let you see just how good it was!
Salinara Art Farm is run by a charming couple, Adriano and Yumi. He met us all at Palermo airport and drove us back to the farm, which is just outside the town of Marsala. It is on the edge of the largest natural marine preservation area in Europe, which is quite something and includes the beautiful Egadi Islands of Favignana, Levanso and Marettimo.
Sicily is just a short hop for those of us living in Malta, but we also had someone who flew in from Germany. Salinara Art Farm hosts workshops, retreats and special interest holidays during the shoulder months, and then opens as a B&B during the summer. It’s just off the beaten track, so the peace is wonderful but it’s also close-ish to the town and other local attractions. No, I’m not really writing an advert for them – I’ve just had SUCH a good time there ! Here's a link for directions to Salinara Art Farm in case you're in the area.
There were plenty of spaces for us to work on our own in between drawing sessions and outings
We visited Erice, Mozia island, Favignana island, Marsala and Salini. We painted windmills and saltpans, of course –they’re so iconic of the area – but also land, sea and townscapes.
We also drank an awful lot of wine, ate plenty of ice creams and shopped just a bit too. All our meals were out of this world – lovingly prepared by Adriano's brother Emiliano at Salinara itself.
We didn’t want to eat anywhere else!
The best news of all is that we are organising another trip this autumn from September 28th to October 5th. I’m so excited about going back; I feel very at home there now. Wouldn't you like to join us? All levels of ability are catered for.
If you are interested, please let me know and I will send you a brochure.
Looking forward even more, The Salinara team and I are planning a trip to a Greek Island next May – keep in touch for more news on THAT Adventure!!
The all-inclusive (except flights) price covers absolutely everything; marvellous meals, a wine tasting evening with a trained sommelier, comfortable accommodation (see the brochure below for details), airport transfers and trips to painting locations.
During my week at Salinara, all I actually paid for was an ice cream from an irrestistable gelateria in Marsala!
As my regular students know, painting sessions are fun and relaxed, and tailored to individual needs. You'll work hard and learn lots of course, but there will be plenty of time to relax too.
On this holiday I'd rather like to encourage everyone to include people in their paintings, so we will have a model (my daughter Tamsin) on hand to sit still for us. At the Farm, I'll show you easy ways to paint and sketch figures so that they look 'real' without adding too much detail.
Except for the flights to Palermo, everything is included in a great package deal; all food, wine, transport to and from painting locations, and me of course :-)
See the brochure below for full details on booking.
Please note that the dates on the brochure are 21st - 28th April, but we moved everything by a day, to 22nd - 29th as the flights from Malta are more convenient.
If you would like to join us from anywhere else please enquire, and we will help you work out the best way to get to Salinara.
In May I organised two painting trips to Trapani in Sicily for my students. We really did a lot of work between us, and had a good time exploring some interesting sites ..... as well as feasting on fresh fish and local wines!
The cave has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times and in the 1800’s was turned into a small village by the Mangiapani family. Four family units lived there for 150 years until after the Second World War, when most of the inhabitants emigrated.
The Di Rosario family continued to live there, using it as a large stable and store.
In 1982, destroyed by the animals and quite derelict,a group of young people from Custonaci decided to restore the place and hold an annual Live Crib in the cave. It took years to restore the abandoned buildings and surrounding areas. They sourced examples of traditional tools and wares, and it is now a kind of living museum, with animals in the pens and the rooms displaying various crafts such as the making of barrels, clothes, puppets, carts, and food.
The photos above were all (brilliantly) taken by Melanie Geraghty
It was all very well done and we had a great time exploring before we settled down to paint.
It’s a challenge to draw such a massive cliff and keep the sense of scale and perspective –
I’m not sure how well I managed but it was fun trying.
My visit with the second group was on a Sunday and we were overrun by about 50 motorbikers obviously on a Tour, and we were all entertained by a group of traditional singers in local costume..... they did kind of disrupt our painting, but they offered to share their wine with us, so we forgave them !!
I couldn't help thinking that Malta has so many locations that could take this idea and restore interesting but currently derelict areas.
Close to where I live, the old village of Manikata "Razzett tal-Qasam" has been very well restored and preserved by the local farmers (see Koperattiva Rurali Manikata ) but there are many once-inhabited caves in the area that could be used in a similar way to the Sicilian one - even a Living Crib! Just an idea....
I love to paint - and draw - and help others to discover their creative side too.....
Be the first to see my latest work and hear of new classes by adding your email address below. Thank you!