No straight lines, lots of crumbling stones, plenty of charm
June’s Mediterranean trip via the megaliner Silhouette gave me a chance to discover the subtle differences in the nine Italian, Greek and Turkish ports-of-call we visited.
On the morning of the 16th, our captain announced that we would find Rhodes to be the friendliest of all the Greek islands. Friendly, yes, and home to one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Old Town Rhodes is filled with narrow streets that are really just alleyways, with arches framing doorways and the sky overhead. Amid the sunlight and shadows are flowers, lots of flowers, cobblestones underfoot, and the ubiquitous scooter or two. As with Mykonos and Santorini, there’s nary a straight line or neat edge or anything post modern to be found unless you’re checking out a funky/junky tourist shop.
Rich in history, Rhodes is a centuries-old European port city that is influenced by the surrounding Aegean and Mediterranean seas. I fell in love with the stoic medieval structures and tried to capture them in the strong golden light with this painting. There’s a lot of yellow and purple in this image, achieved with Winsor Newton yellow deep layered with M. Graham dioxazine purple to achieve the colors in the stonework and reflections. M. Graham sepia and Holbein ultramarine deep were used for detail work and textures.
Everyone—except universally grouchy taxi drivers—is usually friendly in a tourist town or cruise port, as livelihoods depend upon much-needed business. Waiters wearily, yet happily hand out wifi passwords, and shopkeepers do their best to be pleasant and helpful. While talking to the young crafter who was arranging handblown local (hmmm…maybe) glass, the conversation turned to the fun of visiting relatives in Astoria, Queens. Hard to say who envied each other more: me wanting to spend more time on Rhodes, or she wanting to return to NYC.
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 14″ x 18″