The “reality” of Crete through my eyes

How Crete inspired the life and the art of a British painter

Jan  Liodaki Jul 28. 2016
by Jan Liodaki
I was born in England and grew up in a town a little to the West of London.
I remember at a very young age waiting impatiently for the postman to deliver the weekly children`s magazine full of wonderful stories from the Greek Myths!
So from a young age I had a special place in my heart for Greece.
My years in England were surrounded by organized, orderly and predictable countryside, pleasant to the eye but lacking entirely in stimulus, offering no sense of challenge.
I felt steeped in greens and browns with only an occasional flourish of yellow
ochre, struggling, rather like a weed for survival, in a highly organized garden.
When I visited Crete all my senses seemed to awaken, I felt my foundations shaken. Here was an island with such a unique variety, both in colours, shapes and structure. From the intimidating rocky mountain tops down through the valleys with lush fruit orchards, endless undulating olive groves and bright vineyards down to the winding shorelines. These contrasts completely overwhelmed me.
Here my greens and browns were replaced by the sparkling blues of the seas,
the dazzling light of the wide skies, the orange of the rich earth.
I delighted in the bright lemony greens of the first leaves in the vineyards
and the silvery shimmer of the upturned olive leaves caught in a spring breeze.The continual movements and alternating reflections in the seas with their ever changing tones of blues and greens….the clarity. 
All this fired my imagination and spurred me on to observe, interpret and finally
formulate my own images, based always on my search for the pure “substance”,
the “reality” of Crete through my eyes.
This is what my work is about…..the search for the essence of Crete.
Through the “flow” of the sea which is repeated in the “flow” of the olive tree 
and the twist of the pine, to the orange earth and the massive lichen covered
rock formations.
All of this becomes even more amazing when I think that this is just such a small island – Crete- .
It has inspired me and continues to do so.
A small piece of paradise, a jewel sparkling in the Mediterranean sea.
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