Greece Sketches & Athenian Grafitti

Horse Sketch. I did this in pencil while drinking my 2 killer coffees at the Museum of Archeology. The ex was pleased because the ex likes horses. I inked it up later.

Horse Sketch. I did this in pencil while drinking my 2 killer coffees at the Museum of Archeology. The ex was pleased because the ex likes horses. I inked it up later.

It took me 2-3 weeks of intense deliberation to book our hotels for Greece. I’ve never had this much indecision before.

I booked about 12 hotels in total. Then I made a TextEdit list with all the prices & cancellation dates.

Then I pitched them to the ex.

The ex said this is your job. I don’t care, do you expect me to book everything? I already did the flights

Then the ex said we should make sure we don’t stay in Fira.

So I cancelled that hotel. One down, just 11 to go.

I slept on the rest.

I looked at them incessantly. Deliberating this photo of a pool or that photo of a room.

TripAdvisor ratings, visitor comments.

Endless circular research.

In the end, decisions were made, for better or for worse.

I have a vague feeling that it just wasn’t my best work. I’ve made better choices before.

It feels like a competition with my past self with my past self winning

The hotel we stayed in Athens at gave us a corner room with 2 single beds the first night. The ex’s face dropped immediately. (Oh dear!). It did look a little dark.

But then it was at night.

I knew I needed to brace myself for a great deal of discontented hissing from the ex. (Yep.)

So I took affirmative action! I immediately asked why this wasn’t a double. Then hummed and hawed but I persisted.

Happily they obliged us the next day. (Whew!)

Then I worried about the image that was setting. Would the hotel judge us for asking for a double bed?

The ex would occasionally scold me very loudly and very publicly, because I’d wander off and the phones are too expensive to use (assuming mine was even on, and technically if we got lost it would be a struggle to re-locate each other. The Agora was a very large area). Which was hugely embarrassing. But the ex’s rage is an uncontainable force and has to be borne like you would a rolling wave. In any case, I couldn’t hiss back without creating an even bigger ruckus.

So i’ve written about the Acropolis, the hop-on hop off, the squabbling and the coffee.

The last day in Athens we spent in the Acropolis museum.

Amazing enormous carvings of writhing fighting gods, serpents lions and bulls, statues of serene Aphrodites and stern Athenas, shattered in parts but still immense and showing bits of colour at the top of a wide marbled staircase.

There is a large, glass floor with (UV protected glass) right at the top which has every single carved panel that remained on the pantheon, taken down and placed in a similar formation around the floor.

Of course it is now protected from the elements, robbery damage.

But then why not replace it which replicas so that the Pantheon skeleton on the hill has something on it?

The actual Acropolis just looks like a hollow mess. Stripped bare. First by Lord Elgin (mentioned on every plaque as doing significant damage to Greece’s heritage. Even I felt the resentment. Damn you Elgin you cad!)

So I don’t understand why they bothered leaving the rest up there. Or why they haven’t replace everything with replicas (as they’ve done with some temples already)

Or just build a replica of the Acropolis as it should be back in at it’s peak. 4 A.D? A good a time as any.

I managed to squeeze 2 drawings in at the Acropolis Museum. (no photography allowed except on the 4th floor) The only downside is that it takes 15-20 mins each sketch so it eats a lot of browsing time.

Although I’ve not done a big drawing for some time now. Might be time to ditch the sketch book and get out the A1.

This is one of the heads of a gorgon from the Pantheon. A majority of the pantheon and most of the carved panels finds are inside the new Acropolis museum (which is very beautiful)

This is one of the heads of a gorgon from the Pantheon. A majority of the pantheon and most of the carved panels finds are inside the new Acropolis museum (which is very beautiful)

A sketch of the only building in good nick at the Ancient Agora. A little french girl sitting by me was watching me draw in awe. I must say, my ego swelled delightfully under her untutored praise. Ah if only she knew. This sketch is worthless.

A sketch of the only building in good nick at the Ancient Agora. A little french girl sitting by me was watching me draw in awe. I must say, my ego swelled delightfully under her untutored praise. Ah if only she knew. This sketch is worthless.

The lion sketch from the Museum. I'm not that happy with it. I can't explain why.

The lion sketch from the Museum. I’m not that happy with it. I can’t explain why.

I blatently heard a guide tell a TOTAL fib about this sculpture. She said it was a "child's toy" but for 2 reasons I think this was a fib. 1. It looks like a fertility votive / goddess or something to do specifically with women. It also isn't simple enough to be a toy. There were also numerous similar pieces found at a temple site. 2. There were toys found but these were not labeled as toys. Also why didn't any of the guide's tourists read this? And why would she bother telling fibs?

I blatantly heard a guide tell a TOTAL fib about this sculpture. She said it was a “child’s toy” but for 2 reasons I think this was a fib. 1. It looks like a fertility votive / goddess or something to do specifically with women. It also isn’t simple enough to be a toy. There were also numerous similar pieces found at a temple site. 2. There were toys found but these were not labeled as toys. Also why didn’t any of the guide’s tourists read this? And why would she bother telling fibs?

Athenian Graffiti

Ancient Agora

Athens Markets & Twilight

Ice cream Vendor. One of my favourite photos from Greece

Ice cream Vendor. One of my favourite photos from Greece

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19 thoughts on “Greece Sketches & Athenian Grafitti

  1. What a great post, Janine! I love your drawings. Drawing from life and from antiquity is so good for the hand and spirit, I think. Your drawings are really beautiful. Love the lion one that you don’t fancy, and the building and especially that head of the gorgon. Love gorgons. I can’t believe you were considering keeping these to yourself– so glad you shared them! What’s amazing is that you can look at the drawing of the building at the Ancient Agora in 30 years, and it’ll take you back and you’ll remember that little French girl. I don’t know why life drawing in public is like that, but it gives me some kind of weird total recall where I remember more about a place than if I had not drawn.

    • Aw thanks mike 🙂 I still need to ink some of them up.
      drawing from life is good fun. i’d almost forgotten how in a way. the lion one, i feel the mouth came out a little awkward and the yellow bled ever so slightly into the white (and that just annoys me)

      its true! life drawing totally has that effect for me too. its so concentrated for those 15 mins that you can’t not remember it.
      I remember drawing in a sea side town once and this little kid saying “wicked!” to me (obviously i only remember the compliments 🙂 )

  2. Ah, the Greek resentment of Lord Elgin! Bwahahahaha! yes, if it wasn’t for Lord Elgin (and subsequent guilt-tripped Brit generosity) what would they have left to show? Hmm? Answer, of course: nothing.

    I read some of your previous posts a few days ago and even had a dream inspired by them, but I never got around to commenting.

    You noted that Greece was like a Third World country. “Like”? Dear, it IS a third world country (albeit shackled to the EUSSR,– as is UKistan for that matter).

    As to this fantasy of “restoring” the Parthenon: look, at this point it would be a Disneyland endeavor. Everybody knows the Acropolis is a ruin.

    Some great ancient monuments are in splendid shape: the Pantheon, Hagia Sophia (minus all that damned stuff some alternate religion imposed upon it . . .). These have their charms.

    But the Acropolis is what it is. The Parthenon is the supreme architectural ideal of Classicism. That purity of form is such that the mind’s eye fills in what does not endure.

    But as to embellishment: the friezes are, as you yourself rhapsodize, incomparable works of art: and who the devil could make an approximation to those today? Or how could we dare re-expose them to the elements, and put them away from the close-examining eye of the observer?

    No, no. What you suggest would essentially turn the Acropolis into a bad movie set, a Neo-Classical “Gladiator” tie-in that would move nobody. To ruins must all things mortal succumb, in the fullness of time. All this grandeur, blasted, does more to inspire than any feeble recreation could accomplish now.

    Hotel sex?

    • Well some of the replicas are pretty darn good. (those women statues in one of them are all replicas)

      You can’t even tell. (although good conservation practice seems to dictate that this is wrong) it would be expensive but it could be done. although yes, it would destroy the charm of the ruins. it wasn’t a realistic suggestion. just a enjoyable fantasy.

      I think Disney would do it in paper mache or plastic. I’m suggesting legit replicas of the stuff in the acropolis museum placed back up there.

      maybe in another location they could build a to life size acropolis and agora. (then that would be quite disney.) they could have people in costume who would take you on a ‘historical experience’ – man i think this could be fun. Spartacus was a hit show. people will buy into this nonsense. they could even stage a fake war where they are attacked and taken as slaves.

  3. New layout! (Sorry. That’s the first thing that struck me because I’ve been bored with mine and have been fiddling about. No good results at my end and it will all change again the moment I have a few minutes spare but I like how the post pages look here.)

    It has to be said, you make mundane seem pretty darn fun.

    • It was bored too but I feel like goldilocks with themes -there is always something missing work or not quite right. This one for example, I’m not happy with some of the text formatting, or the lack of a nice header on the home. But I love the inside pages and the infinite scroll. Do wp do this on purpose? make themes with a couple of bugs, just so we buy the custom upgrade? i’m beginning to think they do. The bastards.

      I’m glad my lifestyle projection is working muwahahahahaaha

      • Yeah, a header on the home page would have been perfect. And yes, I’m pretty sure this is supposed to get us to part with cash in exchange for the perfect design. It’s like Candy Crush Saga. The turns end precisely when there’s just one square left.

  4. Pingback: Santorini | Tin Roof Press

  5. Pingback: Some More Greece Sketches | Tin Roof Press

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