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Archive for July, 2017

Grass is green…

July 11th, 2017 No comments

And so are trees, and bushes, and weeds and vines. This is a painting of the glorious display that we saw every morning when we got out of our beds and walked outside of the cottage while we were in Barzitsa, Bulgaria. Green has always been a bit of a problem for me. Probably going all the way back to when we were kids and were given a set a crayons, and one said “green.” Well, then, what do you see in this painting? Except for the patio and the chairs, it’s all green! Time to use that color picker in the brain and find a lot more color in “green.” This was my attempt to do that.

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A cottage in Barzitsa, Bulgaria

July 9th, 2017 No comments

Bulgaria has a lot in common with other parts of Europe. The homes mostly have the terracotta roof tiles that can be found in Italy, Spain, and France. Their homes are built with either brick or mortar. I really loved the humble cottages the best, and as we set up our easels and painted every day in touristy places, I was not able to focus on one of them. The last day to paint, when everyone else was finishing their other paintings, I was on a mission. I went 1000 feet from Villa Charlotte and set up shop under a mulberry tree. Yes, there were lots of sticky fruit and flies. Confident after a thorough inspection that there were, however, no nettles, I sat down and painted the neighbor’s house. She was pleased to see me there and was happy that I was painting her house. Her yard was filled with wonders; lots of dill weed, corn, tomatoes, and other herbs. Her house was mostly bare brick, with a bit of cement patching here and there. The road was unpaved, and if you got up early enough, you’d see sheep with their shepherd, trimming the road’s edges. This is the Bulgaria that I loved the best.

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The actual color of the Black Sea

July 8th, 2017 No comments

My trip to Bulgaria included a lot of firsts. I did a lot of things I thought I’d never do. I told everyone I’d never go to a country where I couldn’t speak the language. I’d especially never go to a place where they wrote in Cyrillic, which of course I couldn’t read. And I’d certainly never fly to Eastern Europe 2 weeks after I was invited. Oh wrong, wrong wrong! And so, I got to see the Black Sea.
Which isn’t black. Apparently the origin of the name has something to do with the fact that it was very hard to navigate. That is no longer true.
So here I was on the beach of this beautiful body of water. It was glorious (I was in the shade, enjoying that fact) and I really tried to paint what I saw. Turquoise. Dark blue. Green. Gold. This painting is for sale, all proceeds go to endangered species conservation…

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In Nesebar, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea

July 7th, 2017 No comments


Truly, this is one of the most exotic places I’ve ever been to. It used to be an island, but has since been connected to the mainland by an isthmus, which makes it very convenient to go to this little town. It is full of ancient buildings, from the Greek and Roman settlements beginning 600 BC. Walking through that village, where the Byzantines and the Crusaders fought the Bulgarians for possession,it is hard for me to understand why they fought so hard for this tiny island. Apparently it was an important trading center. Who knows how many boats docked in this very harbor over the millenia!

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Velico Turnavo, new construction

July 6th, 2017 No comments

While most of the time, I focused on the ancient buildings in this town, I found myself almost startled by the modern architecture found here. The buildings did not conform to my ideas of how a house should be shaped, and they towered over me, sitting on a curb across the street. Who says houses can’t be fun? In this painting can be seen a mix of old and new, illustrating the character of the town.

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