Alison Murray recently went on holiday to do some printmaking in Greece.
I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea, so thought I'd share her story with you:
"It sounded like the perfect break –
two weeks printmaking on a Greek island during our winter.
One slow Sunday in January, I had Googled ‘printmaking workshop 2011’
and found Basil Hall Editions, Darwin.
Basil, a master printer, was offering two workshops
at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts (or Skopart) on Skopelos,
a sleepy island in the northern Aegean made famous by the Mamma Mia movie.
|A bird's-eye view of the studio
with Basil Hall working with Sophie Gralton.
Christopher Croft is studiously working away in the back
I signed up and in June flew to Skiathos, the closest island with an airport,
where I bumped into more people headed for the same destination –
easily identified by their Australian accents and studious,
rather than suntanned, let’s-go-party, looks.
We jumped on a ferry to Skopelos, where we were met by Basil and others,
who took us to our apartments, basic but self-contained with a balcony over the Aegean,
ready for the workshop the next day.
Skopart was on a hill above Skopelos town
with our accommodation only a few minutes’ walk away.
Day one, I met the crew; all but one other were Australian and mainly women.
They were a great bunch of people and packed a lot of experience between them.
The arts centre was amazing: run by founder Gloria Carr and her daughter, Jill Somer.
Jill was fantastic: preparing breakfast, making pick-me-up frappes in the afternoon,
and making us laugh a lot.
|Patricia Wilson-Adams' delicate works,
amazingly controlled results
considering the quality of the zinc we were using
So far, so good, but although Skopelos, Jill and Gloria were brilliant,
the workshop was not so hot - there were too many of us,
13 plus two invited artists who were co-editioning prints with Basil.
There was confusion about access to the resources and the ground rules kept changing.
Meanwhile the queues to the presses (and one linocut press) grew longer and longer.
About day three there were rumblings in the ranks
particularly when the acid and aquatint ran out and the zinc turned out to be a strange alloy.
I did not manage to print much, often packing up and heading to the beach
because of the queues and chaos in the printroom.
|Alison Murray, Rabbit Wednesday, 2011
a monotype from day two
before the queues got too long
I would return to Skopelos – the swimming, taverna lifestyle
and laidback people were terrific (learning some Greek was well worthwhile)
and Skopart, which offers residencies in the off-season.
The weather was fantastic and it’s a great place to wind down
– there’s not a lot to do except walk, swim, eat, drink and print,
a great way to spend a holiday.
And when I am ready and rich enough for another break,
I hear there’s a great six-week summer course in Hawaii with the wonderful Charlie Cohan.
Or maybe I will go back to Google and see where else I can explore and print –
Florence, Barcelona Texas… "
Oh, that sounds like it was a good holiday.
I like the idea of an 'eat, drink and print' holiday somewhere interesting,
so all offers welcome ;)
Thanks Alison for sharing your story with us!