The island of Hydra is one of my sanctuary places. You can get there pretty quickly from Athens on a hydrofoil, so I came twice during the summer of 2003 that I spent in Athens. It was a welcome respite because of its ban on cars -- the island has a few municipal trucks, but otherwise, donkeys and hand carts restock supermarkets and move goods around the island.
It's also just a gorgeous place. I'm dreaming of spending a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days painting here.
Above is the view of the harbor from our converted attic studio (four girls in two double beds, and so worth it for the view).
This is my favorite taverna on the island. The waiters aren't as chatty as the guys in Athens, but it's a lovely place to sit. They used to have live music every night (two very talented musicians), but this year it's apparently only on the weekends, and I was disappointed to miss it. Sitting under a full town square's worth of arbor with donkeys passing by regularly is still a treat, though.
We also walked about a mile to my favorite beach. It's a pebble one instead of sand, and I love all the colored pebbles. I also love the clear, deep blue of the water, and the beach umbrellas made from real palm branches. I swam first and then did three paintings.
I've tried a couple of mostly watercolor (with a little pencil) sketches here instead of using the pen.
I did a second one this morning, walking just enough out along the beach road to get in view of the beautifully shaped satellite islands of Hydra. This last one is hard to see in the snapshot. When I get home I'll scan these in properly and repost them. They all look too dull, but I want people to be able to see what I'm doing as the trip goes along. Hopefully my internet in Bergama (my next and final stop) will let me continue to post.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.