Continuing our journey along the west coast of Iceland, I was taken by their simplistic architecture, often topped with bright red roofs to add a pop of color to the natural landscape. In the next several paintings, you’ll see I chose a different house or barn each day and set out to capture its shape, the colors and light hitting the structure, and the picturesque, idyllic, quiet scenery surrounding the building in all directions. Here is my next one, another small 5” x 7” study where I came in close so you get a sense of scale for the size of the barn and the mountain behind it. My main focus for this painting was contrasting simplistic objects, repeating shapes and direction, texture and movement in my strokes.
On the next morning of our Ireland Art Trek, we left for Killarney, making a pit stop in the adorable thatch-roofed town of Adare. After exploring and grabbing lunch, we drove onto our lodging for the next few nights, a 16th century castle, fit for a king! Dinner was also delicious that evening in the castle’s dining room.
After spending the first two days of our Ireland Art Trek in Dublin, we moved onto the happening city of Galway next. After a quick bite, us painters set up our easels along the “Long Walk” to capture the colorful houses along the cove while the photographers and tourists explored downtown and joined us later that afternoon. While we managed to stay dry, you can see from the painting that we had very dramatic skies and moody colors! A fun challenge to capture after coming from sunny Dallas, TX. That evening we checked into our hotel near the Cliffs of Moher and thoroughly enjoyed a delicious gourmet dinner that night.
On the last day of our Scotland Painting and Photography Workshop, we made several stops on our way back to Edinburgh, taking in the beautiful sites and scenery. First, we explored the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eileen Donan, which has also been the set for many major movies. While several of our group enjoyed the tour of the interior, I decided to stay and paint its unique facade and setting out on its own island. Next, we stopped to photograph the massive peaks and valleys in the Scottish Highlands. We ended our day back in Edinburgh, so everyone could catch their flights out the next morning. What a wonderful week and group of Art Trekkers!!! We had an amazing trip.
The next day of our Ireland Art Trek, the photographers and tourists ventured out to tour the Dingle Peninsula with its craggy coves, cute fishing villages and spectacular ocean views, stopping at castles, Dingle town, waterfalls and various landmarks along the way. My painters wanted to stay at our castle grounds and paint right where we were lodging because the scenery was so beautiful. For our morning location, we set up our easels in the castle’s garden. The brilliance of the various greens was so intense that I had to capture that along with this romantic gazebo beckoning you to sit down and enjoy the view.
“Acropolis,” Athens, Greece ©2020 Niki Gulley
9″ x 12″ oil painting on panel
On the first full day of our plein air painting and photography workshop in Greece, we visited the Acropolis in Athens along with several other ancient sites. It was truly awe inspiring to see a part of history from the fifth century BC and to imagine what life must have been like as democracy was beginning. In the afternoon, the painters set up their easels on top of the balcony at our hotel to paint this beautiful view of the Parthenon while the photographers continued touring the city. In this oil painting, I wanted to capture a sense of scale with the Acropolis, and suggest how it rises above the city on this massive mound, towering majestically over the city, kissed by the clouds above.
Here is another painting from Greece on one of the less touristy islands, Milos. We found this quiet off-the-beaten-path beach. I thought this building was interesting with its simple curves and color, and I liked how it framed the gorgeous blue ocean in the background. The contrasts between the stark sun-bleached white walls and its strong midday shadows also caught my attention and I had to paint it.