Why Cyprus is good for Landscape painting

Updated: Nov 2

A couple of years ago (pre Covid), I went with my husband to Cyprus on holiday. A holiday that was expertly organised by NC Travel. This was not a usual destination for us, nor was it our usual accommodation. Ordinarily we would be in a tent, somewhere in the countryside, either in France or the UK, with a little sunshine interspersed with occasional rain. Whilst Kalavasos could be described as semi-rural, it was definitely much warmer than our usual get away – and what a delight it was. The accommodation was fresh, clean and true to the village houses found dotted around Cyprus. The village was also blissfully quiet, but with a magical soft lit square, with restaurant tables spilling out onto the cobbled street.

As a visual artist with a strong interest in landscape painting I found the Cypriot landscape didn’t disappoint. My usual palette of greens, blues and greys was substituted for bright pinks of the Bougainvillea, yellow ochre and soft beiges of the landscape and bright manganese blues of clear skies.

Peaceful beaches, where swimming with turtles was as commonplace as sunbathing, meant that I experienced new things and was able to cross a couple of things off my bucket list. Flashes of dazzling silver as shoals of fish literally leapt from the clear waters of the Mediterranean meant that even when swimming I had my fix of colour and light.

It is a part of the world I would highly recommend, especially as NC Travel made all the arrangements for us, creating a totally stress-free holiday. I hope we will return to it at some point.

When I was artist in residence at Rydal Mount and Gardens, home of William Wordsworth in Cumbria, I became interested in using the landscape to paint the landscape! I try to use a combination of natural materials such as tea, coffee, red wine, beetroot juice in my work, alongside contrasting materials such as unwanted plastic to ask the viewer to consider our treatment of the planet – what it gives us and what we give it back in return. This sketch, completed whilst sitting on the balcony of our apartment in Kalavasos, aims to capture the essence of our week in Cyprus and I hope you enjoy it. It is made from Indian Ink, tea and beetroot juice.

To find out more about my work, subscribe to my mailing list on www.helenjohnsonartist.com and follow me on Instagram

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