Thursday, 17 September 2015

As above so below.... a landscape painting

Scottish Art+Contemporary+Vibrant+Impasto+Spray paint+NicseARTh
'As above so below'
mini canvas 4 x 4 inch in wooden box frame 7.5 x 7.5 inch

Well, that's me back in Scotland after the most wonderful week on the island of Crete where it was literally 30 degrees hotter than it is here!! We had temperatures in the high 30s all week which even the locals said was very unusual for the time of year. Our resort was gorgeous, small, quaint, with lots of wonderful restaurants at the water's edge and some lovely little shops with very little of the usual tacky touristy stuff.

Our hotel was at the top of a very, very steep hill about 15 minutes walk from the town, which was why I booked it as most of the rooms had amazing views down to the town and ocean beyond. I say most as unfortunately our room was the exception. This was the view from the pool terrace and most other rooms:

The view from our hotel down to Elounda town
This was the view from our room:

The view from our balcony - not quite so picturesque!

We did ask politely to move and were told to come back the next day. So, the next day we duly went back and were once again told to come back the next day. At which point we decided not to waste any more of our time worrying about it as we only had a week and figured we would just spend as little time as possible in the room. As it turned out, this was a blessing in disguise as we really did make the most of every day, driving to different beaches and towns all over the east of the island and coming back to the hotel just as the sun was setting, getting showered and then walking back down into town for dinner (taking dog treats for the two poor dogs chained up at different properties that we passed each evening). 

The only thing we used the balcony for was to feed the many stray cats roaming around the complex. We found a Lidl on our travels and stocked up on cat treats and nibbles so each morning and evening we'd open the balcony door to discover at least four cats waiting patiently for food!

One of the friends we made on holiday!

Anyway, it was gorgeous and we enjoyed every second and now we're back home and it's cold and the evenings are getting shorter and we're now on the countdown to our trip to Iceland in November!!

Agios Nikolaos - the next town along from our resort

We took a boat trip to Spinalonga (a wee island that used to be a leper colony)

Agios Fotia - a great wee beach we discovered off the beaten track!

The harbour at Elounda

So, enough of our holiday, if you're visiting my blog then chances are you came for some art so allow me to tell you about this wee painting which I've titled 'As above, so below'.  

acrylic spray paint+sunset+twilight+Scottish art+NicseARTh
'As above so below' - before being framed

A while back I bought some fine art spray paint in a few different shades which I've mostly used as the background colour on my canvasses as it is a great way of getting a smooth coat without any brushstrokes. I had ordered some more colours and they arrived while I was away so I had some fun the last couple of days trying them out on a few different sized canvasses. 

You don't have too much control over them especially on the smaller cavassess but I like that about them - I'm a fan of the trial and error aspect which they offer which often results in happy artistic accidents. That is essentially how the sky in this painting came about. I had a loose idea of a sunset sky fading into twilight and then once the spray paint had dried (which took a while as there were a lot of layers!) I used a palette knife to paint on the mountain range which was inspired by a photo of Ben Loyal that I took on a trip out west earlier this year.

mountains+sunset+twilight+contemporary landscape painting+NicseARTh

That's all for this week, if you'd like to see more photos of our trip to Greece then please feel free to have a look on my personal Facebook page, chance are we're already friends on there anyway!

I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone at Paint Party Friday. Thanks as always for visiting me here. 


  1. Looks like you thoroughly enjoyed your vacation in Crete. Sounds wonderful. Although I would be happy with it being 30 degrees cooler as it is so hot here in NYC. Envious of your trip to Iceland. We were there a few years ago and I loved every minute of it although were were there at the end of May and you'll be there in November. Bundle up. :)

    Love your little big sky "As above, so below" painting.

  2. So glad you had such a wonderful ...and warm!... vacation in Greece! You made the best of your window view circumstances and I bet it wouldn't have been so adventurous had you had that gorgeous view. I too would have been taking and purchasing treats for the dogs and cats:) Beautiful new painting! How lucky to be remembering your recent trip and at the same time looking forward to your next.

  3. Ahhhhhhh elounda ..we had a wonderful holiday there a few years back. We walked the samaria gorge which is an amazing experience...we also went to spinalonga ( I had just read the book the island.) It brought it all to life. Such a haunting place I'm so pleased you've enjoyed some warmth..goodness knows we need it!

  4. your painting is beautiful. so simple...yet so much to see!!

    i'm glad you had a nice vacation! looks very relaxing. i just got back from a trip, too. i'm not quite caught up with myself yet!!

  5. Wow thanks for taking us along on your trip. It is so beautiful there. Glad you has such a great time. I do love this painting. Welcome home and have a nice weekend

  6. LOve your little painting, and thanks for sharing the photos of your holiday. I visited Crete some years back, and most of the photos I took were of the stray cats....It's a beautiful place. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  7. Your holiday looks and sounds wonderful, what a great time! As for that painting, it's stunning, such depth and magic, your art is full of space and beauty, gorgeous!

  8. Sun light, warmth! Oh, I'd like to leave the stormy Helsinki and enter your photos and that expressive painting of yours!

  9. that sky is just gorgeous! Which spray paint is it that you use? Love the thick layer at the bottom, nice contrast!

  10. You look so happy and beautiful, thanks for sharing lovely photos. Your painting is beautiful, colours are fascinating.

  11. Beautiful holiday and lovely and charming painting. Thank you for sharing

  12. Crete looks so exotic and beautiful. Lucky you,,,and Iceland too. I am jealous. Love the depth and texture your pieces always have. Can't tell if this is one of your minis or not, but its is beautiful and bright.

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  14. the sky is gorgeous and the mountain is to die for...i loooooooove ur a video about how u made the mountain...its amazingly beautiful!!!!!

  15. Looks like you had a terrific holiday. I must say I can't stand the heat and we have 95 degree F weather for four months of the year. It is nice to swim in the pool in the evenings though.

    I love your mysterious and full of twinkling stars !

    Happy PPF

  16. Thanks for sharing your time in beautiful Crete, it was my favourite Greek island when we did a cruise one year. Your landscape is beautiful, love the texture and colours.

  17. I'm glad you had a great holiday and hot temperatures. I probably would have spent the entire weeks in the pool! I was wondering how you achieved that smooth background, what a great idea to use spray paint! It looks wonderful!

  18. Wow, the painting is gorgeous. I love spray paints and inks. The colors in this are so beautiful. I am sorry you had a bad view from your hotel room but really, one doesn't spend all that amount of daylight in the hotel room on a vacation. Your trip sounds fabulous and I so much enjoyed your photos.

  19. I love your lovely painting Nic-- it's fantastic.. and a big smile sits on my face now.. I spent a week at Crete 20 years ago and we had our rooms on a hill near Agios Nikolaos as well ....
    happy weekend!

  20. Crete sounds like a pretty perfect place to get away from it all. 30 degrees is quite the shocker for a northerner like you ♥
    Lovely wee painting. I am always so amazed at the lovely textures that you get. M.x

  21. I love the layered colors, so beautiful. I enjoyed your scenes from Greece also. My daughter is going on a trip to Greece next month with a tour. I hope the weather is a little cooler while she is there!

  22. The holiday looks amazing... And of course you cared for animals as part of it... I would expect nothing less... And the painting... I can't tell you how much I like seeing the side views so I can see the application of paint... It is just so luscious

  23. Thanks for sharing the photos of your vacation in Crete. Looks like it was great fun. The cat looks adorable.

    Your art is great.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  24. It looks absolutely stunning! Gorgeous photo's! And how amazing to be going to Iceland soon too! I wonder if you will see the Northern lights even stronger than you do in Scotland... Anyway, I LOVE the painting. You big skies series is just gorgeous :0)

  25. What a creative piece! I love the three dimensional aspect of your work. Wonderful pictures, too.

  26. Aw, you guys look like you're having such a wonderful time. Glad you got some sun time in. Love your newest landscape.


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