Remembering Athens…

As summer begins, the warm weather makes me think of my travels to Athens, Greece.

Street in Athens facing Hadrian's Arch

Street in Athens facing Hadrian’s Arch

Architecture of Athens

Architecture of Athens

In spite of the hustle and bustle of tourists, wild dogs and native Athenians, the beauty of ancient Greece shines through.

Hadrian's Arch

Hadrian’s Arch

The Plaka is an open air market at the foot of the Acropolis near the ancient market area of Athens, the Agora. If you know how to haggle over prices, you can find great souvenirs without spending too much.

The Plaka (open air market)

The Plaka (open air market)

After a day spent souvenir hunting you can relax at one of the Plaka’s restaurants for a good Greek meal.

Outside restaurant near The Plaka

Outside restaurant near The Plaka

Antique/junk store at the Plaka

Antique/junk store at the Plaka

The steps are ancient and the slope is steep but the long walk up to the Parthenon offers this view (below) as an award.

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Pediment of the Parthenon

The Pediment of the Parthenon

Notice (below) that the columns of the Parthenon are not a single solid piece but several drums placed on top of one another and originally covered with a veneer to give the illusion of it being a single piece.

Ionic column of The Parthenon

Ionic column of The Parthenon

The Acropolis (high city) is best known as the home of the Parthenon, but it also contains the beautiful temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and the famous Propylaia (the front gate), the complex of columns and rooms at the entry to the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion with the porch of the Caryatids

The Erechtheion with the porch of the Caryatids

At the foot of the Acropolis lies the Theatre of Herodes Atticus (below) and the Theatre of Dionysus, where the famous plays of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles were first performed.

The Theatre of Herodes Atticus

The Theatre of Herodes Atticus

The area around the theatre of Dionysus

The area around the theatre of Dionysus

The Acropolis is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day.

The Acropolis at night

The Acropolis at night

This wonderful restaurant (below) on the very edge of the Roman era forum in Athens had food to match the glorious setting.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum

Even when the sun goes down the beauty of ancient Athens shines.

Eating dinner at dusk in the shadow of the Acropolis.

Eating dinner at dusk in the shadow of the Acropolis.

OPA! Greek Festival Decor

My church’s Greek Festival is rapidly approaching. To make things a little more festive, I volunteered to create some unique decorations.

opafestivalflyer

With the approval of the Festival’s chairperson and committee, I decided to make 4 ft. x 8 ft. panels from plywood. My daughter and I began by painting them all white with a primer/sealer.

After researching Greek scenes and clipart online, I sketched out four different scenarios on paper, which included churches, a windmill, a tavern and monuments in Athens. With pencil, I lightly repeated the sketches on the painted plywood. Then using a royal blue paint, I outlined the images.

IMG_3230

I decided to keep the images simple using a blue and white theme with a little bit of other colors added. The blue and white is reminiscent of Santorini.

paintingpanel

I had to overcome a few obstacles to get these panels done. Because our basement is being renovated, I couldn’t paint in my old spacious studio/office/basement without having to combat flies and bugs and wind. I had to work in our driveway in between bad weather, contractors asking me questions, and kids coming home from school. I also wanted to get these done quickly because my calendar was filling up with end-of-the-school year kids’ activities/commitments. I completed this project in 4 days. Needless to say, I spent the 5th day recuperating!

Opa! Greek Festival Art Panels.

Opa! Greek Festival Art Panels.

I let my kids help with some of the easier images. My daughter Julia painted the green trees in the Athens monument panel and my son, Constantine filled in the cobblestones. My 12 year old son Nicholas wasn’t really into helping.

Greek Taverna

Greek Taverna

 

Monuments of Athens

Monuments of Athens

Greek Windmill

Greek Windmill

Santorini churches

Santorini churches

I hope you like my Opa! Greek Festival Décor. I think they added a little bit of a Greek atmosphere to the festival (below).

greekdancers

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