July 3, 2015

Greek Poppies

(Please click the image to enlarge)

We all know that Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilization. We only spent 10 days in Greece during May, traveled from Athens to Create, Santorini, Mykonos, Delos, and Tinos Islands. It was too short, almost everything we experienced there made us fall love with this beautiful old country.

Everywhere we went that we met nice and helpful people. They are proud of their culture and very generous to share with tourists. We love eating at the local restaurants. Once we had a chance to chat with the local people, we found they were not very happy with their current politics and told us in English "We are not poor, our business is doing OK. Most of us have owned more than two or three nice houses, our government is poor". We didn't meet anyone that tried to sell any products to us, instead they helped us find directions, offer to drive us back to hotel after mid-night, introduced their delicious food, bought us beers and BBQ kabobs,..

Aegean Sea was incredible beautiful, crystal clear of the most gorgeous turquoise and cobalt blue waters. "Aegean Sea, song homeland, dance heaven."("爱琴海, 歌的家园, 舞的天堂")was just the best way to describe!  We rushed through Crete, Santorini made us feel living in a dream. Thousand of photo shooting wasn't enough.

Although I didn't know all the mythology and stories of the Gods in Greek culture, the magnificent ancient architecture and sculptures helped me to visually understand them with ease.

Greek poppies are different than orange color poppies in California. The plant and its hypnotic qualities were well known in the classical period of ancient Greece. We saw that it was as a magic or poisonous plant and was used in religious ceremonies in museum, later it was often used in the art of healing.  Everywhere we went there were many of very-red poppies blooming. Though the Greek poppy flowers look paper thin and the plants themselves grow with long, curved stems. they were not afraid of the strong blowing sea winds, felt like dancing wildly in nature...

I painted these Greek Poppies by contracting blue and white (Greek flag colors, also we saw those colors on most of islands everywhere in Greece.  My favorite colors as well) for expressing my thanks to the people in Greece, hope they continue living strong and brave, like their great ancestors, to overcome the difficult situation...

The Aegean Airline was friendly and provided high quality services, though the distance was short, including 30 minutes ride. We wonder how Air Canada could be so different on the way back to California...


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