Throughout the summer season in 2017 I hosted twice-weekly art sessions at the Vassaliki Naturist Resort. These were an opportunity for guests to spend some time drawing or painting in the tranquil resort setting in Kefalonia in the warm fresh air, in small friendly groups. The sessions were very informal, catering for a full range of ability and all age groups.
Most people joining the sessions had little or no experience or artistic background. Many showed some reluctance to try their hand – typical comments were “I haven’t picked up a pencil since I was at school” or “I’m rubbish and will only make a mess”. However it seemed to me that once people engaged and got stuck in to producing a sketch or a simple painting they really enjoyed the experience and were genuinely surprised that they had the ability to produce an original picture with their own hands. Lots of people came along to 2 or 3 sessions and found the results improved each time. I was delighted that several people went away at the end of their holidays inspired to join some lessons back at home, or just to buy some basic materials and get going themselves.
The Vassaliki sessions give guests a chance to try out pencil, charcoal, pastels or watercolour paints. The subjects include still life, landscape and life studies (there is a ready supply of nude models!) or anything that take the fancy of the session members. Participants are encouraged to develop their own style, and it is always fascinating to compare how different people interpret a given subject – ranging from the realistic to the quite abstract.
Doing some art is a great way to relax, but is also stimulating to the mind and allows the brain to see and respond in a way which is different to our normal everyday experiences. I will be facilitating more art sessions at Vassaliki in 2018 and I hope to see some new faces and perhaps some old friends coming back for more! Here are some examples of the 2017 sessions produced by guests, with a few contributions from me.