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Busy at the boatyard

My travelling studio is now high and dry in a Greek boatyard in the Western Aegean. Our boat's engine is currently on the ground inside a hand-made tent made from an old sail-newly painted and waiting to be lifted back into place after a complete rebuild by my partner. I've been sanding, scraping, excavating, epoxying, masticing and painting the boat's decks and he's looking very smart for a 45 year old wooden boat.

Work in progress at Petros Marinos boatyard

The winter here is much shorter than in the UK...and has been mostly dry and sunny, just a beautiful place to be, with a fantastic view across the water to the large island of Evia.

Last winter the boat was in a marina in Messolonghi, in the Gulf of Patras, just out of the Ionion Sea.

We spent from May to October cruising through the Gulf of Corinth, visiting the ancient site of Delphi on the way. Then the Corinth Canal and exploring the Western Aegean, with great sails between islands. If all goes well with the engine we may spend the sailing season cruising around the Peloponnese.

Now we're holded up in the boatyard for winter repairs, everyday activities include working on the boat to get through our long job-list and painting in the studio in the aft cabin. Then there's chores like filling water tanks and containers for drinking, using the single - but excellent - washing machine in the boatyard and adding to my journal while out and about. I make one journal a year and am currently on my 12th.

Painting wise, I am in the process of a composition of a couple going to Church in Vlikho in their little 'caique' (Greek fishing boat). I took a photo while we were anchored there of this scene and put it together with painting I had done, from life, of this little church.

I prepared the watercolour paper by pressing cling-film into watery ink and letting dry and peeling the film off. I then repeated the process with light blue acrylic paint. I am now at the building the composition stage in a general way, deciding where to place things.

As the weather warms up I am getting excited about painting en plein air our local village with its beautiful harbour and pretty church.

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