Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Remembering the KING of Rock and Roll

 

ELVIS PRESLEY (Jan 8, 1935 – Aug 16, 1977).

Eleni

Books and Good Reading - PREVIEW - 'Eleni' by Nicolas Gage 

Nicolas Gage was born in the mountain village of Lia, northern Greece, close to the border with Albania, in 1938, shortly before the onset of WWII and in Greece, the following Civil War, which was to prove far more destructive to that Nation, tearing both Greece and Greeks apart for it's endurance.

It was to divide his family and, in the end, result in the torture and death of his mother, Eleni Gatzoyiannis at the hands of ELAS Guerillas for the 'crime' of helping her children escape.

This is his true story of a son seeking to avenge his mothers murder.  It is real.  It is compelling.  It is harrowing in the extreme.  It reveals the Greek psych as nothing I have ever read.  But, unless you have no feelings, it could haunt you forever......


Billy Zane

William George Zane Jr., better known as Billy Zane, was born on February 24, 1966, in Chicago, Illinois, USA to parents William George Zane Sr. and Thalia Zane. Both of his parents ran a medical technical school. Billy also has a sister named Lisa Zane, an actress born in 1961. Billy was bitten by the acting bug early on. In his early teens, he attended Harand Camp of the Theater Arts in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In 1982, he attended the American School in Switzerland. His high school days were spent at Francis Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois. Daryl Hannah and Jennifer Bealsalso attended Parker, prior to Billy's attendance. Soon after graduating high school, Billy decided to venture out to California to try his hand at acting. Within three weeks, he won his very first big screen role in Back to the Future (1985), playing the part of Match, one of Biff's thugs. He would later reprise that role for the sequel. Then after a small role in the film Critters (1986), he landed starring roles in several television movies. In 1989, Billy filmed Dead Calm (1989). It was on the set of this movie that he met his future wife, Lisa Collins. They were married from 1988-1995. In 1996, Billy starred in The Phantom (1996) and in 1997 as Cal Hockley in the billion dollar grossing Titanic (1997). Then in 1999, he starred in the television movie Cleopatra (1999) (TV) where he met his soon-to-be fiance, actress Leonor Varela from whom he subsequently split.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Are artists born or taught?

In 17th century Rome, the Baroque painter Orazio Gentileschi gave all his children the finest art education available. But only one of them—his daughter Artemisia—developed into an artist. In fact, Artemisia matched and surpassed her father's skills, and became the first female member of the Academy of Design in Florence and the only woman to follow and innovate upon the tradition of painting established by Caravaggio. What creates a great artist like Gentileschi, Van Gogh or Manet? Talent or training?




Orazio Gentileschi's picture above of Cupid and Psyche, with them both awake, was painted in the late 1610s

Susanna and the Elders by Artemisia Gentileschi

 Artists are both born and taught, says Nancy Locke, associate professor of art history at Penn State. "There is no question in my mind that artists are born," says Locke. Many artists arrive in the world brimming with passion and natural creativity and become artists after trying other vocations. Before he had devoted himself to art, Van Gogh tried to be a minister among poor miners in Belgium. "He just frightened and overwhelmed people," says Locke. "He was too intense to act effectively in that capacity."

Danaides



Danaus, or Danaos (Δαναός) ("sleeper") was a Greek mythological character, twin brother of Aegyptus and son of Belus, a mythical king of Egypt. The myth of Danaus is a foundation legend (or re-foundation legend) of Argos, one of the foremost Mycenaean cities of the Peloponnesus. In Homer's Iliad, "Danaans" ("tribe of Danaus") and "Argives" commonly designate the Greek forces opposed to the Trojans.

Danaus had fifty daughters, the Danaides, and his twin brother, Aegyptus, had fifty sons. Aegyptus commanded that his sons marry the Danaides. Danaus elected to flee instead, and to that purpose he built a ship, the first ship that ever was. In it he fled to Argos, to which he was connected by his descent from Io, the maid wooed by Zeus and turned into a heifer and pursued by Hera until she found asylum in Egypt. So in a sense this was a homecoming for the sailor from Egypt. Argos at the time was ruled by King Pelasgus, the eponym of all autochthonous inhabitants who had lived in Greece since the beginning, also called there Gelanor (he who laughs). The Danaides ask Pelasgus for protection when they arive, the event portrayed in The Suppliants by Aeschylus. Protection is granted after a vote by the Argives. When Aegyptus and his fifty sons arrived to take the Danaides, Danaus gave them, to spare the Argives the pain of a battle. However, he instructed his daughters to kill their husbands on their wedding night. Forty-nine followed through, but one, Hypermnestra (or Amymone, the "blameless" Danaid) refused because her husband, Lynceus, honored her wish to remain a virgin. Danaus was angry with his disobedient daughter and threw her to the Argive courts. Aphrodite intervened and saved her. (Lynceus later killed Danaus as revenge for the death of his brothers). Lynceus and Hypermnestra then began a dynasty of Argive kings (the Danaan Dynasty).


Painting in Skiathos


The course begins with a series of discussions and exercises in the studio, For beginners (and those wishing to revisit what they may already know) this is followed by an insight to of the basic principles (line, form, perspective, colour theory and practise, design i.e composition) and an exploration of a variety of mediums (watercolour, acrylics, oil painting etc) and techniques (such as glazing) – as laid down by the Great Masters.
This general drawing and painting course is suitable for all levels of artistic ability. The classes are small, relaxed and friendly (even one to one) and are flexible enough to meet individual requirements: For beginners it provides an opportunity to explore different genres and media (covering a variety of techniques including working with acrylics, oils, and water colours) and for the more experienced or established artist, it provides a unique and inspiring setting in which to hone your skills in your preferred medium, working at your own pace and with as much, or as little, instruction as you’d like, while enjoying the company of fellow artists.
A full week’s course is designed to offer not only art tuition and an opportunity to paint but a complete and memorable ‘Skiathos experience’, ensuring that you thoroughly enjoy and make the very most of your visit. Classes are conducted both in the studio, ‘en plein air’ and on excursions.


Demonstrating The Ancient Greek Encaustic Technique


Not too many years ago, Francisco Benitez, an artist who divides his time between Santa Fe and Europe, turned from oil painting to encaustic. What made his switch in mediums unique was his extensive background in Classical Greek art and literature. The combination of interests led him to emulate the painting techniques and color palette of the “enkaustai,” the Greek encaustic painters of the Fayum funeral portraits. He has since given encaustic presentations in collaboration with Euphrosyne Doxiadis, the author of The Mysterious Fayum Portraits.
Benitez recently visited us at R&F and gave a demonstration of his working method. He applies the paint with a brush, but models, blends, and fuses the paint with our heated horn in the manner of the Greek painters using heated bronze spatulas. This gives markings in the paint similar to those we see in the Fayum portraits. His color palette is based on the “austere” tradition, known as tetrachromy. The Greek painters of that school relied on the use of only four colors: white (either lead or chalk), black (a very bluish black from charred vines), yellow ochre, and red ochre. From these four colors the entire spectrum was mixed. It is a rigid discipline, but the economy of color produces a beautiful harmony.
Below is a detail of the quick sketch Benitez did showing the marks made with the heated horn along side the marks in a Fayum portrait.

Yanis Stavrou - Greek Painter

Our blog http://greekartists-yannisstavrou.blogspot.com/ is an artistic, cultural guide to the Greek landscapes via Yannis Stavrou's impressionist paintings. At the same time it offers an introduction to the history of Greek fine arts, Greek artists, mainly Greek painters, as well as to the recent artistic movements.
The unique character of Greek landscapes is rediscovered through painting, poetry, culture...Our aim is to present the Greek landscapes in a holistic way as the term itself is holistic. Greek landscapes refer to pictures and images of Greece, to paintings and art, to poetry and literature, to ancient philosophy and history, to contemporary thought and culture...


Exploring Greece


Athos is a republic of monks founded in 963 AD by the monk Athanasios. In 970 the Byzantine Emperor John I Tsimiskis issued an imperial Bulle which guaranteed the autonomy of the republic from Greece. To this day Athos is ruled by an elected body of four abbots, a governor represents Athens. This parchment Bulle, exhibited in the Meghistis Lavra, makes Athos the oldest, chartered autonomous republic in modern times.
Geographically it is the eastern most peninsula of the Chalkidiki, east of Thessaloniki in Northen Greece
To enter Athos one needs two separate permits, one from the secular authorities in Athens or in Thessaloniki, which is issued on the basis of a letter of recommendation by one's embassy, and a ecclesiastical authorities in Thessaloniki which entitles one to board the boat from Ouranoupolis to Limin Daphni, the harbor of the islands administrative town Karyes. 

Yiannos Xenis




Yiannos Xenis was born in Limassol. He studied textile technology, design and fashion design in England and Swtizerland. He started his professional carrier in Milan, Italy.  He worked in various companies as a designer of shoes and knitwear, he worked in America & whilst in Los Angeles he collaborated with costume designer Marlene Steward, her film credits ranging from ‘The Doors’, ‘JFK’, ‘ALI’ & ’21 Grams’.


After 12 years living abroad, he decides to settle in Greece where he was in charge as a designer with a company exporting garments. He established his own company YIANNOS XENI.  His creations were highly praised leading to an extensive international press coverage. He was honoured as guest designer for the exhibition FLASHBACK 100 YEARS IF DESIGN organised by the Municial Art Centre of Nicosia and the British Council.
Yiannos Xenis’ collections are exclusively sold at MEZA showroom in Paris and the ATHENS FASHION SHOWROOM in Athens.

Coffee Down Under



From the 1930’s to 1960’s Greek cafés dominated the Sydney and Melbourne street landscape. They became a focal point for eating, drinking and perhaps more importantly – socialising. Freshly roasted coffee was probably introduced into Australia by three Andronicus brothers who had packed up and left their home in Greece in the late 1800s to build a new life in Australia. Drawing on their wealth of European coffee-making experience the trio established one of Australia's first coffee roasting businesses in 1910, roasting 90kg of coffee every day from a store in George St, Sydney. In 1952 the family imported into the country Australia’s first espresso machine and suddenly Australians started enjoying espresso in the true European tradition. Hundreds of people would stream into their café at lunchtime and drink espressos. Cappuccinos were rare. Caffe lattes and flat whites were non existent. Now three generations on, Grant Andronicus is still heavily involved in the coffee scene in Australia, owning several espresso bars in Sydney.

“Italians may have brought the art of espresso coffee to our fair shores, but it is truly the Greeks who have embraced it and helped to turn it into the amazing social experience that sharing a good cup of coffee is,” quipped the proud Greek Australian, Steve Agi.




Greeks in Australia


As a kid growing up in Melbourne, Louis Mandylor quickly learned one thing about the city’s tight-knit Greek community: it was impossible to keep anything a secret. “Everyone knew everyone else and they all talked,” he says. “I’d show up for soccer practice and my coaches would know everything I had done the night before.” 
Mandylor, a professional soccer player turned actor who played Nick Portokalos in the 2002 blockbuster hit, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” is one of the 300,000 Greek-Australians who call Victoria’s state capital their hometown. It is the largest Greek population outside of Europe. And while Athens may be thousands of miles away, its culture is alive and well here in Australia’s second-largest city.

My name is Khan - February 2010 release

  
MyGreekSpirit, loves a great love story, so we would like to recommend this movie.
My Name is Khan, with our two favorite bollywood actors, Shahrukh Khan and Kajol.
http://www.mynameiskhanthefilm.com/