After a day of sunshine, the artists and facilitators of the residency in Agios Ioannis all met up close to a trail that would lead us on the path through the neighboring mountains. In the distance, we could hear the bells of goats that wandered on the mountain side. Nothing can erase the visuals of the setting sun over the distant hillside - it was simply breathtaking. 

Six months have passed since this unique experience but I can still smell the thyme and lavender that grows on the winding path we walked up and down the mountain. We spent a few moments admiring the little chapel when we made it up the first portion of the mountain before making our way back down the spiraling dirt road. I was continuously dazzled by the purple hues in the sky and fascinated by the archeological ruins and the hints of caves buried at the top of the vast hills. I still remember tripping over my feet as we carried on the three-hour hike to our final destination - Monastiraki.

Monastiraki is a little village located on the opposite side of the mountain from Agios Ioannis. We made our way to the small and cozy taverna where we prepared to eat another amazing feast with great company. As we sat on that balcony, we could hear the cicadas chiming in the distance and see glimmers of lights starting to brighten in the distance. We could see the curvatures of the island when peering out towards the Aegean Sea, as though distance was non-existent, almost like you could reach the farthest point in just a short walk. The thought of reaching every peak came to me often. Crete is a treasure that I want to keep uncovering.

- Mélissa

To view or purchase a painting inspired by my journey to Monastiraki, please click here.

Little Delights

Varvara and Jenny - the founders of the Mudhouse Residency - selected twelve artists from across the world to attend the experience of a lifetime. When staying in Agios Ioannis for my artist residency, we had the privilege of eating each lunch and dinner, served as family style meals, at the Taverna in the village. There are many reasons to explain why I miss Greece... the food was one of many at the top of my list.  Christina was our chef during our stay, and her cooking was phenomenal. We had something different every meal, and I was overjoyed every time cheese pies made their way to the table... I could easily eat cheese all day, everyday. She cooked everything from fish to pasta, pizzas to tacos, tzatziki sauce, and the list continues - she even made her own red wine! Knowing that we all had a craving for baklava during our trip, she decided to treat us with her pastry recipe for our last dessert in the village. She went above and beyond to make sure that we always enjoyed our meals together, and the family style meals always made for great conversations. It was a time for each artist to connect and talk about our lives back home and our aspirations. The conversations and the quiet moments are some of the experiences I will treasure the most.  

UPCOMING EXHIBITION: August 1st, 2018 @ Purple Urchin (Ottawa, ON)

I am very excited to say that I will have my first SOLO EXHIBITION in August! My wonderful friend Alicia has kindly asked me to show some of my work at Purple Urchin on 755 Bank St., Ottawa, ON, Canada. They will hold a Vernissage on Wednesday, August 1st from 6 - 8 PM, and my work will be on display for the entire month. I've decided to make some new imaginary landscape paintings based on my memory of the Greek landscape and I am very excited to share my work with you all! I will be there to answer any questions you may have and my paintings will also be for sale.

Hope to see you there!

- Mélissa