Greece always fascinated my family. I (Thomas) have been in Greece on several occasions, most recently on the islands of Crete (2013, 2008 and 2011) and Samos (2005, 2007, 2009), in 1980 with the whole family and also directly after my high school graduation. There was also one trip to Thessaloniki in 1990, to participate in the 20th. Int. Conf. on the Physics of Semiconductors. But there was no time for doing any art work at that time.
Greece is one of the cradles of western civilization and invites with its beautiful Mediterranean landscapes and antique ruins to contemplate on our origins and to catch the impressions of intensive color and lights on paper.
GREEK ISLANDS (Crete, Samos, Santorini)

Before going to crete in 2013, we spent several days on Santorini. When I was sitting in front of our hotel room with a view over the caldera, formed by the explosion and collapse of the volcano, it felt as if one would be floating over the an outside world, a different planet.

Water color paintings were done in the southern part of Crete. On 4 occasions I stayed in Agia Galini, a small former fishing village. The landscape around Agia Galini looks rugged and most of the year the climate is arid. Each time it was spring. After unusual rainy days, we still discovered the beautiful Cretean wild flowers including wild tulips. Not far from Agia Galini is the archaeological site of the Palace of Festos.  All water color paintings, size 36x48 cm2 and 32x41 cm2.

On three occasions, in the early summer of 2005, 2007, and 2009, I  had the chance to visit Samos and share some beautiful days with my parents vacationing there. It is a fabulous island with beautiful saturated colors. Maybe the impression is so strong for someone like me who lives in a very big city, such is Osaka. The light and freshness of the colors have been just striking. We discovered many small charming chapels that were all situated in very quiet places. Once sitting close to one of them, only the chirping of insects and birds could be heard. All water color paintings, size 53x45 cm2 in 2005 and 42x32 cm2 in 2007.

Athens and Peloponnese, 1980
This was maybe the last of the family summer vacations with all family members. We stayed in Livadi, a small village, on the east coast of the Peloponnese. From here we made many excursions, often to Melana, a small village in the mountains, where time still seemed to have stopped in the past: at that time some families were still cooking outside on open fires, one could find donkeys and a seemingly peaceful world, very different from the loud tourist attractions around the Acropolis in Athens to which we also made a trip as to other historic sites.

First trip to Greece, 1978
After high school graduation I was touring Greece with a backpack, tent and sleeping bag. The picture of the Acropolis looks rather gray, maybe in anticipation of the hopelessly colorless 15 months of draft military service in the German Army (still Cold War).

Chapel in the mountain of Spili, Crete 19-May-2015

Chapel in the Amari Valley, Crete, 23-May-2015

Old Stone Bridge in Amari Valley, Crete, 25-May-2015

Vori, Crete 27-May-2015

Beach of Agios Georgios, Crete 28-May-2015

Chapel at Agios Georgios Crete 15-May-2013

Chapel in the mountain of Spili Crete 12-May-2013

Oia Santorini 8-May-2013

Beach of Agios Georgios, Crete 28-May-2015

Red Beach Santorini 7-May-2013

Santorini 6-May-2013

Vori Crete 11-May-2013

Agia Galini, Crete, May 12, 2011

Moni Vrondisi Monastery, Crete, May 8, 2011

Old Stone Bridge in Amari Valley, Crete, May 7, 2011

Samos Chapel St Margarethen close to Manolates, June 2, 2009, 36x48cm2

Samos Hyazinthenhaus, June 1, 2009, 36x48cm2

Samos Kokkari, June 3, 2009, 36x48cm2

Samos Profitis Ilias Chapel in Kokkari, May 29, 2009, 36x48cm2

Agia Georgios, Crete, May 15, 2008

Chapel close to Agia Georgios, Crete, May 16, 2008

Chapel in mountains behind Spili, Crete, May 13, 2008

Old Stone Bridge in Amari Valley, Psiloritis in background, Crete, May 14, 2008

Chapel at Source Mana, Samos, June 3, 2007

Chapel in Agios Konstantinos with vineyard, Samos, June 8, 2007

House at Kokkari port, Samos, June 6, 2007

Olive tree and Kokkari, Samos, June 7, 2007

Profitis Ilias Chapel in Kokkari, Samos, June 5, 2007

Samos Chapel St Margarethen close to Manolates, June 1, 2005, 53x45cm2

Samos Chapel close to Kokkari, June 4, 2005, 53x45cm2

Samos Chapel close to Vourliotes, May30, 2005, 53x45cm2

Samos Kokkari, June 2, 2005, 53x45cm2

Samos Profitis Ilias Chapel in Kokkari, May 29, 2005, 53x45cm2

Acropolis, Athens, Aug 7, 1980, water color

Bassae, Greece, Aug 11, 1980

Corinth, Greece, July 27, 1980, black ink

Donkey in Livadi, Greece, July 24, 1980, water color

Livadi, Greece, July 23

Melana, Greece, July 30, 1980, water color

Monastary, Greece, July 25, 1980

Mykene, Greece, Aug

Olive Tree, Livadi, Greece, July 23, 1980, water color

Olive Tree, Melana, Greece, July 29, 1980, water color

Olympia, Greece, 1980, water color

Parthenon, Athens, Aug 6, 1980, water color

Acropolis, Athens, 1978, water color

Acropolis, Athens, June 13, 1978, pencil

Greek Island, 1978, water color

 Copyright Thomas & Aurora Strutz