In Ayia Napa

Where all the people go / Just to feel the flow
A secret paradise, paradise, girls are nice / A perfect hideaway on a sunny day
Come with us and set your mind at ease  / 
Ayia Napa
Can you feel the sun shining down / Da, da, da, da, da in Ayia Napa

-Lonyo

ayianapa

Most people have heard of Ayia Napa, the party-central destination of Cyprus, in the context of its white sand beaches and non-stop clubbing. It took a Medieval Festival and a visit by a dear old friend to inspire me to look at it in a different light.

Hidden in plain sight, bang in the middle of the busy square, surrounded by restaurants and bars, is one of the most tranquil and picturesque medieval monuments in Cyprus: Ayia Napa Monastery, founded in the 12th century, by turns (and in no particular order) a Catholic nunnery, an Orthodox parish church, a farm house, a flour mill and a theological conference centre.

Yellow limestone, native plants, gargoyles and fountains, gorgeous renaissance windows, nooks and crannies and a cave with a fount of holy water, are only some of its charms. I wanted to incorporate the beautiful rose window carved in the stone facade of the church, so I added it to the sky. In its cloisters, it is possible to feel transported to another time. {I edited out some modern additions.} My beautiful friend, harpist Diana Rowan, completes the fairy tale!

stonerose

Camino

santg

Praza Cervantes, Santiago de Compostella, 13 July

Three months ago, I reached Santiago de Compostella. I had been there before, but this was the first time as a pilgrim. Under the beautiful honey-gold sandstone arcade around Cervantes Square, I sat watching pilgrims come and go, enjoying my celebratory Estrella Galicia  – this sketch is the fruit of that labour.

While walking the Camino, I barely drew anything, though I took hundreds of photos. Twenty to twenty seven km days really take a lot out of you! Next time I’ll know to pace myself better. Galicia is so beautiful; fairy-tale gorgeous, even! I like to think I internalised some of that beauty, and truth be told I made a lot of sketches after that, throughout the summer. Just one of the many ways the Camino keeps on giving forth its gifts. I can’t wait to go back there…

1916

1916

Ochre, dark green and sky blue, the palette of Nicosia streets. As I mentioned in my first post, I’m something of a “door-collector”. I’ve been posting photographs of doors on my other instagram account https://www.instagram.com/aka.anna.kay/
for a while now. Here’s one I created in Illustrator, inspired by a favourite door from 1916, in the neighbourhood of Kaimakli. (I love working in Adobe Illustrator, as you may have noticed.)

People ask why doors. Besides being absolutely gorgeous, the simple answer is they are ready-made compositions. Colour, symmetry, texture and contrast are all there, waiting for the eye of the beholder. They are concise tableaux, given context by time and history.