looking back... / by Philip Tarlow

1977, drawing of a sleeping soldier on the ferry to andros. pencil on paper, collection of the artist.

this is one of hundreds of drawings i made on the ferry boat to and from andros. in those days, the boats were slower and the trip took about 3 hours. my mother-in-law niki karagatsi and i always had our drawing materials with us, and began drawing as soon as we reached the main cabin after parking the car in the garage. the subjects were plentiful, as many would sleep or read during the trip. today the ferries economize on space by having airplane style seating. whereas in the '60's and '70's there were relatively spacious open areas with couches. so we would each choose a subject and begin drawing. once we finished, we'd move on to the next, until we arrived in andros or rafina. the more we drew, the better the drawings became, until we both reached a high level of mastery, which then of course extended to our paintings.

once we arrived in andros, we continued drawing & painting all summer long. here are 2 drawings of andriots from chora i made in 1976-7. on the left is a drawing of nona's mother. nona was the founder/owner of a small taverna on the sea, just a 2 minute walk form our house. the whole family worked in the kitchen serving delicious local food, often including fresh fish caught the same day by local fishermen. nonas was temperamental, and if you pissed him off he'd kick you out, no matter who you were.