Α message from the painter
The Island of Ikaria consists of a wall of mountains that rear up out of the middle of the Aegean Sea. The scenery there is varied with pine forests and mountain lakes, all green and fertile juxtaposed with rugged rock cliffs and boulders. Then there are beaches and villages prettily put together with cafes and harbours and famously twisting roads. The feeling that I take away from the island is always of a great healing power, an extraordinary energy that seems to emanate from its rocky soil , from the many blued sea, from the multitude of blooming flowers that perfume the air.
Since 2001 I have been returning to Ikaria with a small group of students from the Toronto School of Art and sometimes with people from Europe who wanted to join the class and paint with us. We generally have travelled individually to Athens and met up there, then flying in together to the island where we are met by Mihalis who runs the Ikarian Centre, a Greek language school which is given over to the painting group at this time. The centre is situated amongst stunning scenery down a gravel road from the mountain village of Arethusa looking up at the great face of Mount Pramos and looking down over the village of Karavostamo with its small harbour, and far out over the sea where mountains on the coast of Turkey can be seen.
The centre consists of four buildings constructed in a traditional style with terraces, walls and footpaths of stone joining them together. One building has a space used as a shared studio while we are there. The other buildings have rooms that are rented individually or to share. Each room has its own washroom, toilet and shower. Also there is a small fridge , sink and hotplate for cooking in each room. There is also a large shared kitchen for cooking and eating on the lower level of one of the buildings. We have usually shared meals sitting out on the terraces enjoying the air and the view. Also the views from the large windows of the rooms are stunning and Mihalis has all the paths laid out in a garden of blooming flowers and trees.
The painting course island Ikaria
The painting course I run at the island of Ikaria is quite informal. I drive the group out in the Fiat Scudo Van Mihalis has bought this year and we visit different areas of the island to paint the various kinds of scenes we find there; quiet pine forests, beaches, towns, harbours etc.
According to the needs of the participants in the group we sometimes have days painting the views around the centre or if wind or rain get in our way painting in the studio . I am on hand to help people get set up and help with what might be good subject matter to paint and then help during the painting session with painterly problems that might arise. Further critiques can also happen back at the studio if needed. The outings are also used to visit sites of interest, ancient sites and monasteries or do some shopping and eating out in restaurants and tavernas.
My teaching style is to try to be as useful as I can to individuals according to their own needs and style of painting. This can be anything from a classical approach to a modernist one, from beginner to the more experienced.
I can help with many aspects according to the needs of participants including colour, master palette and the impressionist palette (warm cool) , creating a sense of light, and colour pitch . The creation of form, composition structures for depth, focus and rhythm. These elements I have taught at the Toronto School of Art and here I would show how they apply to landscape painting directly from nature. I can also give assistance on more conceptual matters of subject matter, purpose and image development.
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Instructor and Artist in Residence
Tom Campbell spent his childhood in Canada and the United States before attending the Camberwell School of Art in London, England. At Camberwell, he studied under the tutorship of some of England’s most influential figurative artists including Ewen Uglow, Leon Kossoff and Sargy Mann.
He received his Fine Arts degree in 1974. After graduation, he worked and exhibited in England before returning to Canada in 1982. While in England, his career involved theatrical props, painting and scenic design for theater and film. He has worked as a full-time sculptor and painter and been represented by the Bau-xi Gallery (www.bau-xi.com) in Toronto and Vancouver since 1985.
His first major one-man show was at The Gallery Stratford in 1985. Tom has been exhibiting regularly since that time and teaching at various institutions, including the Toronto School of Art (TSA). He has been a member of the TSA faculty since 1988, and was Program Director and Faculty Steering Committee Chair from 1993 through 1996.
Tom fosters a relaxed and friendly learning environment and focuses on developing the individual’s natural abilities towards the goals that he or she has set. In his classes, Tom shares the processes and techniques he has developed in his own work. Art historical considerations and pictorial techniques are also foundations of his teaching.
Comments from the students @painting courses island Ikaria
- Matthew Stern: “In May 2007, I followed Tom Campbell to the island of Ikaria in Greece for a course in goat wrangling and landscape painting. The island is very rustic and without many ‘tourist’ attractions. It is a strange and beautiful place; full of lizards, snakes, insects and even a person or two.” See his painting diary: http://flakewhite.wordpress.com/category/greek-landscapes/
- Patsy B: “My painting trip to Greece with Tom Campbell is one I’ll always remember. The unique, unspoiled landscape of Ikaria is spectacular with its coastal roads and picturesque villages set on marble stone beaches. Waking to the magnificent mountain views outside my window was more than I could have imagined. Tom is an excellent and inspiring teacher. He made the whole experience fun and exciting…”
- Ginny P: “Painting in Ikaria with Tom Campbell and a terrific group of students was an experience I’ll not forget. Everything lived up to my expectations and I would do it again…”