Hand Painted Moleskine Sketchbook

I painted this Moleskine sketchbook cover using an image from an Akrotiri wall painting. Akrotiri was an ancient city on the island of Santorini in Greece, and was destroyed when the volcano (upon which it was located) erupted circa 1,600 BC. The wall paintings uncovered by archeologists have an amazing modern quality about them. I find their sense of design and beauty similar in many ways to today’s artistic sensibilities. The painted subjects are outlined, and the resulting faceted shapes are filled with flat washes of color. Although this type of graphic style is more symbolic than naturalistic, a crocus is obviously a crocus, and a goat is definitely a goat. The figures represented in the wall paintings also have this same flat, graphic style but they have an extra level of detail with decorative patterns painted across their clothing. One of my personal favorites is a beautiful girl out gathering saffron from crocuses in her beaded, Minoan costume, a flounced kilt tied at her waist. It’s ironic that the event that destroyed this ancient civilization saved the wall paintings for posterity. If the Thera volcano had not erupted 3,600 years ago, preserving the frescos in volcanic ash, we would not have representations of this civilization today.