Thunderstorm over Meteora, Greece.

F.A. Moore

Newport News, United States

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Artist's Description

Oil painting on 2 inch deep-sided cradle board
Knife painted rock, brush painted hills and valley.
12 × 12 inch
scanned: 6000 × 6000 px @480 dpi
June 20, 2012

Solo’s Juried Invitational Exhibition,
June 2012

Sally Sargent Fine Art Award
for Excellence in Oil Painting Techniques
SoJie 16, June 2012

SoJie 16, June 2012

2012-11-04 in Women Painters
2012-10-19 in Southern United States Artists

Oil painting of thunderstorm over Meteora, Greece, by F.A. Moore, 2012. Pictured is the Monastery of St. Stephen, overlooking the valley, soaked in a thunder shower. The Monastery’s cross is reflected strangely in a cloud formation; but this was unplanned by the artist. The Greek flag braves the downpour. The oil painting, on board, is based on a panoramic photograph of the Monastery of St. Stephen by Peter Hammer, under written agreement, completed during Solo Exhibition’s Landscape and Light Workshop. Peter also graciously provided additional photographs, which I was able to reference for rock shapes and textures, and the detail of the monastery rooftops and cupolas. Credit below.

Meteora and the Monastery of St Stephen
by Peter Hammer

Thunderstorm over Meteora, Greece.
by F.A. Moore
oil on board

Since Greece is on the sea, and Meteora is mountainous, I imagined that the area would create its own weather; and thus painted it in a heavy downpour, with the sun breaking through to the rock, from which we are taking in the view.

I have only just now read about it, that “Rainfall is generally heavy all year round, especially at higher altitudes.” I’m so glad to have gone with my instinct on that one, even though it took a few days to work up the guts to paint darkness and rain into a fine shadow and light landscape.

This was painted in layers over seventeen sessions in twelve days. The original edifice for the Monastery was knife painted over four hours, including one hour for mixing colors. At the last I rubbed browns over the subtle coloring, as rock takes on a very dark quality when it’s wet. The foreground was painted last and was also primarily knife-painted, to capture texture and light, without detail.

I hope you enjoy both Peter Hammer’s original panoramic photograph and my liberal interpretation; taking you further down the rock for a closer view of the valley and the pinnacle on which the Monastery of St. Stephen is built. Enjoy the refreshing rain!

About the Monastery and Meteora
The Monastery of St. Stephen was established around 1540. Six monasteries remain in the Meteora from the twenty or so built in the 1300’s. Meteora means “suspended in air” and describes the sandstone and conglomerate rock pinnacles thought to have been formed 60 million years ago. Carbon dating of a cave at the foot of the cliffs indicate man’s presence there 50,000 years ago.

While hermit monks moved up into the pinnacles in the 9th century, it took until the 12th century for a state to form around the Monasteries, as ascetics began to gravitate to the Meteora. More than 20 monasteries were built in the beginning of the 14th century to protect Greek Orthodox monks and nuns from Turkish raiders threatening the fertile valley.

The Meteora was bombed in WWII and treasures were lost. Nuns occupy two of the six remaining monasteries; St. Stephen is one of those.

The area is commonly referred to as “Meteora” and the complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries on “suspended rocks”, collectively as “the Meteora”. The town below is Kalambaka.

Artwork Comments

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