My Wonderful Life just gets Better and Better!

Since I moved into my wonderful new home, I haven’t been able to really get stuck into my art again, much to my frustration! As is always the case at around this time of the year, I have had decorating commitments to fulfil including my pet hate – iron railings!

I hate painting iron railings with a passion! The owner of a house where I painted numerous railings over the last three years asked me at the end of last summer if I would do them again this year. I reluctantly agreed because he is a good and nice person and also a customer – he commissioned me to do an artwork for him last summer! But after just having completed this awful task once more, I have decided I will never do them or any other railings again – ever! It’s just not worth the money – or the damage done to my car just to reach the houses.

By contrast, I don’t mind the house-painting jobs I do with Ian and the exercise I get is really good for me. We can chat while we work and the painting is much more varied – I don’t mind the ‘cutting-in’. This year I haven’t done half as much decorating as in previous years, but that’s the general idea – I want to be able to gradually ease off this kind of work altogether, in order to better spend the time creating my seashell mosaics and collages.

Fireworks in Almyrida!

Fireworks in Almyrida! Not a good photo! Don’t know what the occasion was but was wonderful to watch from my balcony.

But for the last three weeks I have still been on cloud nine whenever I’m in my new home! It’s such an easy place to live and work in. The layout is perfectly suited to my style and way of life although the design is not open-plan, somehow I have more room space and less walking to get to everything I need around the house. I think this is because I am now living in a more traditional Greek house, rather than an apartment and yet it has the benefit of one-level living and removing a couple of doors made a difference. With windows on all four sides and magnificent views from three sides – what’s not to love?!

Rowboat Seashell Mosaic/Collage - 30x50cms

Rowboat Seashell Mosaic/Collage – 30x50cms

Before I moved in I used to imagine where I would be creating my artworks and so far I have been happily working in the large kitchen with the back door opening onto the wonderful views, or my ‘New Art Room! Both areas are full of natural light and a real pleasure to work in. As summer approaches I’ve no doubt that I will work on the balcony when it’s in shade and may well try out the front balcony garden too, sometimes.

With the start of March came the strong and gusty winds of Crete and there have been a few times where I was almost afraid of the power of them. It’s all because of the location of the house and I have had a few plant casualties. I am beginning to think that the only plants that will survive and withstand the winds on the balcony overlooking the sea are Yukka’s or the hardy creeping plants I have, that I can’t remember the name of.

Commissioned Seashell Mosaic and Collage by Michaela Raeburn - 50x70cms

The finished result! My Seashell Mosaic & Collage of Grete & Jonathan’s seven grandchildren – 50x70cms

At the end of last summer a lovely Norwegian couple who bought two of my artworks, also commissioned me to do a special mosaic representing their seven grandchildren! Having realised my limitations for facial recognition in such small scale mosaic, Jonathan and Grete gave me the ages, sex and hair-colouring of each child and everything else was left to my creative imagination. I knew this was going to be an immense challenge for me. I decided not to send them a photo of the completed artwork because I thought it would spoil their first impressions and Jonathan and Grete agreed with this. They would not be able to see the 3D effects or the shell detail in a photo. So yesterday was the first time that they viewed their picture – not really knowing what to expect. I am so happy that they really like it and was so thrilled to receive an email from them later that night, saying…

Dear Michaela!
Just to let you know that we are so pleased with your picture. It looks absolutely fantastic on our wall. It is so amazing that you managed to catch each grandchild’s personality without knowing anything about them. We are thrilled. Thank you very much Michaela.
Love Grete and Jonathan

It’s so wonderful to receive these compliments for my art!
I never realised before, how important my living and working environment was to me. Not until I moved here to this beautiful place by the sea – surrounded by nature in all her glory. All this and all to myself! I now live and work in this idyllic house on a hill overlooking the sea and White Mountains. It’s simply breathtaking.

Can't stop taking photos from my balcony!

Can’t stop taking photos from my balcony!

Looking back on the turmoil-led life I was living in the UK almost seven years ago, I feel blessed to say that I have finally found my real piece of heaven right here on the beautiful island of Crete. Here I have found somewhere to really embrace life and I am totally at peace and content with my world. Happiness is with me every day of my crazy busy life. I feel really alive here and I’ve found ‘me’. I was born with a creative mind and an eye for appreciating the astounding beauty of nature in the world we live in. I am passionate about my art and love living so independently. It is now coming up for seven years of my most wonderful life and long may it continue!

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