Anne Bronner is a very special artist, one who exhibits a great love for our Crete island. From her family home in the town of Sélestat, France, close to the German border, she visits frequently Greece’s biggest island. Recently, I took the opportunity to speak with her about her work and experiences here.
The artist tells me she has visited Crete four times, her returning visits prompted by the people, landscapes and architecture, which serve as inspiration for many of her paintings. She goes on to explain that in Crete she always finds a wide diversity of places blessed with sea and mountain landscapes, each imbued with its own colors, to invigorate her. Anne says our villages, especially in the highlands, are a great motivator.
She goes on to say she has a special weakness for Achlada, which she chooses as a base for exploring the region. Her basecamp at Achlada – Mourtzanakis Residence, sits in the midst of pristine Cretan nature, high overlooking Agia Pelagia, Heraklion, and the Cretan Sea beyond.
“People in Crete,” she says, “are quiet, kind and hospitable, and they have a way of life that leaves no visitor untouched.”
Anne often sits and paints in watercolors, for travel books like the album she currently creates, full of paintings about everyday Crete. She says she can be inspired just by going for a coffee, or from lunch, or walking down a shadowy alley, visiting a memorial, and feeling in general from what she sees. She takes her little album with her always, so that the essence of her inspiration can be expressed.
Usually, within in one to two hours, she completes her tasks, which, as we have seen, always accompanied by an element that refers to the point where she painted. From the leaf of the plant, to the stub of a ticket, a napkin, or other design element, a vision of Crete emerges.
In the travel book of Crete, we saw, among other things, Anne’s renditions of the Palace of Knossos, the Square of the Lions, Fodele, Achlada Village, and in the mountainous part of and within the village, the Holy Trinity Jagarolon, the monastery of Arkadi.
Once her creative journey is completed, and having filled the album with beautiful images, Anne targets publishers, who like what they see and the issue as a travel scrapbook. Or, she transforms the images in the album to larger paintings.
Anne Bronner also participates in exhibitions around the world, holds classes, builds tags, postcards, book covers and whatever else will reflect the magic touch of her acquired colors, her personality, the sense of traveling with her, a woman who sees and touches.
Editor’s Note: This story appeared first in Greek at Eleni’s E-Stories Kritis blog