Friday, January 27, 2012

Painting Holidays in the Holy Land

Jewish Bible artist Darius Gilmont is considering organizing painting holidays in the Holy Land and is asking for feedback from readers of the Bible illustration blog as to what they think of the draft itinerary below. The photo above shows the tombs of Rabbinic sages in the Galilee, very near to the Kibbutz where there would be very good accommodation and an art studio.
If anyone is in any doubt to how wonderful the experience of painting in the Holy Land is - they need to read the inspiring diaries of Bible artists Elsie Anna wood and Margaret W. Tarrant.

Please take a look at the 'First Draft Itinerary' below and leave your comments for Darius in the usual comment box.

First Draft Itinerary for a Painting Holiday in the Holy Land.
This tour is Galilee-based, but there could equally be a Negev desert-based tour, or a Jerusalem-based tour. The idea is for a non-tutored painting holiday, with a strong tourism element due to the nature of the location.

Arr. Monday evening, Ben-Gurion Airport, Tel-Aviv. Transfer to Kibbutz Parod, Galilee. This kibbutz has excellent accommodation, swimming pool set in beautiful grounds, a good art studio space, and great views of the surrounding area including the Galilean Hills, the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon (on the border with Syria).

Day 1: Breakfast. Welcome, followed by Kibbutz Tour incl. Art Studio. Trip to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, to the Mount of the Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was given, to Tabgha to see the splendid mosaic about the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and to the nearby Church of Peter's Primacy. Lunch and afternoon painting at Tabgha. Dinner at Kibbutz, evening in Studio.

Day 2: Morning in Studio, painting views of the Galilee and Golan, or finishing yesterday’s work. Lunch at Kibbutz, followed by a visit to the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth, Mary's Well and the Church of the Angel Gabriel. Evening in Studio.

Day 3: Early drive to Jerusalem, visiting the Old City and selected Holy sites. Afternoon painting the panoramic view of the Old City from the Promenade Park (Tayelet) to the south of Abu Tor. From this point see much of what makes Jerusalem such a unique city to the three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Evening free in Jerusalem. Late return to Kibbutz.

Day 4: Morning painting in and around the Kibbutz or in the studio. Afternoon trip to the Bahai Temple and gardens, Haifa. Evening at the Kibbutz with lecture/discussion/workshop with eminent art or religious academic or cleric (in short –a cultural event)!

Day 5: Trip to the Monastery of St George at Wadi Qelt in the Judaean desert. Walking, and painting, in the desert. Evening in the studio.

Day 6: Morning trip to Tiberias. Lunch at Tiberias. Afternoon painting in studio. Evening closing event and celebratory dinner (and dancing?) on the Kibbutz.

Day 7: Morning transfer to Ben-Gurion Airport and departure for UK.

NOTE: All trips to scenic locations will include ample time for painting. Non-painting partners and children will also have plenty to do, including organized tours and activities.

Above is one Darius' paintings. To see more of his Bible Art visit
© Darius Gilmont 2012


Bible artist said...

I think this would be a really great holiday!

deboraw said...

I agree, Graham. I don't see me going, but if one had the time and the funds...

Paul Green said...

For those who can afford it and love painting this sounds like a great vacation.
I'd make the schedule less hectic and stay in one place a little longer. You need to take in the atmosphere of a place to make your painting have more meaning and not just be an exercise.

deboraw said...

Paul, That's a good suggestion.

Bible artist said...

Thanks for the comments Deboraw & Paul. As someone who is illustrating the Bible I would be more interested in visiting the areas which have changed the least e.g. the Sea of Galilee, Mount of Olives, Temple Mount etc - I would be less interested to visit the various churches and shrines that have been built over the supposed holy sites.

I would also love to sketch the ruins of ancient buildings to get a feel for the building materials and methods. I was interested to hear Elsie Anna Woods comments about the brightness of the light in Israel. This was also something that Darius Gilmont noticed when he first moved to Israel. Having been brought up in Manchester which like Seattle has the nickname 'Rainy city' It's hard to image a different type of light existing!

I was watching a TV program 'Coast' recently which looks into the history of the towns and cities along the UK coastline and they mentioned that many artists congregate in the southern town of St Ives again due to the quality of the light there.

Paul Green said...

Yes the quality of light here in Virginia enhances colours Graham.
I agree the churches built over alleged holy places have no interest for me but I would love to see actual locations. The Sea of Galilee can get very stormy in a short time. That would bring the gospel account to life in a very real way.

Liz said...

Keep me posted on this it sounds wonderful! Thanks.