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Warm Memories of Malta

Malta pictures

‘A trip to Malta in February was the perfect way to bring a bit of warmth back into our lives and break up a chilly, English winter. Malta is a beautiful country with a fascinating fusion of cultures – Italian, Middle Eastern, English and French – with friendly people, delicious food and gorgeous coasts! The tropical plant varieties, friendly people and warm climate reminded us of several African countries we lived in over the years, so it sort of felt like coming home.

It is the first time I made natural paints on a trip, making it quite special for me. Within the first day of exploring two coastal areas I had already found several soil colours – beautiful ochres and siennas – and gathered small quantities of the pigments for paintmaking. When we got back to our lovely little cottage I set about sieving and grinding down the soil samples and made a few rustic soil-based paints. Immediately after swatching the colours I could see and feel the warmth of the country coming through. Over the next few days I collected some more soil pigments as well as some charcoal from a beach campfire, which was curiously pale grey, and hibiscus blooms that had been crushed on the road, leaving a beautiful rosy red stain on the pavement – half of my job done already!

Capturing the essence of a place using paints made from the local plants and soils makes the task almost effortless – I am merely a conduit, the user of the brush. The painting nearly paints itself. These are some of the colour swatches and sketchbook pages I painted on this trip – sitting on a beach or rock, inspired by the turquiose blue sea, big blue skies, warmth of the breeze and earthy tones around me.’

Carol harvey
Malta pictures
Malta pictures
Malta pictures

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