“My life on Poros? I gladly immersed myself in the island life here because it made sense to me. I spent my high school years in Morehead City, NC. Except for the mountains of Greece, that town on the ocean and Greek seacoast towns have similarities. My favourite months of the year in Greece are May, September and October, although every month has its unique delights. The first friends I made were Greek and foreign, and during the 1990’s during the winter we got together for ‘ladies nights’, with skits and costumes created from whatever was available on the island. I studied Greek through books and tapes, and sometimes in classes. Most people here speak English much better than my Greek, so that was a back-up. I must be linguistically challenged, because I adore the Greek language!! Probably my only regret is that I did not take an extensive 3 month class in the beginning. I still have trouble with the grammar!
The love of Art has remained a strong motivator in my life. It has been with me everywhere I’ve traveled, and that love led me here to Poros. I even met my husband Francis (an art historian) five years ago through our shared love of art. Francis is happy when I devote more time to painting, and always supportive of my work.
How many paintings have I done? Maybe 400 paintings on Poros, 300 on other islands, European countries, portraits, animals. Many have sold, some are stored in my studio, some are in the gallery in North Carolina that has represented my work since 1987. I also sell online.
My book? Greece was moving toward financial crisis when I read a popular book by a US author that described Greece in a negative light. It made me angry. I’ve had so many great experiences, so many incredible things have happened to me (like having a painting chosen as a gift for Prince Charles!) and so many other people I know – I simply had to write my story too. You see, most people said: “Pam you are going to move to Greece at 40 -and make your life there? How?” I remembered my father’s words “ you’ll never survive as just an artist”, yet I felt Greece was my destiny from the first time I came in 1982. I don’t mean that in a pompous way. I live very simply here. That’s the thing. It’s a simple, beautiful life that suits me. Of course I like to be comfortable, and I do appreciate quality. But generally lots of “stuff”? no, I don’t need it. I sold everything I had accumulated through the years before moving here, except for a hand-made table, my father’s antique carriage chair, and art by favourite artists I know. I have managed to survive from my painting habit, and I believe my father would be pleased. Making a living in Greece was never my goal anyway – I came here to follow my dream of making a joyous life with art, and that’s what has happened.
What do I love about Poros? So much! you can walk everywhere, or take a taxi, or flying dolphin or ferry to nearby islands for the day, and the people here are gracious and generous spirits. I’ve always felt safe and am fortunate to have been invited to family and local celebrations, weddings, baptisms – Greeks can’t imagine someone being on their own during holidays! The locals have always amazed me with their stamina at such events too! Young and old can dance rings around most anyone! Poros and Galatas has wonderful dancers and musicians. You just never know what’s around the corner here, and it’s usually a delightful surprise. Of course there are some problems, like everywhere, but for me, it is as close to perfection as I have experienced. This island is also just across from the mainland from friendly Galatas, where the view of Poros is stunning. Major Ancient sites on the Peloponnese are just a few hours drive away. Basically I think people are kinder to each other here. That’s what I see at least. You know what I also love, and I don’t think I have voiced this before. You know who you are talking to here because there is a lack of pretence. I think it’s fabulous. Obviously I love the landscape of Poros. After so many paintings done here, I still have more to do. The variety of views you get here – well, it looks like 10 different islands! I love the afternoon naps, local wine, honey, olive oil, lemons, oranges, sunsets, the mountain teas, herbs, pomegranates, vegetables, fresh fish, scordalia, seeing families and friends enjoying being together at the waterfront, swimming in the pristine sea of course. And my goodness, my list is endless! I actually can’t think of anything I don’t like about this island, and my life in Greece.
Thanks to Live-bio for interviewing me for HumansofPoros!”