“Lavender Field in Provence”

“Lavender Field in Provence” Acrylic Painting by Nadine Block

A friend and I went on a walking tour of Provence, France a few years ago. We walked 10K a day, ate in beautiful restaurants and shopped or toured museums in the afternoon. It was a magnificent vacation. Just imagine doing a healthy walk which mitigates a caloric meal! We walked along and kayaked the Gardon River where the beautiful Pont Du Gard Roman aqueducts can be seen.

One evening we went to a service featuring Gregorian chants by monks in a white stone abbey. It was very quiet and peaceful. A large lavender field next to the abbey was magnificent. When I came home, I wrote and illustrated a little book for my grandchildren, “Two Grannies Walking.”

Painting 5

Southern India Foliage

“Southern India Foliage” acrylic painting by Nadine Block

In 2012, I traveled with a friend and a tour group to southern India. From Chennai on the Bay of Bengal we went around the southern tip of India to Cochin, Bangalore and Mysore. Southern India is less populated and has more open space than other parts of India. There were vivid green rice fields, tea plantations and Hindu Temples. Cows, tuk tuks and honking trucks fought for space on dusty roads.
I was blessed by an elephant. He swung his long grey trunk over my head and gave it a slight touch, a blessing. In India, elephants are believed to be holy.

Southern India Foliage

Istanbul Fruit Market

I hope this painting of a fruit market in Istanbul looks good enough to eat. Istanbul was the first stop of our three-week guided tour of Turkey in 2012. The city is overflowing with amazing tourist sites such as the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is the only city in the world that sits in two continents. The Kadikoy Market we visited is on the Asian side of the city a half hour ferry ride from the European side. There we found food shops, spice shops, and fish shops. Walking through the markets made us so hungry! Luckily, we finished our visit by heading for a delicious lunch and a stop for tea at Camlica Hill, one of the highest spots in the city.
Painting 10

The Chief and Me: Papua New Guinea

Painting 3I’ve traveled to 64 countries.  The most interesting trip Bill and I took was a visit to a hunter-gatherer village on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea in the year 2,000.  Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea located in the Pacific north of Australia.  Its capital is Port Moresby.  Headhunting was long a cultural practice in this area.  In order to come of age, young men had to take a head.  Michael Rockefeller, son of the late vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared in this area in 1961 and was rumored to have been the victim of headhunters.  While not all headhunters were cannibals, it was popular because villagers believed that eating enemies’ brains empowered warriors.  Scarification is still practiced in coming-of-age ceremonies.

We traveled with a guided group on small planes from Port Moresby.  We landed on a grass strip.  The people were mostly unclothed and small in stature, probably the result of poor nutrition. Their diet is mostly fish and the interior of sego palms which have no nutritional value.  They grew no crops and hunted with bows and arrows.  Children had distended bellies which our guide said were the result of river worm infestation.  It was hot and humid.   I had someone take a photo of me and the chief which I recently painted.  We were told the villagers no longer practiced headhunting.

The chief was very proud of a necklace given to him by his father who was the previous chief.   It was made up of small brownish beads:  human teeth.

The painting will be part of my one-person show “World Travel Images” in the Loft Gallery at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center the month of March, 2016.