Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Finishing Up Work 2017

   We kept driving by this field as it was coming into full color, and I knew I wanted to paint somewhere near by, to capture the moment. This beautiful Spring moment.
  This was a week or two ago, before the weather changed again to windy, cold and wet.

  While setting up to work, my wife could not help herself, I guess.


    These small paintings offer me glimpses into larger ideas.
    There will be a gem or two, ideas that I can translate into larger, contemporary/abstract compositions.
  If I am lucky.
  And, it's just fun being here with my wife in the middle of Italy.


  I always joke that I am trying to 'Make Art History', but I can't take myself too seriously.... And I have to be honest with my contribution to the conversation.
  This comes after having a great art education, with a tremendous teacher and forty five years of painting experience.

  Painting like this, in this beautiful heart of Italy, is it's own reward.
  I've said it before- It's simple, but it's complicated. It's never easy to make good art. It shouldn't be, in my opinion.

  This is this Artist's humble offering, on this day.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Good Day's Work

  Janelle writing this evening...

  The weather was so fine through March, Johnny was able to paint most every day he wanted to. Today we had our first real rain day, which the area needs, so no complaints.
  Last week Johnny painted quite a bit, though he is waiting now for the trees to leaf out more. One day in particular, we woke early, had our coffee and headed out for our morning walk as the sun was just rising. It was so wonderful to be up and out so early.

  After returning from the walk, we loaded up the car for a full day of work...

A classic pairing of Umbrella Pine and Italian Cypress

  Moving on to another area...

Benches are always welcome.

  I'm always surprised at what Johnny 'sees' to paint...often it's just a bit of a very far off view. Shapes, light and color are what I imagine he is looking for.

  Same area, but another painting gets started.

Again, the far off view...that pine tree way over on the ridge.

  It's always an adventure.
  A colorful adventure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Working At Lago di Chiusi


  Nice peaceful day on the lake.
  Janelle and I were relaxing, and I took the opportunity to work with gouache on paper.

 It's the first time I painted with gouache this year here in Italy. So, I'm starting out slowly and gently, in a relaxed pace.
  I've completed about fifteen oil paintings and now want to shift gears.

  I love this old wooden paint box I found in a 'Mercato Usato'..basically a thrift store. I found this box last year, and now I'm putting it to work.

Starts out loose and beautiful. I should have stopped here.

  This first one, to me, is a little too tight. That's how it usually begins.
  It takes work to loosen up and be more sensitive to the process of making art.
  The mind wants to control things. I'm always of the mind to let the painting paint itself. Even these small gouaches.

  I guess the first one was a warm up.

  This second one, below, is much better. More of what I am shooting for.

  I guess I'm searching for that right combination of color, design, and that unknowable force that comes through

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Painting Continues

  Another day painting in Italy.
  Taking advantage of good Spring weather.

Disorganized paint collection now lives in a new box, courtesy of Aldo.

Starting again. It never stops.

Welcome to my studio in Umbria.

  Simple and direct small oil paintings will lead to larger and more complex designs in the California studio.

  These small paintings are not 'sketches', they are realized works.
  There is the poetry of the moment. Capturing a glimpse of that moment, that day...of that year. That is the moment.
  It's just that moment of life. Fleeting moments. A day in the life of an artist.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

First Oil Painting Umbria, 2017

  Out in the field again. It's been ten months since I've painted 'plein air'.
  It's beautiful here this year. The light is different, it's warmer-more clear. It's even richer views.
  It's exciting to me.

Still need to figure out my painting gear. It takes time to organize.

The blank canvas beckons. The first of the season.  

   Must fill the canvas with color. A spontaneous approach, feeling the color as I go, full tilt; No questions.
  Just paint. From my gut.
  Spontaneity comes from forty-five years of experience. Nothing comes from a void.

Standing alone in the field.

Pure painting. Pure joy.

Work done.

   Now for refreshment.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mr. J At Work And Play

  Two big things happen in September this year....Johnny's birthday, which we just celebrated in style by having a delightful dinner at our local favorite Italian spot, La Balena......
  ...And our upcoming show "Fieldwork"(Sept 17!!), which we are busily preparing for.

  It made me think about doing this post...a post that is all about Mr. J, at work and play in Umbria.
  Hey, what better time? I tried to find some photos that have not already been featured either here, or on the gallery Facebook page, but it was hard. Luckily, there are a few scattered about here.

  These photos are a pretty good peek at the day to day work life we lead while we are over there. It's a great 'second life', whether we are out working on paintings, or sitting lakeside having a sip of wine.

  The days we go out and work are often long ones...March and April can be cold, wet and windy, so any day that looks like a sunny one is a day we rush out early to get as much painting in as possible....
(i keep saying 'we'...i just keep record of it does all the heavy lifting...)

Not actually Umbria, this is Pienza, in the neighboring region of Tuscany.
It was early on, and still very cool. The sun was nice.

Drawing closer to home, on a chilly day.

Clouds be damned, Johnny still needs to paint.

  Notice the big blue work coat? It's Johnny's 'go to' for painting. Not only does it keep him clean, it's a good layer of warmth over his regular coat. He buys these at the local 'feramenta', the hardware store.    
  He has bought several over the years, and they are great. One always stays in Umbria, with all his art supplies(grazie, Roy& Diane!), and there is usually one in the California studio, too.

Yes, it is honestly

Getting a late afternoon painting in, before an oncoming downpour.

Johnny likes to tuck into a shady least when the sun is warm.

Sometimes it's all sunshine.
Out in the fields, of course.

  I would say it's half and half....Half the time we are down some dirt road, in a field, and half the time he sets up on the side of the road near the car.

  As I have mentioned many times on my own blog, Live Pronto, while Mr. J is working, I'll take photos and make short videos of him, then I like to take off on a walk and explore. If it's really cold, I'll snuggle up in the car with my book.
  I enjoy this routine. I never get this kind of time here in California...always there is something needing to be done.

Johnny getting serious about it all.

  This year, spring 2016, Johnny painted over forty small plain-air works while we were in Umbria. 
  Here are several spots.....

Pescatore, a favorite spot for work and play.

Near the boat launch in Castiglione del Lago...

In a special friend's garden....

On the road between Panicale and Paciano...

Just outside the main gate of Paciano...

On the road to Missiano....

Near Villastrada....

The road to Sanfattuchio...

Near Lago Trasimeno....

Ummmm.....Oh! Below Valiano.
Dodging raindrops, if I remember ...

A very nice day, on the road to Paciano....

Above Varacca...

Near Moiano....

A favorite spot to paint-
Near Casalini.

Just outside of Panicale.

  We love our Panicale apartment, 'The Artisan's House', and at this point feel like we are arriving home when we do get there.
  The second bedroom slowly fills with paintings as the trip goes on.....

Paintings spread out on heavy duty plastic sheets, so they can slowly dry.
All are oil painted on Italian birch panels bought
in Florence and Rome.

  We line the paintings up on the stairs to take pictures of them all.
  There is a perfect window with a deep ledge to set the paintings flat on.. for photos in natural light.

We are ready for our close up, Miss Janelle.....

  With a couple of weeks left at the end of the long trip, the paintings are set aside to dry, and Johnny is done working. He's ready to get down to 'being on vacation'...

It's officially Vacation Time, Baby!

Morning walks!

Can't resist posting this one again-
Noooooo comment!

  By the time he's done working, the weather has gotten just warm enough to take nice walks here and there...

  We can go enjoy favorite pizza places....

  Lounge lakeside playing dominoes and sipping wine.....

 Take drives into the nearby countryside and get stuck in mud....

Oh, yes..we did.
But not on this day.

  Yep. It's a lot of work to get everything done before we go, keep the gallery running while we are gone(thanks Gerrica & Mary Liz), button down the house and get the sitters settled in(thanks, James & Anna)...and then it's Showtime!
  Which is happening in a week or so, so we are crazy getting it together......all this next week. Long days ahead....
  Then we work and work and work some more, so we can do it all over again.
  Sweet life, I must say. Love the work, love the downtime.

  Here's to an already successful show, and my hats off to the dude I'm hitched to...
  Ti amo, bambino....Ti amo.

A very Happy Artist, indeed.

  And you better believe the next trip is booked....