Saturday, February 11, 2012

Umbria Paintings, 2011

  I'm really looking forward to painting in the countryside of Umbria again this year. Last March, we were happy to hop in the car and take little road trips, mostly close to where we were staying. So many little dirt roads to drive down and set up the paint box. I had mixed weather days, sometimes beautiful, some days were grey and wet. Of course, it's all good, and the changing light is an excellent challenge.
  Here are some of the paintings from the 2011 trip. All the paintings measure 8"X 8", and are oil on thin panel. I am happy to say that almost all sold. This inspires me to paint even more this year. I am planning to do oil on paper this time out, and do something a little different, and more contemporary. We'll see what comes out.
  Many of you had the chance to see these already in the gallery, or on my website, but for those of you who haven't, I hope these inspire you to check back in to see what I do this year.

"Farmhouse, Casalini"
This was my first painting of the trip, a beautiful day.

"Cypress Trees, San Fatucchio"

 Below are two paintings done on the same day, from the same spot. We had gone on a long day trip and on the way back home, late in the afternoon, we came across this small road in the middle of this just-turned field. It was a very overcast day, and the mood was grey and quiet.  I do remember that Janelle took a long hike while I painted.

"White Road Near Laviano"

"Strada Bianca (White Road)"
This was one of the first paintings that sold.

"Olive Grove Near La Saporita"
We walked by this spot on many a morning after cappuccini.

  I felt so lucky to be able to set up right outside the walls of town to paint. There are great views over the lake and nearby fields. All along the outside walls there are benches to sit and enjoy the view. Or, in my case, paint. It would be so nice when Janelle would show up with a little snack and some wine! This was the case with the painting below....

"View Towards Gioveto"

"From The SS454"
Just another day trip turned painting opportunity.

  I've always loved to paint trees, and took advantage on a few occasions in Umbria. The Umbrella Pine, below is down this tiny dirt road that winds for miles through olive groves. It's one of many mapped walking paths that hikers enjoy in the area. All around this area we would come across the little red and white stripes painted on trees that mark the paths. Sometimes there will be small signs showing kilometers to here and there.
  On the day I painted this one below, I had the sweetest close encounter with a little grey pony. A day I will never forget. It was near the end of the trip, and the weather was getting really nice and warm.
  The olive tree with the ladder was beautiful. This handmade, old ladder with just a few rungs, all made of olive wood and smooth from age.

"Umbrella Pine, La Mura"

"Pruning The Olive Trees"

"View Of Lago Trasimeno"
Another one I painted while sitting outside the walls of our little town.

"Farmhouse Outside Of Paciano"
Stood out in the middle of a field for this one. On a gorgeous day.

  The last two below are both paintings of the skyline of Panicale. A small hilltown, Panicale has a wonderfully distinctive outline because of the towering Palazzo del Podesta at the top of town. We can't wait to look up and see that welcoming sight again. 
  The two paintings are very different takes on this skyline, as you can see. The second, more abstracted is one of my favorite paintings of the bunch. Janelle wishes we had kept the first one, but it has a nice home, and we are just happy that the show was such a success.

"Panicale View From Below"

"Panicale Skyline"

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Artist At Work/Plein Air Umbria

  My hope with this new blog is to allow people to get an idea of how I work while traveling. Many of you are already aware of our journeys, and have begun collecting pieces from these trips. Thanks! I never take for granted the support you have shown me through the years.  Hopefully, this blog will give you even more insight to my process. 
  This year we will be going off again to Umbria to paint a new collection that we look forward to showing this summer. Janelle and I will both be blogging here while we are away, and if you choose, you can check out the blog from time to time to see what I'm up to. 
  The photos below are from our trip in 2011, Umbria. I brought home 20 really nice small paintings. This year, the plan is to do many more, and in different sizes. I love this area of Italy, and look forward to being back there to paint again, and be inspired. Last year I was able to paint several large canvases, abstracts, in the studio after returning home. Really great inspiration. 
  So, bookmark the blog as a favorite, and keep checking in over the spring and summer! In the meantime, these are some working shots for you to enjoy...

At work in the fields!

Hand made paint box in action.

A rainy day made for nice, moody light...

Nice apron I borrowed...

I did two from this spot that day.

My office abroad.

A gorgeous day in Tuscany...

Outside of Pienza, a classic scene.

From the walls of an Umbrian hilltown.

Nice result.

Sketching in the olive grove. 
A spring day in Umbria.

I found the light of inspiration...

Arbitrary color.