Monday, April 22, 2013

This Year's Gouaches, So Far


You have to keep in mind these are all small, intimate images, measuring approximately 3X3 to 5X5 inches. 
  They are all little love songs to Umbria. Personal novellas.
  We will mat and frame each piece, simple and clean. We look forward to showing them, along with the 8X8 inch oil on board paintings, and the large oil on canvas works, in the gallery when we return.

  The first group represents the earlier works of this trip.

















  Later in the trip, a new idea was formed. I may not continue in this vien, but for the moment, I'm riding this wave to see where it leads. 
  There is a seed here of potential ideas for growth, for the future. 
  Funny, the wind died, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and my work changed into something else, a new direction?
   I have to wait and see where it takes me. I have to follow it's lead.








   Now, the last week here, I have about 5 more pieces I have to finish.

  Today is another rain day, but good, sunny days are in the forecast.
  Sitting by the fire with a glass of wine, Janelle and I are enjoying going over the work I've done so far.
  It's been a good trip.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New Technique

  It's great to have nice weather and nice light to work with.
  Thanks to Janelle, she gave me a new idea for the gouaches! She suggested I leave the tape on, instead of tearing it off, which I have been doing to give the images a nice, crisp edge.
  So now I am painting over the tape, and they have become something else-- I like them a lot.

  This is a great example of always being open to surprises and new and different ways of expressing yourself. I can't stay stuck in a rut- in one way of doing things, just because it worked before.
  Every piece is a new challenge. It doesn't matter what size it is, big or small.

  The thing is to do something in a traditional manner, but to instill something fresh and unexpected. 
  Anyway, that was my training.

Surrounded by fava bean fields.

  My style is to work fast and fresh, immediate. I don't want to have time to think. I have to, and want to feel the landscape with my own colors.

  Here I've found a particular area with lots to inspire me.

Simple line sketch to begin. You don't need much,
you just have to let the paint do the talking.

Different location on the same day.

  Below, you can see the new style of painting over the tape on these small gouaches of mine. 
  I think they are very exciting.
  Thanks to the Muse!

  On another warm day, I revisited this spot I had painted at 2 years ago. 
  Back then, they were 8X8 inch oil paintings. I painted 2 versions of these same trees. 

  Here I am working in the new gouache style, smaller, maybe about 4X4 inches each. If I am lucky, I can translate these smaller pieces into larger paintings back home in the studio.

  In the pictures below, you can see the tape, and the painting over it again. I ended up doing 3 versions of these trees from the same spot.

After this work, we'll go for lunch.

Outdoor Studio, Umbria Style.

  A short video of me working in the field. 
  Janelle likes to make these.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Palettes In Umbria

 Janelle writing here today.

  When I am busy taking photos or making videos of Johnny working, I'm always drawn to the palette of the moment. They seem like their own works of art, to me. I like how the paint is mixed together, of course, but I also like the big, thick swipes and blotches of paint. The texture is fantastic. 

  When Johnny wipes them off , the effect can be so lovely.

 I started taking pictures of his working palettes years ago, but these are all just from this visit to Umbria. The colors represent the winter turning to spring.

I try to get a few shots throughout a working session.

Semi-clean, to start a new painting.

Beautiful Umbrian colors!

  The little white plastic palette he uses for his gouache paintings isn't so charming, but still, I like it.

Painting #1 already put aside. Now for the second piece of the day.

  In the studio here, he uses the hand held type of palette. He moves around the larger canvases a lot, so he needs to have that paint right there, at to speak.

Studio palette with Umbria all over it.

Must have been a painting of Lago Trasimeno, The Blue Heart of Umbria.

  I try to get shots of the palette with the painting of the moment still in the scene. As I am often out on a walk while Johnny is working, I'll miss the moment before he packs the painting away. Here are some of the shots with 8X8 inch paintings, all fresh and still wet...

Work in progress, with a nice palette shot.

   As my last little shot, below, I chose the "smily face" palette. Because we are really happy right here, right now!