Saturday, August 29, 2015

Painting On The Island

  Janelle here, again-
  Writing helps make the wait easier. What better way to get even more excited about an upcoming trip?
I'll be posting on my blog, too, most likely!

  Another venture out to paint, circa April, 2015… 

  This day we took the boat from San Feliciano out to one of the three islands. This was Isola Polvese, the largest of the three. We took advantage of a very nice day.

Johnny's massive amount of  'stuff' on the floor of the boat.

Looking for a good spot to set up, and unload the stuff.

  Once he's found a spot to paint, Johnny settles in. Ideally, the spot has several options, so he stays put in one place for a good amount of time.
  I remember taking a hike on this day…way over to the be achy area of this island. There were so many water birds and even fish right off the beach. The marshlands here are beautiful.

  I hope we can take a trip to the island on this upcoming visit, though we won't be there as long as usual….maybe go over late in the day. That would be nice…

  Anyway, back in Paint Land….

I have forgotten just how pretty it was that morning….

Kind of spectacular, right?

Here we go-

Capturing a moment.

  On this outing, we walked around the whole island, stopping here and there so Johnny could paint. It's so important to take advantage of the nice days. We were there March through mid May, and the early weeks are dicey, as far as weather goes. We can get days and days of wet and cold, but then…Gorgeousness!
  This was a gorgeous spell.

Where's my assistant?

Right behind ya, Bossman!
And BTW…There was a lunch promised sometime soon, right?

  Isola Polvese is so fine….lots of walking trails, an actual beach area, minimal development…but thankfully a bar…Also a very cool hostel with a small restaurant. 
  Also very cool…a couple of old ruins, which make for good painting subjects.

Keeping in the shade of some very old olive trees, Johnny works on a small gouache piece.

Part of why we had so much to carry. Two separate set-ups-
One for gouache, one for oils.

The ever handy "postcard" as painting tool….

  Our next spot Mr. J set up for oil painting again. 
  It was pretty warm by this time, and I remember that it was starting to get oppressive for us Central Coast inhabitants! 
  Johnny decided to do one more painting before the sun was too high and the light no longer good for working.
  It's either early in the day, or late in the afternoon. The midday sun just washes everything out, and the shadows are not as interesting. (It works for me, because this more often than not means a lunch break)

Looking towards the ruins of
the Monastero di San Secondo di Isola Polvese.
This is such a beautiful and serene spot to spend some time.

Shape and color.

Almost finished…..though already signed.

  The finished painting, below has one big difference. I love this part of watching Johnny's process. Here, he decides at the final moment to add some turquoise blue to the sky, including behind the 'window' of the old bellower. It makes a nice contrast to the warm colors.


  The lunch was pretty special, by the way…We lucked into a family style meal at the afore mentioned hostel. Pretty sweet!

 Stay tuned here, as well as on my Live Pronto blog. We''ll be posting while in Umbria and Venice in a week or or two. Can't wait!

For info on the lovely Lago Trasimeno and her Islands:

To stay in the area, we can't say enough good things about Katia, our dear friend and numero uno property manager!

Ci Vediamo A Presto, Carissimi!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Going Back, Getting Ready!

  Because this year is an odd numbered year, 2015, we will soon be on our way back to Italy. 
  Odd years=Venice Biennale, and if we are able, we go. This year, we go.
  For the first time, we've decided it would be just silly not to pop into Umbria, too, as long as we're so close. 

  Since it's getting close to "Go" time, I thought I'd kick on into blogging mode. 
  These are all pictures from this past spring, when we spent a couple of months at our home away from home in Umbria.
   Johnny did loads of paintings, and we have many spoken for and lots that we will be showing when we return later in the fall. He plans to do more in Umbria and Venice this trip, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we have an amazing show of gouache on paper works from both Umbria and Venice here in the gallery in the very near future.
  We'll keep you posted!

  Below, just a few days of normal life with an artist. 
  Painting throughout the surrounding countryside is a passion for Johnny. For me, it's joy…I walk, take photos, make short videos and just thank my lucky stars that I have this life.
  And that I get to share it with Johnny….

One of my favorite paintings from this spring.

In the fields below Panicale….

  I like it when Mr. J decides to set up in a place that might include a glass of wine. In this case, one of our favorite watering holes on the shores of Lago Trasimeno. 

Hard at work, poor fella.

Early phase of a gouache on paper work.

Time to sit back and enjoy the late afternoon light on the lake.

  Some days we don't go far at all. A walk around the town walls reveal so many painting opportunities. The views are amazing, and the light and color changes by the minute.
  Johnny will often set up to paint while I go into town to buy the ingredients for that evenings supper. It's pretty sweet for both of us.

Just hanging out in the local park.
Dig the view beyond…..
Johnny has often said he could paint here for the rest of his life. Sigh.

View over the fields towards Castiglione del Lago.

I am unable to resist.

  One of the very last paintings Johnny did this spring was the one below. 
  It's a painting of Ruth & Tonino's farmhouse, Sticky Farm, where magic seems to happen. Baby goats, organic veg, bees and honey, goat's milk soaps, copper lighting fixtures that blow minds….Like I said, magic.

It starts like this.

A few quick gestures of the hand and brush….

Finishing touches….

A trade for one of Tonino's wonderful copper light fixtures.
We are most happy!

  And it's all good. 

Can't wait, right?