Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Painting Near Lisciano Niccone 2016

  More painting in Umbria.
  Here, I am in a nearby valley on a side road. The trees were still bare, though now, a week or so later, things are changing.

  Searching for farmhouses. I've been interested in design aspects of the buildings.

These paintings are small, so simplicity is the key here.

Starting a second painting in this spot.

  I bought some small rolled up pieces of canvas at Zecchie, in Florence. I am taping these pieces to cardboard, then painting.

Working quick, sketching in.

Adding color.

Perfect time of day.

A peaceful valley, without much traffic.

  This ended up a pretty picture, but I'm still searching for my main goal.
  But I like it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Painting The Panicale Skyline 2016

  Painting below Panicale, it's just me, Janelle, and a chicken…my latest critic.

  Set up at a nice view point off the road.
  My usual approach is to quickly cover the entire surface of the panel or canvas.
  The point for me is to try to capture a certain drama, a high point of activity, tension, or action.
  As I have said before, the secret is to imbue some form of passion. Not just any passion, but a direct reaction to the subject. Direct from the moment, and direct from my many years experience painting in oils.

  It is just a simple picture, but is also this particular moment. A kind of celebration of this moment. The artist has to decide many things: what to leave in, what to leave out…But I prefer to be quiet, work diligently, and let the painting 'paint itself'.
  If I can do this, maybe a good painting will emerge.

  Again, this is just "my" painting process.

Work, further along.

   An important part of all this process of painting  'en plein air' in beautiful Italy, is to store INSPIRATION for the time back home in my studio.
  Artists have been doing this for centuries, following a common thread to experience the land of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and from this area of Italy, Perugino…Raphael's Master.
  The Grand Tour continues, and I feel honored to playing my part in this long standing tradition.

  At home in the studio, I will endeavor to translate these small paintings into something larger scale using a modern language, to contrast the tone of this ancient land.
  This my chosen work.
  I am a very lucky artist.

These small paintings are like notes, or notations to myself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Two Outings / One Day

  First sunny day in a week.
  Still early March, cold, but I have to get out and paint a little bit.

Looking for a spot off the road, morning light.

  Last time I painted plein-air was here in Umbria last spring, so I am itching to get out and paint .

About to get started.

A very pretty, poetic setting.

  These panels I purchased in Rome are new for me, but they are standard european gesso on birch panels. Really beautiful, and beautiful to work on.
  I started with these small ones, but I think I'll buy some larger ones either in Florence, or perhaps Cortona has them.

My set up in the field.

It's a simple thing, really, but forty years of painting experience
hopefully, will make it special.

  Late in the afternoon, same day, another long view.
  A long view of the lake next to a vineyard near a small village, Vaiano.

Dropped pencils and pens caught Janelle's eye.

Late afternoon long shadows made for a fun shot.


  The short videos speak for themselves.

A finished "Painted Poem".

Monday, March 14, 2016

First Oil Painting Italy/2016

  My 'Car Trunk Studio'. Panels purchased in Rome, great art supply store near the Pantheon,
  "Poggi g. Ditta", a favorite stop for me.
   Also bought somethings in Florence at "Zecchi" art supply. Another favorite.
  Cardboard box from the local alimentari (small shop that sells all things), home made panel holders I made from cardboard and tape. Every useful cigar box. Good to go.

  It's been almost too cold to paint outdoors, but had to get started.
  Found a pull out on a country road with a great view of an old castle/tower.

Started with a pencil sketch.
So happy to bring my paint box from home
for the first time.

Old paint becomes a bed for new paint.

  The grey day and cold weather informed my color choices for this day's work.

Janelle takes the photos. I paint.
A good collaboration.

Pure magic.

Building up the image.

Getting acquainted anew with my art supplies.
I leave all these here with friends.
New blue smock from the local farm center.

First painting done.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting Started: Umbria 2016

  Since we've been here for a few days, Johnny has been ready to start working…but the weather has not been cooperating.
  Today it looked like there would be some good breaks of sun during the day, so we headed out to one of our favorite areas to get some time in.

  It was still so cold, and a little wet, that we parked and he did some drawing from the car...

This is how it works, sometimes.

When all else fails, park somewhere with subject matter to draw.

  The sun did come out, with amazing clouds all around. After enjoying a picnic lunch break in the car, we headed to a small village nearby to sit in the sun and Johnny was able to continue working.

  Each new drawing is basically an adventure in self awareness as an artist, says Johnny. The art process never ends, thankfully.


Using my hand as a paper towel...

  After a few drawing sessions, it's break time.