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.