Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Castllina was the closest town to where we were staying. It was tiny, with a few restaurants, wine shops, a few small markets, a gallery, and some small shops. It was a hilly town, with a parking lot down below the main street. It also had one of the most unusual outdoor restrooms I've every encountered. This Castellina doorway always caught my attention. It was uphill, off the main street. I was attracted to the variety of flowers against the wall. The colors were beautiful!
Every morning we would venture to some small Tuscan town, and I would paint. Of course, by the time we would reach some of the towns they had closed for their afternoon rest, and nothing except restaurants would be open. This painting titled "Rejuvination" was a small bar with lots of character. A "bar" in Italy is sort of like a deli here, selling sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. We were sitting in the hot sun by an apartment across the street. I love the green shutters against the brick building! They are so typically Italian.
On Monday we had a bit of snow (maybe 2 1/2 inches) here in NY. Of course they made a big deal out of a little bit of snow, even closing schools by me. I ran out and took a few photos so I could paint a winter scene with snow still on the trees. For this 7 x 10 painting I combined two photos to make one composition. I'm happy with the painting.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
This was also painted on the grounds of our agriturismo. Inside this building was a computer room for and a comfy room with a big screen tv for guests. Also there was an honor bar with bottles of wine and olive oil produced on the property. Both were excellent! The textured walls and the flowers were so beautiful. It was quite inspiring.
In Tuscany we stayed at an agriturismo (working vineyard and olive farm) just outside of Castellina in Chianti. It was named "Colle Lungo." There were several buildings containing apartments with views overlooking the vineyards. This 4 x 6 painting is of the staircase leading up to the parking area. Everything was built from beautiful textured greyish brick. Flowers were in boom everywhere. It was one of the most relaxing places I've ever stayed. I did quite a few paintings on the property, some of which I'll be including here.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I belong to WetCanvas, an online painting group (www.wetcanvas.com) . Each weekend they have a "Weekend Drawing Event". Someone hosts and provides photos to use. You can then use one (or all) of the photos to do a work in any medium of your choosing. I did an 11 x 15 watercolor. I really prefer using my own photos for my paintings. I think it gives me a greater connection to the subject, and then the painting comes out better. But I enjoy participating in the weekend event. It makes me try different subjects that I wouldn't usually paint.
We only spent one afternoon in Florence. This is a 4 x 6 painting done with watercolor crayons and one of those pens that you fill the barrel with water. I like the textural effect the crayons created. I used them rather than paints because I was leaning against a wall overlooking the river, and I was afraid my paints or brushes would fall. I didn't lose anything, luckily. This was my only painting in Florence.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
This small painting was done in pen & ink with watercolor. This was near the "old town" of Monterosso. You had to walk through a tunnel in the hillside. Here you could rent beach equipment for your day at the beach. The title of this painting is "Monterosso Harbor."
Our hotel in Monterosso was off the main street. When I woke up the next morning and opened the shutters to our room, this was the view. I stood at the window to paint this "Monterosso Villa." This again was one of my 4 x 6 paintings. I was starting to like painting on this size. It made it possible to capture more scenes because they could be done a little quicker.
Manorola is also very steep and rocky. Huge rocks surrounded the harbor and made a small cove where people were swimming. The houses were interesting pastel colors, all perched on the hillside. It was May and the water was surprisingly warm.
This is "Vernazza Harbor." I was sitting on a wall that extended down into the harbor. People were sunbathing and watching the fishing boats being loaded. The streets of the town are very steep. There are farms and vineyards balanced on the steep cliffs. You can hike between the towns of the Cinque Terre. From where I was sitting I could see the people along the trail, coming from Monterosso. We took the train instead. It was really a beautiful town with great food.
The Cinque Terre is composed of 3 small towns perched on the edges of cliffs along the Italian Riviera. We stayed in Monterosso, the largest of the 3 towns. "Il Fornaio" was a small restaurant along the waterfront. The umbrella, canopy, flowers, and the pinkish building captured my attention. The painting is 4 x 6.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
"Meandering in Venice" was painted while sitting on the steps of one of the bridges. While I was painting I heard this commotion behind me. Not wanting any of my supplies (which were mostly precariously balanced on my lap) to fall, I ignored it. I thought it was a crowd coming out of one of the glass factory that was in a nearby building. Later my husband told me that there had been a large group of Oriental people coming out of the building. They had stopped and were taking pictures of me while I was painting.