Sunday, July 27, 2014

Inspired By Italy: My Painting Adventure In Assisi

Hello Everybody!!  I'm so glad to be back.  I hope all of you are enjoying the summer.  I just returned from a visit to Assisi, Italy.  I was there on a painting trip with my teacher, Gregg Kreutz, and some other students.  To say I had a great time would be a major understatement.  We painted every day with the exception of the day we arrived.

Assisi is one of the hill towns of central Italy and is best known as the birth place of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, the environment and Italy.



Upon arriving I went exploring around town.  This is down the hill from the hotel where I stayed.  Assisi is one of Italy's hill towns.  Going down is fine, but sometimes you need a cab for the way back up!



As I continued walking under the arch, I came upon this scene.  There was a little observation area that looked out over these beautiful fields.  It seemed that no matter where I looked there was something beautiful.



The next morning it was painting time.  Our hotel has a terrace that is as big as my apartment so we set up out there for the first painting day.


This is the view I was looking at when I began painting.  I had never painted roof tops before, but it went surprisingly well.

Here is my start.  I blocked in everything and then began painting the sky.  In a landscape painting, the sky is the background, so I always start with that first.



I then moved on to the houses.  The roof tops had the most light on them, so that took awhile to complete, but it just meant putting multiple coats of paint on the canvas until the painting looked the way I wanted it to.


This is the finished painting.  I was happy to complete a painting on the first day, especially one with so much perspective.

To cap off the evening, the hotel set up a huge screen to show the World Cup finale.  A few of us watched it along with the hotel employees.


So that caps off my first two days in bella Italia.  It was the trip of a lifetime and I'm so glad I was able to paint there and explore the lovely town of Assisi.  I have many more pictures to show you, so I will have a few more posts with paintings and pictures of the city.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ch-Ch-Changes

Hi Everyone,

I hope all of you are enjoying the summer.  I've been very busy painting and working on my updating project.  This weekend I finished two more paintings.

I originally began work on this painting last October.  I painted it on and off but after letting it sit for a few months, I realized it needed something more before I could call it done.



This was the original set up.  The finished painting bears no resemblance to this.  Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to document the process, so I'll just show you the finished painting.

The Purple Flowers, 12x16, oil

Everything on the canvas has been done for months with the exception of the flowers.  I knew I wanted to add something to the top half of the painting, and when I was wandering around the farmers market this past Saturday, I spotted these gorgeous purple stems and knew they would do the trick.

Next, I finally finished this still life that I have been working on for years.  Yes, I originally painted this about five years ago, but as I gained more knowledge I realized that it needed some work.  Even after I repainted it I was still not happy.  I just couldn't get the green bottle the way I wanted it.



This was the first re-do, but I was just not happy with the bottle.  The light green just did not work for me.  I let the painting sit for awhile, then luckily I happened upon a great dark green bottle.  You know me, I painted the old one right out and now the painting is finally finished.

The Genie Bottle, 16x20, oil


I am so happy with both of these paintings now.  Some paintings just flow off of your brush, but others take time and I've learned that there is nothing wrong with that.  When the right elements showed up, everything clicked into place.