Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Assisi, Italy: Painting in the Piazza de Santa Chiara

As I mentioned in this post, Assisi was hot this summer.  We could not stay out in the Comune all day, so we had to search for places with shade.  In a way, this turned out to be a good thing as we visited parts of Assisi that we missed last year.

We found the perfect place to do our morning painting session:  the Piazza de Santa Chiara.  Santa Chiara is a huge church with a lovely square as well as a beautiful vista that we had such fun painting.  Most important, the church is so large that we had shade from the building until about 1pm.

We came over here nearly every morning.  The square was a fun place to be.  There were many people visiting the church, school groups putting on performances, tons of fun shops and, most surprising of all, an angel!

This is the landscape looking out from the piazza.  It was beautiful and I did three paintings there.  I did two landscapes that were just small studies, but I did finish a painting that I actually like.  Very unusual for me with outdoor painting.

The photo above is the view that I painted.  It was not easy given all the perspective, but luckily I had time to work on it.  That does not always happen outdoors so it made things much easier for me.

This was my initial block in.  Getting that perspective right was not easy, but with time (and a t-square), I was able to get it done.  After that the sky and the mountains went in.

This was my second day working on the painting.  It was so warm that the paintings dried over night, making it very easy to continue on the next day.

Here is the finished painting on the easel in my studio.  I decided to sign this one, something I never do with my outdoor studies, but I'm very happy with the way this painting turned out.

As I mentioned, while we were in the piazza painting, there was a lot happening.  One of my favorite things about Assisi is that at any moment a singing, musical or dance group will just show up and start performing.  One day a school dance group came by and they were great.  Everyone in the piazza, including us, stopped what they were doing to watch them.

And my favorite part of the square:  the angel.  She was there every morning at the same time we were painting and she would come over to see what we were working on.

Here she is with one of my landscapes.

This was her little set up in the piazza.  In the photo above the three men talking to her were bikers, but this being Italy, they were very fashionable bikers!  She would talk to you for a few minutes and then write out a piece of advice on a card.  We gave her a few Euros one day for writings, and then on our last day she came over to us with a writing for each of us as a gift.  She told us she liked having us around because having artists work in the piazza brought good energy to the place.  I'm not a religious person, but I told her we felt the same way about her.  She definitely had a very intuitive/good energy vibe and I could feel it.

We had a such a  fun time painting here and I hope I get to do it again someday.  

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