Saturday, October 3, 2015

Assisi, Italy: Painting the Via del Pozzo Della Mensa

As I mentioned in this post, the temperature was quite hot this summer in Assisi.  Therefore, we could not hang out all day in our beloved Comune.  We had to find alternative places to paint.  This turned out to be a good thing as we discovered a bunch of new places to paint and new restaurants to visit.

We quickly realized that for our afternoon painting sessions, we would have to find sites that were as cool as possible.  After a bit of walking around, we realized that we could paint in some of the many small tunnels that are all over Assisi.  Somehow we missed seeing these last year, but we were so lucky to have found them as having shade enabled us to paint during the crazy heat wave that was engulfing all of Europe.

This was the temp for most of our visit.  102 degrees every day!  It was insane.  Luckily, Assisi is very dry, so we did not have to deal with the crazy humidity that we have here in New York.  But we did have to be very careful to drink a lot of water and stay out of the sun.

We actually found our first tunnel because we saw a sign for an air conditioned restaurant and while walking out of there after lunch, we found ourselves on the Via del Pozzo Della Mensa.

It looks like a small alley, but this is actually a road with homes on each side.  The residents of the street were lovely and they were so excited to have artists painting outside their homes.  One of the many things I love about the people of Italy is how supportive they are of artists.

As you can see, this road is not very wide and we just assumed it was a pedestrian walkway that the residents on the block used.  We were wrong.  Cars, including an SUV and a small garbage truck, came down the street at least once or twice each painting session.   We had to grab our easels and jump into a doorway!  It was actually kind of fun and just one of those crazy things that happen when you are painting outside.  

We painted in this spot three afternoons.  I had no problem getting in the buildings, the tunnel and the shadows, but as you can see, getting the correct perspective of the road took some work.  It was not as simple as just having the lines meet at a vanishing point as the road had to take the viewer into the tunnel.  After a few tries and some help from Gregg, I got it done.

My finished study
This is my finished study.  I would love to turn this into a large painting at some point.  I have never tried that before, but I may with this one.

This was the view facing out of the tunnel.  You can see how hot it was, but we were so fortunate to have the shade.  We had a lovely time in this spot.  I hope I get to paint there again someday.

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