Every artist who goes on holiday takes a bit of drawing or painting kit. Some do so with good intentions, but never make a mark; others try but family distractions preclude any significant creativity; a few manage to disappear and get stuck into some serious daub-making. For the first time I have found myself in the latter camp, able to spend glorious hours painting and drawing in this most beautiful part of Italy. Painting plein-air offers an artist that freshness and immediacy so elusive in studio work. Tone and colour can be seen for their true value and the local ambiance - heat, cold, wind, silence, added to hopefully give the work a bit of atmosphere. I've been churning them out, so here are a few from summer holiday to Italy, with delicious food, wonderfully friendly people and fine weather and fine architecture.
Armed with my brass paintbox, a selection of brushes and St Cuthbert's Mill Waterford paper, I spent as much time as I could trying to capture what the views and atmosphere around me. Painting in 35˚C heat. Used to painting in a more temperate climate, finding shade and dealing with paint which dried almost instantly was a challenge, and I could really have done with my small water spritzer to keep the paper moist and the paint moving. We all know that early morning and late evening present an artist with the soft, warm tones which bring alive a landscape, seen so often in the work of past masters. Living with reality and remembering that I'm not Turner, much of my efforts were painted in the stark light of the day, referring to the work of Andy Wood, Bob Rudd, Deborah Walker, Graham Berry and Richard Thorn, all of who's work includes mastery of painting in hard light. Enough words, here is a selection of paintings from the past couple of weeks.
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