The photographic reference for this pastel painting came during a train trip from Rome to Venice and I know it was from north of Florence, but I am not sure how far north. The entire trip was wonderful for seeing the lush fields and vendor carts. This is my homage to them.
This was the beginning of the piece, prior to a water floated underpainting.
I took many reference photos out a bus, ferry, taxi, or train; often times it was out the other side of the transportation. This one was like that through a bus's window into a glowing Campania valley.There were so many levels and layers to the landscape that I chose to use a different style to show it. Call it elongated pointillism ... over a watercolor underpainting on UArt 500.
Okay, I did manufacture the cloud, so Naples Sun is not the only painting with a cloud, but it is the only genuine one.
A pair with Naples Fresh, Naples Sun depicts several buildings which could boast of laundry billowing in the breeze and drying in the heat. It also has the pleasure of having my only cloud in the whole series. Anyone looking at my blog knows how I love to paint a cloud!
Naples is a port city. It reminded me of an old woman with beautiful bones, but past her time. The living accommodations also seemed to limit space for appliances ... to my benefit. There was laundry everywhere!
The reference photo for Linee Electriche was taken early one morning as we traveled by bus from Rome to Naples and Pompeii; it is from the Campania Region.
There are many sorts of lines, not all hold laundry. I especially like that this painting shows adjacent electric towers, one with lines closer to a mountain ridge and heading deep into a valley. Just like laundry lines, they run every which way.
From a photo I took in Burano, Italy, a small island known for their lace industry, colorful houses, and fishermen, this pastel painting is a play on what colors you'll find in Burano. Instead of the emphasis being on a colorful house, the emphasis is on the colorful laundry I found there instead.
All referencing my own photography from August 2011, some of my paintings for this exhibit are charming miniatures which have nothing or everything to do with laundry! The photo basis for this one came from our trip the airport, which is primarily accessible via water taxis, beautiful wooden powerboats which zoomed along within these structures as guidance.
The painting's title salutes Venice's origins, the marshes, which still exist at its edges.
My first Featured Artist exhibit at The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill St in Occoquan is called "Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy" and runs from December 6 through December 30.
You are invited to my opening, which will be officially from 1-4p on Saturday, December 10, and will feature Italy-inspired food and live violin music. Unofficially, the reception will begin before noon; come around 11:30 to get your free ticket in the Occoquan $1000 in gift certificates drawing at noon.
The exhibit marries my two loves: I use my own photographic references as the basis for pastel vignettes of this highly intimate subject, laundry, found hanging in southern, central, and northern Italy. It's been a labor of love, so come out and see this collection of pastels.
Come by the Workhouse in December for the continuing W-16 Associates Small Works ShowS. Yes, that "S" means the show will change over each month and the next time is on December 7.
Sales can walk, so we will back fill to keep the gallery freshly stocked. Come early, as these little pretties go fast. Check out the new gift shop in W-16, too, which also features small works as well as other gift items created by Workhouse artists!
Much of my work is done en plein air, French for "in the open air." People often associate it with the Impressionists, but the move to paint outside preceded them by a number of decades. The trend to appreciate landscapes as a genre at all was new for the time.
Several characteristics contribute to the distinctive beauty of en plein air painting. They are generally smaller in size in order to be able to capture a scene in a single sitting. Because of the time limit and environmental factors such as the sun and shadows moving, they often lack extensive details and might appear slightly fuzzy or unfinished. Lastly, they tend to have a freshness and spontaneity which makes them impossible to compare to traditional and methodological studio work. That said, my own studio work tends toward the same feel as en plein air, which then identifies my overall style: softness with an edge.
My aim when painting en plein air is for alla prima paintings, which roughly translates for me as "what happens outside, stays outside." It adds another level of difficulty to the work.
These are some local places for landscape painting; most are within an hour of the Beltway. Look here for the complete album, a couple hundred views from my photography collection, which are mapped here.