10/7/08

MEMORIES

This sunlit facade near a lake in Italy caught my eye a couple of weeks ago. We were traveling in northern Italy and spent that day on small Lake Orta, in a charming town chock full of paintings ready to be painted. Six of us were on a journey to explore and enjoy one of the most beautiful areas of the world.

We sat down to paint on the back stoop of an old but beautiful building, surrounded by a cobblestone street, and spent over two hours trying to create what we'd been experiencing. Below you can see my interpretation that day of the photo above.

The work in progress here shows the point when I didn't like how the painting was going. It looked too 'coloring bookish,' so I took a one inch brush and washed water over the whole thing. Of course, the darker areas bled a little but the overall effect helped soften and tie the painting together better. I threw some table salt on and let it dry.

At that point, I was thinking the picture was a lost cause even though the day was wonderful. I put it aside. However, that night, pen and ink worked its magic on the painting and really helped it along.

A few days later, I gave the finished pen and ink watercolor to Laura, who owned the villa where we were to stay while we were in Varenna on Lake Como. I think she really liked it.

I plan to paint this scene again, spending more time on the drawing and composition and focus on the things that made me want to paint it in the first place. While we were in Italy, I painted many days, completing about a dozen small paintings. But once we got to Venice, all painting ceased as I immersed myself in the incredible beauty there. I have enough photos to paint from for a couple of lifetimes and memories to last forever.

"LAURA'S GIFT" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches, 12 x 9" COLLECTED

8 comments:

Myrna said...

It's a beautiful little image and what a wonderful experience plein air painting in exotic locals! I am jealous. I can't wait to go back to Italy.

poffey4 said...

Glad you're back safely...Can hardly wait to read about and see the visuals of your adventure...I am envious.

Lynne

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Thanks for all the detail surrounding this charming image of Italy. I must get there one day - been saying that for a century!! Love the salt effect - what did you do - pop into the nearest cafe for it??

RHCarpenter said...

Looking forward to seeing many of your painting on location in Italy. This lovely little painting is just a beginning taste that leaves you wanting more more more...

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thnkas, everyone, for the comments. And Joan, I kept the packet of salt we got on our Delta flight over to Italy to use on a painting. Very handy.
More to come.

Dawn said...

So very cool your being right there! lovely painting Sandy!

Ann Buckner said...

Welcome home Sandy! It sounds like you had a truly marvelous adventure and am looking forward to reading and seeing more of your take on Italy. This is a gem of a painting and a lovely gift for your hostess.

Nava said...

Nothing says "Italy" like those green shutters and red geraniums. These paintings bring me back to Tuscany!