Built in the 12th Century, San Galgano is home to a knight who hung up his sword. More accurately he stuck it in a stone and never picked it back up.
Guilango had two visions of the Archangel Michael. In the first, Michael told Galgano he would protect him. In the second, Galgano followed him to Monte Siepi to meet the Creator and his twelve Apostles.
Transformed, Galgano planted his sword as a cross and lived the rest of his life a pious hermit. The church was built around his sword. Galgano was cannonized by the Catholic Church four years after his death in 1181.
The evening prior to our visit to San Galgano, we watched the supermoon rising from our mountain top village. It seemed a perfect compliment to the vision of San Galgano.
Today I painted this the way I wanted to see it! My springboard of inspiration was a photo I took in Cortona. The photo was dark and uninteresting. What interested me was the possibility of light slicing into the dark shadows between the buildings.
So the painting began with a question. Can I use purples to light up the shadows and let warm sunlight wash in between the cracks?
I began with the silhouettes of the dark roof tops, then the shadowed sides of the small buildings in between. A jig-saw puzzle of shapes, I changed their shapes a bit to accommodate my canvas.
Yes, it’s ok to do that, it’s called artistic license. Writers call it editing. Whatever it’s called, interpretation is the responsibility of the artist.
I don’t know how we got lost in thinking we have to tell the truth in art. There is no truth but in one’s heart. What is true for one, is not for another.
Honoring what’s in the heart at any given moment, allowing it to flow like water, in any color emotion is felt. That is art which gives life.
The warmth and generosity of our Italian hosts is seeping into my palette like fermented Chianti grapes. Full bodied and richly colored, watercolor paint never looked like this from my formerly timid brush.
A traditional Tuscan dinner with guests from Canada and Scotland last night fermented us in the true spirit of Tuscan life. Pheasant Stew with Olives, handmade Florentine Ravioli with Butter Sage, local herbs and sausage antipasti served with gusto and laughter. Can you feel it in the painting? A delicious and colorful evening with new found friends. Gratzi!