Paint with Dorothy at a restored 15th Century villa on a spectacular 2500 acre estate between rocky coastline, beaches, thermal spas, Monte Amiata, and archaeological sites …
Dorothy Fagan Colorist Expressionist Painting in Tuscany
Known for her vibrant oil and paste palettes, and expressive calligraphy with drawing, mixed media, and watercolor ~ Dorothy Fagan invites you to energize your signature style in Tuscany.
Absorb the Tuscan colors into your palette. Fuse la dolce vita with your brush strokes. Paint with Dorothy at a restored 15th Century villa on a spectacular 2500 acre estate between rocky coastline, beaches, thermal spas, Monte Amiata, and archaeological sites …
My heart is breaking for these kids at the school in Florida. Watching the violent attack on the news, rattled me to the core. I can’t get it off my mind. How many young people, 3,000 at that one school alone, were traumatized. We have a whole generation of young people growing up in a war zone.
Watching them, I felt my own traumas flooding back all over again. And it makes me keenly aware of just how much healing this generation of young people will need. How to even begin?
I received an email from a fellow artist this morning, Brainard Carey writes, “We face the reality of another school shooting in the US, the 18th, by expert accounts, in the calendar year. That’s a rate of over 2.5 per week so far in 2018. Atrocities against children. As we all struggle to deal with this latest disruption of our already fragile sense of security, art can offer a path to healing for so many.
“Art is a language through which that which cannot be spoken is portrayed. Art heals, it exposes, it decries and demands. Art disturbs and disrupts our comfort zones and requires that we re-calibrate how we encounter the world.
“As an artist, you are the voice box, so to speak, of a world that is full of indescribable cruelty. You bring beauty and truth, you offer an unedited look inside the mess that is humanity.
“The responsibility you carry is great. The burden is heavy. Do not leave the details that may be an obstacle to getting your message out to the world to chance. Find the path to optimum exposure and pursue it relentlessly.
“Absorb your community and let it absorb you, dive deep in the waters of those who share your spark and passion. Let them hold you up as you, in turn, hold them up. No one with a message so powerful that it compels them to follow a career path as precarious as this can possibly exist without a village. Find yours and hold tight.
“Make art that speaks loudly to your journey, your beliefs, your convictions, and to the way you want to see the world changed forever. Do not for one moment let anyone tell you that this is an impossible endeavor. Find a way. Insist.
“As we reel in the losses that will become more clear over the coming days, it is impossible to ignore how fleeting life itself really is. What are you waiting for? Do it today. Take charge and make your future one that you want to live. Make it count. Fall and fail but do not give up.
“Remember the words of George Bernard Shaw:
“A life spend making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
“Do something. Your moment is now.”
Something clicked into place as I read his last words. Immediately I knew what to do with the paintings on my easel. Unlike anything I’ve painted before, this new series is colorful, whimsical, and joyful.
The titles are longer than ever before. Titles like, “Prayers Go Up, Stars Light the Sky”, and “Falling Stars Wash Dreams Ashore,” and “My Heart Rising Radiates Passion & Dreams.” And the posters and wall decals with those prayers and artwork that have been floating in my mind ~ suddenly have a destination and purpose.
Waking up in Provence I felt as though I was dreaming. Jet lagged I’d slept ’til 6, stepped onto the balcony ~ “I must be in someone else’s life!”
The garden below beckoned with aquamarine water and quiet seclusion.
I slipped on a suit and into the pool.
Floating alone, I wondered at the magic that brought me here.
Hollyhocks bobbed their deep fuschia heads above me. Sun-drenched clouds washed the Cerulean sky with light.
The first paintings were as dreamy and washed as lavender itself.
A good nights sleep didn’t make my trek to the lavender fields any less dream-like. Expecting vibrant purple filled fields ~ instead I discovered internet photos over saturated. A little past peak, like myself, lavender felt delicate and light.
The fragrance too, wafted in and out of awareness. Like the dream, illusive and uncertain.
After 35 years of painting with opaque mediums, Provence inspired my first works in watercolor. I opted for a pack of postcards and thin washes of paint when the sun proved to be just too hot to paint at the easel with oil paint. Sitting instead at a cafe table waiting for lunch to be served, I stuck the brush in a vase of water and began what was to become my “new direction.”
Later in my residency, I began experimenting with washes of oil paint thinned with turpentine. I picked up some willow charcoal and drew back into the wet paint, fusing the two media. By the end of my six week stay, things were feeling a bit more solid.
As I added pastels to the mixture of media, the paintings took on a more robust appearance. Controlling the new palette became difficult and winter gave me a time to dial back a few notches and work with earth tones.
Painting over top of the winter version, I lit into the palette with fresh spring colors the following spring. It sat for awhile in a half-way state, waiting for me to catch up and wrap my head around all the changes.
I wouldn’t have known that this painting was part of this collection at all, had it not been for a friend who came by the studio and pulled it out of my stack.
Of course when a painting gets pulled out and put near my easel it gets re-evaluated by my overly critical eye. And that’s exactly how this one got finished one last time. One or two last colours ~ well, I like it much better now.