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!
We live in a visual world. Visual images draw heart-felt responses. Without words or thought, the process is instantaneous. Heart beats faster, pulse quickens.
Yet we are taught not to trust it. Stop and think, consider all other alternatives. Question everything. In the process of due diligence, hearts disconnect.
The purpose of art is to reconnect head and heart. When the two work in unison, conflict dissolves. This painting is a tiny, yet perfect example. My first try at it, I labored to make it “true” to what I saw with my eyes. Not satisfied I took another stab.
Painting back into it I forgot about trying to make it look like something important and accurate. Instead I painted my “memory” of the landscape. The “real” landscape I had seen became merely my jumping off point for an opportunity to wander around in my imagination. Folly? Unproductive? A waste of time?
My heart’s colors spilled onto the painting. Acceptance of the way it is, in that singular moment, a precious experience of head and heart in unison. Though a short duration of 15 minutes, the experience fulfills something extremely important to any human being.
To be accepted for all that I am and all that I am not, in any single moment of the day, is a special gift I can give myself. One which helps me be there for my friends and family in ways I never could.