How this Tuscany Landscape Captured a Dream

Coming home felt different this time. Coming home to my Virginia house on the pond for fifteen years ~  this time I feel at home in my own skin.

For the first time, my paint brush feels one with my hand. I had dreamed of this ~ of having my brush be an extension of my hand. I had this special connection with my pastels, no thinking what to say. I didn’t think that kind of fluency could come in a second language.

In Tuscany Jim drove us home from our excursions while I sat mesmerized in the passenger seat. Silhouettes along the ridge lines dotted every view. Week after week I studied cypress trees, sentinels along the mountain ridges. Top knot pines and ancient structures alternating between them, I painted each ridge in my mind’s eye.

Tuscany Landscape
On the Way Home, oil, 7 x 14

This week at home in Virginia, I picked my paint brush back up. Painting back into something that began at my home in Poggio Alla Croce, I let the memories flow.

Frankly I was having trouble finding words to describe my Tuscany experience. A visit with two of my sponsors helped me find some. Groping for words, illusive structures in midst of conversation, we bantered around the edges. After they left I sat down with the paint brush.

Rather than working from photos or sketches, I painted from memory. I started in the mist at the distant ridge. I painted the sky, then began distinguishing the next line of trees in the far off distance.

As I painted I felt myself dissolving into Tuscany again. A feeling of awe and peace filled me. Colors in the foreground worked their way into the dark shadows of the closest trees. Playing with the shapes of the top knot pines I felt joy. Simple. No reason. Just joy.

On the Way Home captures my journey ~ finding my way home to the essence of my artistic vision. ~ to joy. This is what I wanted to find in Tuscany. Thanks to two dear admirers who took the time to engage in conversation with me yesterday ~ I am able to find words to write about a painting our conversation inspired.

And thank you also to all the muses who inspire me every day. Each conversation. Every interaction a blessing. As I continue painting and writing over the next few months ~ to let the joy be shared and multiplied.

Tuscany Landscapes

View the Tuscany Landscape Paintings>

St. Claire’s Basilica at Assisi

Assisi sits on a hill. The surrounding landscape is flat ~ and beautiful. Especially in the late afternoon sunlight. Assisi is located in Umbria ~ today. However in ancient times Tuscany ~ Etruscan civilization ~ covered the region all the way to Rome.

This painting is inspired by this landscape. The light. And St. Claire.

St. Claire's Roof Top garden at San Damiano
St. Claire’s Roof Top garden at San Damiano

She was accepted and championed by St. Francis. She started the Little Sisters of the Poor at the monestary at Assisi. We visited her room and roof top garden in Assisi.

I’d like to think that her spirit is woven into this interpretation of her landscape. I guess the fact that she was a gardener has me feel a strong connection to her.

St. Claire's Basilica at Assisi, oil, 16 x 20
St. Claire’s Basilica at Assisi, oil, 16 x 20
detail, St. Claire's Basilica at Assisi
detail, St. Claire’s Basilica at Assisi
detail, St. Claire's Basilica at Assisi
detail, St. Claire’s Basilica at Assisi
St. Claire's a;tar at San Damiano
St. Claire’s a;tar at San Damiano


San Gimignano Abstract Landscape

San Gimignano is the Tuscan hill town known for it’s towers. I was more interested in the wonderful panoramic landscape surrounding San Gimignano. The towers do make a great crown on the horizon!

San Gimiano Vineyard, oil, 11 x 14
San Gimignano Vineyard, oil, 11 x 14

This painting evolved with my time here. It began as a wash drawing. As my ideas about painting Tuscany fermented, so did my brush work. The last few strokes of the painting are palette knife. I rather like where we ended up.

Details below

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