7 Rooftop Garden Paintings: Tuscany, Cinque Terre & Venice

I fell in love with backyard gardens in Tuscany

Every nook & cranny is an oasis awaiting cultivation

backyard garden painting of venice italy
Venezia Dream


Flowers cascade from every window sill and balcony. During my residency, I painted in Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Figline, Volterra, Florence, Cortona, and Venice.

The Perch by Dorothy Fagan
The Perch, detail

It was not until I returned home, that I began to see the Tuscan colors seeping into my palette. My palette softened and my eye for selecting what to paint focused in on gardens.

Rooftop Garden Paintings, Cinque Terre
Rooftop Garden Series


Clotheslines with fresh laundry hung in every nook and cranny excited my imagination. A special connection to warm-hearted Italian friends stirred with every breeze.

Rooftop Garden Paintings, Florence, Italy
The Awning


Each painting appears to me a dream. Each window represents a person, an opportunity of a new friend. Some windows spill flowers, open and prolific, others just peeking, a few closed to shade the light.

The Perch, Rooftop Garden Painting Series
The Perch, Rooftop Garden Painting Series ~ Cinque Terre


Each painting seems to tell a story, an imaginary tale. Who would live there? What would they be saying? Would they be smiling, asking questions, or what? Would I recognize them?

Rooftop Garden Paintings, Tuscany
Rooftop Garden

A gardener myself, I get the message. Plant joy, drip water, fertilize with love.

Village Blooming, Cinque Terre balconies blooming
Village Blooming, Cinque Terre balconies blooming

Poggio Alla Croce

Windows and doorways like eyes peeking out at me.

Village on thetHill
Village on the Hill
Villa Rossa, Balcony Garden painting series

Three Sisters

An open balcony beside three sisters tucked into a window niche, side by side in the sun. Me, myself, and I?

Village Trio, Venice Window Garden
Village Trio, Venice Window Garden

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Early One Morning

daily paintings
Early One Morning, oil, 6×6

This is a memory painting. One of my favorite places to walk (and paint) is at a nearby wildlife refuge called Bethel Beach. It is a narrow strip on sand out along the marsh on the Chesapeake Bay.

I have painted there for 16 years! I think I could paint it in my sleep! So much color matching ~ like a puppy synchronizing her heart beat with her mother. This painting is those color!


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Portal Verdigris

Daily Painting Tuscan Doorway ~ plein air oil painting retreat Italy

I love this door! My sisters call me ‘Dorr,’ so doorways have special meaning when they show up. I guess I am a portal!

daily painting
Village VI, oil. 10 x 10

I am slowly creating a whole series of doors, doorways and windows. What attracted me to this one was the iron scroll work in the rounded arch at the top. So many of the doorways in Tuscan buildings are understated. This really peaks my imagination about what is on the other side! I painted this one with a palette knife on cradled wood panel.

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