Another View Volpaia Vineyard in October

Two months ago I started as oil painting based on a view of the vineyards below Volpaia. The 16th century hilltop village is home to a winery. We enjoyed a delicious lunch under the trees overlooking the surrounding landscape.

The food was wonderful. Yet it’s the landscape that I can still taste! So much so that yesterday’s pastel and today’s are both inspired by my recollection of it.

Frankly, I am surprised at how similar the two pastels are to each other. I am using both of them to finish work on my oil painting of the same view. I like the gestural calligraphy in this one. The other is more painterly. I am trying to capture both in the painting.

Tuscan landscape painting
October in Tuscany II, pastel, 9 x 12

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Palette Knife Painting

Tuscan Street Scene

This is a bit different from the Verdigris Portal I posted a few days ago. Though the doorway is just as mysterious.

Palette Knife Painting

Palette knife is a bridge between drawing and painting. As a pastellist, I enjoy the graphic immediacy of grabbing color and painting fast. Too much thinking about it interrupts the creator’s voice with junk in my head!

In this painting you can see my raw calligraphy. Gestural strokes and blocks of color all mixed together ON the panel. Rather that trying to get it right, carefully mixing and brushing things into perfect place. Feel how ancient and timeless we are.

daily painting
Village III, oil, 18 x 8

Palette knife is both painting and drawing implement for me. As you can see, I butter it on heavily then draw back into it with the sharp edge. There is something about the scraping, linear calligraphy etched into the surface that speaks volumes to how I feel about this village.

And I DO mean village in the larger sense. Enjoy!>

Muses of Tuscany Retreat>

Heart of Tuscany

Settling into a slower lifestyle here, I find myself fermenting images the way they do grapes. Rather than rushing around like a banshee with a plein air paint brush, I am letting images distill in my memory.

Some sink to the bottom, others float. Of the floaters, when I begin to taste one by memory, it’s time to paint. I napped for three days waiting. This is one that floated.

Heart of Tuscany
Val d’Orcia, oil, 11 x 14

Val d’Orcia is know as the heart of Tuscany. Sprawling expansive hills spread out as far as one can see, serpentine threads of cypress . A dream woke me to the realization that my painting is centered on color, abstract shapes juxtaposed.

This image’s abstract geometric structure seemed the perfect  opportunity to divorce myself from the responsibility of rendering a realistic landscape. Engaged in an invigorating game, color play like a game of checkers. If the sky is lavender the field is yellow, its compliment.

Within that, brilliant translucent yellow counters warm pinks. Lime green glows in the shadows against the same translucent warm yellow.  The game continues.

Warm purples counter warm yellow lights between the line of trees. Depth and playful light go hand in hand. Deep cool green shadows counter-balance tall cypress. Stop before freshness disappears.

I rather like that I think I see a human form in the landscape. Arms outstretched, legs and feet standing ~ or lying out in the landscape. That would be me.