When I started this painting, it was not a sunset. I don’t even remember what it was, now that it is finished.
The title was already penciled on the back of the canvas and this got me wondering. What was it that got me started on this painting?
It was rolled up with some other paintings in the studio. When I returned from my retreat in Tuscany, I found myself thinking about it. I’d done some small cloud paintings in Italy and wished to explore the idea on a larger canvas.
“Painting dreams feels like layering thin veils of color ~ all sparkly inside.”
Unrolling it and another along with it, I clipped them both on boards and set them on easels, side by side. Like a dream, I don’t really remember the middle part. I only remember painting very thin veils of color, one after another, until the painting looked like this.
That’s the way dreams seem to me ~ very thin, translucent veils, wavering in my being. Only the present one is clear. Then it is replaced by the next, and so on.
Until finally, I can see them all like a prism ~ and I feel amazed and sparkly all inside.
A simply sublime view of Tuscany melted my heart the moment I arrived at our mountain top residence. Painting it repeatedly with each passing week, I return to dust of the earth. Literally and figuratively.
Twenty five years of painting in pastel merged with my oil paint brush in the process of painting this landscape. A dream I dared not express openly. Yet a yearning in my heart nonetheless.
During the years I worked solely in pastel, there was something special that happened with the stick of raw pigment in my hand. As if holding the earth itself, it’s charge ran through me to the page without a thought. Heart instinct.
Painting with a brush was different. Stop and think, how to mix. What to say. How to compose. Heart and hand challenged by this extension. Painting became an experiment.
Wasn’t it Edison who said he discovered 1000 ways NOT to create a light bulb? At least. Yet when it lights, it shines forever.
I began this series with two “experiments.” Tentatively painted with muted tones, two 5″ x 7″ oil paintings started this thread of discovery. I encourage any reader with the notion to try.
There is a villa on the mountain. We pass it every time we go to town to get supplies. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyard, it stands out in the landscape. Silhouetted against the sky, Tuscan colors envelope it as the sun sets.
I painted it from memory. Working from memory, the essence is distilled in paint.