Power of Emotion = Passion

Contemporary Expressionism

Expressionist Practices

Plein air painting is the equivalent of doing exercises to keep in shape. Then when you need power, strength and endurance ~ it’s at your fingertips.

AUTUMN TREE PAINTINGS
Golden Beauty, oil on linen, 20″ x 16″ PURCHASE>

While I enjoy plein air painting, it’s not always practical to do so. This painting, for example, is inspired by weeks of driving around Tuscany drooling over the stunning autumn colors.

Most of the time, I was sitting shotgun while Jim drove. Better I am free to oogle out the window and let someone else stay out of the way of Italian drivers!

“The power of emotion equals passion!”

Sparkling blue turquoise skies in October dazzled me with their deep intensity. Golden leaves ranging from bright yellow and ochre to greenish gold, orange, vermilion, and bronze ~ created a magical flickering tapestry across the sky. I couldn’t wait to paint it!

Find Out About my Creativity Retreats in Tuscany & Virginia

abstract tree paintings
My block in for Golden Beauty began with a big brush and all the emotion I felt from the colors.

My block in began with the biggest brush I had and the biggest canvas, which was a 20″x 16″ piece of linen. I moved quickly, as if signing my signature, to capture how I felt in that moment.

Then I set it aside to dry.

One doesn’t just pull off the side of the A-1 and set up a plein air easel. That would be like trying to paint in the median on I95! Even parking in some of the hilltop villages, space was often at a premium.

After years of exercising my plein air brush hand, I opted to paint from memory instead. Back in the Tuscany studio, I called on all those plein air paintings I have done in the past thirty years ~ and used the power of my emotion at my fingertips!

I came back to the painting several times, each time finding yet another layer of emotion at my fingertips.

Expressionism, in my way of thinking, is working in a way which always insures my feelings are raw and authentic.

What do you think? Can you FEEL the emotion in the painting? How does it feel to you?

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Is Passion Missing? Five Steps to Recover Your Passion

Is Passion Missing?

I thought living in Overwhelm was Normal, until I recovered my passion for living on a retreat in Tuscany

One of the things I love most about Tuscany is the color.

Though one thinks first of verdant green fields with winding roads, being there in the fall is more about vibrant gold, bronze, and crimson.

abstract landscape paintings
Rain on the Mountain, oil on linen, 16″ x 20″

1. Ripening

In September the landscape in Tuscany turns from verdant green to gold. When we arrived September 10th, the transformation was just beginning.  Subtle at first, I painted ‘Rain on the Mountain’ en plein air, overlooking the Arno River Valley (Val d’Arno.)

There’s something about a rainy day, so peaceful. All the subtleties of life are magnified. Like meditating, painting helped me find stillness.

Not one to sit still, I had gotten sick upon arrival. It turned out to be a blessing. I stopped trying to do what I thought I was going to do in Tuscany ~ and just rested!

2018 Tuscany Retreat>

tuscany landscapes watercolor
Vineyard on the Hill, watercolor, 4.75″ x 7.5″   See the Watercolors>

2. Reluctant, yet Willing

Reluctant at first, I played with tiny watercolors in my sketchbook. The Creative Spirit within massaged my spirits with gentle flow.  Day by day I recovered stamina.

All the while that judge in my head kept going on about, ‘what will I do with these?” I ignored him, for the most part, and continued painting. Though his rant continued ~ gradually he faded away and my passion came into focus.

As my sketchbooks filled up, I found myself wishing for more ~ larger paper. We’d planned to go to Cortona, to procure some at the little art supply shop. Alas, I got sick again.

A week later I had enough stamina to ride to Cortona and walk up the hill to the little shop and purchase three blocks of Magnani Toscana watercolor paper; the largest a whopping 41 x 31 cm!

tuscan landscape watercolor
View from Cortona, watercolor, 9″ x 12″   See the Watercolors>

3. Wrapped in Ethereal Light & Colors

The view from Cortona was ethereal. I sat down on a park bench in the piazza and painted it. Gentle colors with lots of white space wrapped me. Soothed,  my eyes wandered inspired to paint another. My body said, ‘get back in the car you’ve done enough for today.’

Sad, yet unlike the woman I once was, I followed instructions and returned to the car. Jim drove us home to Poggio Alla Croce. I took a nap.

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tuscan landscape watercolor
My Place in the Sun, watercolor, 9″ x 12″  See the Watercolors>

 

4. Harvest Time & All is Ripe

On my last day in the village, Dario took me down into the olive grove to walk and paint in the landscape I’d painted from the mountain.

It was very late in the afternoon on the last day of October. Shadows were long. Time short.

I set up the easel facing the last remaining pools of sunlight. Painting as quickly as possible, I wished only capture that precious moment with Dario.

Turquoise paint already saturated in my palette from earlier in the day, spread intensely the moment my brush touched the page. As if signing my name . . .

“Oh wow!” I felt the rush of energy.

Grabbing another color I followed the Creator’s flow of instructions. Next thing I knew, it stopped.

“Oh my, I have time for another!”

See the Watercolors>

RED TREE PAINTINGS
Red Oak, oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″, PURCHASE INFO> PRINTS>

5. At Home Wow!

Returning to Virginia, a painting I’d started two years before begged for something more. Complying, I put her on the easel and stepped back for further instruction.

Relieved to have my big palette, big studio, and big canvases in front of me once again ~ I mixed up the vibrant autumn crimsons, vermilions, golds, bronzes, and sparkly cobalt blues.

One by one, I felt them ‘wow!’

Through watercolor and oil sketches, the flow of color revitalized my palette and my life.

Now I wake each morning before the sun rises. I am filled with energy and passion for whatever surprising ‘wows’ the day brings. And I sleep well, spent when the sun sets.

Tuscany Retreat>

Stir Up Your CreativSOUP>

Red trees painting
Red Oak, oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″, Shown over leather sofa, available on Wayfair.    PURCHASE PAINTING> PRINTS>

Sunday in Lucca

Plein air painting in Lucca

What a joyful day we had in Lucca! October colors, warm weather, my best friend in the world at my side. What could be better?

lucca italy painting
Sunday in the Piazza, watercolor, 12″ x 9″, PURCHASE INFO>

Jim took this pic of me painting in the square.

plein air painting in Tuscany watercolor
Addicted to watercolor, I had a blast letting it all flow!

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