Cortona in the Afternoon ~ Soft Light

A second visit to Cortona was far different than our first. A month ago, the streets hummed with colorful tourists. Gelato dripped. Hats and flags filled the town with festive activities.

This week we had the restaurant to ourselves. Sun dipped behind the clouds, leaving little shadow or sunlight on the narrow streets and alleys.

Cortona Afternoon, oil, 14 x 11

Undeterred, we walked to the top of the hill town to see San Francisco Chapel. Walking along the now quiet streets, this view caught my eye.

I like the quiet light and soft contrast to distant buildings and sky. A few flowers still blooming hang from windows. Seems peaceful to me.

Cortona ~ A Jewel in Tuscany

Today I painted this the way I wanted to see it! My springboard of inspiration was a photo I took in Cortona. The photo was dark and uninteresting. What interested me was the possibility of light slicing into the dark shadows between the buildings.

So the painting began with a question. Can I use purples to light up the shadows and let warm sunlight wash in between the cracks?

Cortona, watercolor, 8 x 12

I began with the silhouettes of the dark roof tops, then the shadowed sides of the small buildings in between. A jig-saw puzzle of shapes, I changed their shapes a bit to accommodate my canvas.

Yes, it’s ok to do that, it’s called artistic license. Writers call it editing. Whatever it’s called, interpretation is the responsibility of the artist.

I don’t know how we got lost in thinking we have to tell the truth in art. There is no truth but in one’s heart. What is true for one, is not for another.

Honoring what’s in the heart at any given moment, allowing it to flow like water, in any color emotion is felt. That is art which gives life.

Daily Paintings

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