Plein Air in Tuscany

plein air in Tuscany
Panzano Vineyards, oil, 16 x 20
plein air in Tuscany
On arrival, a large cloud shadowed the vineyard in the foreground.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a brilliant October day in Tuscany to paint en plein air. We searched for the perfect spot. Late afternoon sunlight lit the vineyard in the foreground.

I could see that clouds were moving slowly. Deep blue greens in the vineyard would soon be brilliant yellow greens with purple shadows. In anticipation I painted the distant landscape first, setting the stage for the light.

plein air in Tuscany
Finishing up, the sun is getting quite low leaving my easel in deep shadow.


plein air in Tuscany

Tuscan Sunset ~ 5 Views from My Balcony

Tuscan sunset
Poggio Tramonto, oil, 11 x 14
Tuscan sunsets
Hillside Villas, oil, 16 x 20


tuscan sunset
Morning Vineyard, oil, 7 x 14
tuscan sunset
Our balcony in Poggio Alla Croce overlooks the landscape north to Florence. Painting this view repeatedly, each experience different colors and atmosphere.

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.
plein air tuscany
Poggio, oil, 5 x 7
tuscan sunset
Tramonto, oil, 5 x 7


tuscan sunset
Magico Paesaggio, oil, 16 x 20
tuscan sunset
Firenze Tramonto, oil, 11 x 14