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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Italian Paintings/ Frida #1(G.)

I have stolen/appropriated/lifted this idea from Ellen Heck and her Forty Fridas (please Google, they are so lovely). This is how it came about: When I first arrived in Italy in June I was invited by a group of Italian women to go with them to Rome to see a Frida Kahlo show. I had two words of Italian under my belt at the time so I was reluctant to go out and about much, but they shepherded me around the show and the city, and it was a great day. I told them that if they would dress up as Frida, I would paint them, and so they did. Here is the first of them.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Italian Paintings/ Nectarines

I been painting hard and happily, very proud of myself. Two weeks and my time in Italy is over.
I've  been having to wipe lots of things but am not too distressed about this for some reason. So good to be painting. This fruit painting is a warm up for the second half of a portrait, the first half of which went swimmingly and then made me afraid I would lose it in the second session. I thought the warm up would get me past this and it did! And then I lost the portrait anyway. I always try to get everything done in one session for this reason, but maybe I am at a crossroad now, maybe I have to learn how roll over into that next session with some - aplomb. Because everything  can't reasonably be finished in one or two sessions, too fatiguing, then bad decisions.
These nectarines were enormous and perfectly ripe and sweet the day I bought them from my fruit guy, whose shop is right outside my door. All the fruit is perfect.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Italian Paintings/ Italian Baby

This is sort of the same stricken expression as the dog in the previous painting. I once had a student (You know who you are!) who made a fabulous baby painting, and the baby was really mad. I coveted it! She wouldn't let me have it though. The parents got it, and they didn't appreciate it adequately, so sad.

I did quick drawings in oil for this several times and made an effort to dismiss my usual accumulating tension. I tried to draw for the pleasure of it, and wiped each one. Then I began painting with the same goal, to enjoy it passage by passage and not worry (about the one million things going wonky or wrong or muddy, I should have gone to secretarial school, etc.) I also tried to think about the structure of the head only and not require a likeness. I  began with the nose first, the relationship of the nose to the eye sockets. I'm hoping this will help me be in charge of the size of my images, in this case the head in relations to my canvas. My default mode is to make it life sized, so the longer I work the bigger the entire thing becomes. This time I was able to keep it all within my boundaries. I worked this too long but I did get the whole head in and 8x6 canvas without too much suffering. I read somewhere that the first relationship to establish is the nose to the eyes, then everything else can fall into its relative place, and it works!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Italian Paintings/ Ludovica's Dog

This sweet dog was afraid of me and the camera. She is a timid dog anyway, so there wasn't going to be a happy pose...but this one was so nice to paint. She has the best possible life, out in the country among the olive groves and meadows filled with wild flowers. Also 4 other dogs, a goat and 2 ponies for friends. And rabbits, geese, ducks, doves, and chickens and cats.  The Italian country life.