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Monday, June 30, 2014

Italian Paintings/Eggplant Lemon

Today was a good painting day -- and yesterday was also, although only one quarter of yesterday's painting was worth anything, but that quarter was a breakthrough.  I made some leaps in my head -- or I made some connections between my head and my hand. My camera is all off though....but I can't worry over this, so I'm just moving forward. Maybe will reshoot later.

Here I am at the train station in Orvieto, ready to catch the train for Rome and get art supplies.
Long trip, but delightful: little bus from my village to  Orvieto, train to Rome, on foot in horrendous Texas style thunderstorm to the art supply store.  And once there I was sort of forced to buy a tube of Old Holland Veronese Green (20Euros) and a tube of Michael Harding Titanium White (12 E, and quite small). Oh, how velvety the texture....And then suddenly I was looking at the sable brushes, because they didn't have the kind I use, the Bristol brights, and I need a brush that can make a good edge, so I succumbed. And they are fantastic!
The Veronese green is  one that Matisse used often and I always thought it was made from Veridian, but no -- it is a blue green, a cross between permanent green light and ultramarine, and it makes a glowing green, a sort of mid tone that radiates in the same way yellow does. Of course, it just got all over my palette and into everything, completely unmanageable today, but with practice I think I will be able to use it. Working on an 11 x 14 inch palette is definitely a significant HEMMING IN!
The other reason I need this green is because I am thinking landscape -- but I am so not a landscape painter! Never, not one! And yet, I am here is Landscape Nirvana. And there are a million greens.  So I'm just sneaking up on the whole thing. Bonnard uses that green often also. It brings light to the shadow side of trees and such, quietly  glowing.

And here is my little studio in the bathroom which has white walls and a pale green tiled floor and good light. But once set up in there,  only painting is happening.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Italian Paintings/ Little Peaches on Pillowcase

These are little do-nut peaches, I don't know what the real name is for them. They are flat and fleshy, and with leaves still on them! Miracolo! My camera is not working too well, but  a camera expert is soon coming to visit.

This is dinner: green beans, blanched; pomodoro tomatoes, chopped; beautiful sort of watercress, very curly and larger than the American sort, more substance to it; parmigiano (slabs); lots of green, green olive oil and a bit of vinegar.  And I sort of splurged on the wine, 8E for this bottle, which isn't too bad a price - wine peppery and robust. So happy! I think it is my duty while here to learn about Italian wines.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Italian Paintings/ Prunes on a Pillowcase

These are Italian plums (prunes) from the market next door, and the pillowcase from my bed.

And THIS is a little frittata made with new laid eggs. The yolks were orange! I threw in some cipollini onions and a slice of a plum tomato in the fold -- green unfiltered olive oil on the whole thing. On Italian bread, with a little more oil and some salt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Italian paintings, Fruit

Been painting hard every day, but everything, um, terrible. This is best of the lot.
Will persist, and in the meantime have double scoop of cioccolato gelato.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tomato and lemon

I'm rolling along here, not flipping out about small stuff, just trying to get a good routine going without too much crushing self criticism....some aspects of the studio and camera not optimal, but SO WHAT is my present attitude. This is Italy.
There are 400 kinds and shapes of tomatoes here, pleated, bulbous,  pickle shaped, grape sized, cabbage sized - I am just agog at the produce.
 Painting went a little easier today. I am carving up my days into painting/eating segments: morning,  any kind of cheese and tomatoes on toasted bread, LARGE espresso; painting, lunch, wide selection of pizza by the slice next door to me; painting, weenie nap, study Italian verbs, dinner late --9 at least--1000 choices for take out or if very good painting day, then reward of dinner outside at cafe on corner. This hasn't happened yet. Also, there is a beautiful lake here for swimming, which must be done. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Self Portrait 1, Italy

ok well....Some how I wiped 15 years off my age. Possibly more.
Also, I am wrestling with lighting issues in my Italian bathroom studio. I finally decided I had to have a light ON the canvas so I could see what I was doing, so I got the light, got the bulb, got the extension cord after I found the word for it (la prolunga) hooked all up and feeling triumphant -- still the light available on the subject was minimal and everything was gray gray gray, so I just went with it, and now my camera has made it all colorful.
Reality is more plastic in Italy, maybe.
Whatever, it can be a baseline.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Two Peaches, 5x7 inches

For reasons too magnificent, complicated
 and surprising to state here, I am posting from Italy where I will be living and painting for -- yes, I can't believe it myself -- three months.  I am in an apartment in Bolsena about 6o miles from Rome. 
My working conditions are awkward - I am painting in the bathroom because the light can be somewhat controlled there and also the floor is tiled,  so  no worries
 if I make a mess.  The apartment has white couches, I am in constant terror of this!
I figure I have had about a year away from the easel now and I am certainly feeling it, hobbled in every way. Also, I am working with a reduced palette and on some sort of carton board impregnated with resin so the brush drags and the paint won't move, waaa,waaaa!
Nothing to do but throw oneself in the briar patch.
Thank for all your comments, guys, so good to have them and to be back painting, I suffered without it.! Jean