December 21, 2014

Happy Holidays to All!

Best wishes for a 

Joyful and love-filled Holiday Season 

and a prosperous 2015!

May your days be filled with images and events that make you smile and that ill your life with the warmest and deepest feelings.


December 19, 2014

A Gift for My Mom - In the Poppy Field - Oil Painting

In the Poppy Field
Oil on Canvas
This bright poppy field reminds me of my Italy so much.

My parents' house is white, even though it's not in a poppy field, they do have a big yard.
When my mom asked me to bring her one of my paintings when I visited, I thought this was the perfect gift, with the cheerful flowers and the white house.

I did not think at this at all while I was painting it, but I can see myself represented in that one poppy sticking up taller than the others, looking at the house in the distance.

Even if I have been living in the United States for 15 years now, home is always my parents house.
And I am posting this from my laptop on their kitchen table, joyful day!!!

December 7, 2014

Working on the Portrait of Chuck - Figure Painting Class

Work in progress of colorful portrait

On Fridays I go to a figure painting class and I love it, but sometimes the model does not show up, and then we need to get creative.
This time the traffic was awful, full of accidents here and there an the model must have been swallowed up by the chaotic situation because we did not see her. While we were waiting, still hoping she'd make it, the teacher posed for quick poses, just for warm-up drawings. That was nice.
Then our fellow artist Chuck (pardon me Chuck but I can't remember your last name right now) volunteered to pose for us.
The time available was quite limited, since we started late, so I still have to a little work to do on the the painting before I can post a finished photo, but this was the work in progress.

I used a simple abstract landscape I had made some time ago as background, turned sideways, and had fun working with colors and contrast.

November 22, 2014

Winter is Coming - Portrait, Acrylic on Canvas

"Winter Is Coming"
Acrylic on Canvas

The model was wearing a warm scarf, and it made me smile when shortly after we got our first big snow of the year, she must have known that winter was coming, and coming soon. :)

For this portrait I used a canvas that had an abstract pattern already painted on it, with the idea of covering the pattern in most areas, leaving only a few hints of it here and there.
When I started the new painting I really liked the pattern background and how it was peaking through everywhere, so I kept it as part of the composition.

Overall I am really pleased with this painting.  And thinking that I was really intimidated by painting people, now I can do portraits that really resemble the model, woohoo!  :)

November 15, 2014

A Great Couple of Days at the Studio Sale

This is me during the setting up time at the Studio Sale, just before it started.

I participated in the community studio sale at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center and it has been a wonderful experience.  I think I've never been surrounded by so many  people smiling and cheerfully chatting before. From the art sellers to every one coming through, each face was lightened up, and eyes were sparkling with pleasure. 

A view if the Studio Sale from the other side of the room. Great space, full of wonderful art, including some amazing ceramics and  jewelry.

It has been a pleasure to meet a lot of interesting people, and what a delight to hear their nice comments for my art.

The paintings on my wall space (before the last straightening, ehmmm, still a little crooked here). Many are from my one-painting-a-day challenge. :)
I had mainly smaller paintings and cards, and quite a few found a good new home. 
How delightful! : )
Thanks a lot to the collectors that purchased my art!

October 12, 2014

Punchline - Small Oil Daily Painting, En Plein Air

Oil on Gesso Board

Fall has taken over all of our senses with cooler temperatures, earthy smells, and the gorgeous colors, beautiful consequence of the colder nights. :)

As most of my friends know I am taking a painting class with local artist Joe Lombardo, and every week we go to a different location in or around Columbus, OH.
This week we went to a park with a big pond that would have been gorgeous to paint, but it was raining, so we stayed under a shelter and the view of the trees near the parking lot was spectacular.

Once again I chose to paint small because I wanted to finish the painting on location, and here it is, I called it Punchline because of the brightness and sharpness of the trees, so fun to see, though we know is the last show-off before bare branches.

I had fun painting this colorful scene, and some extra fun making a last minute squiggly textures. :)

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” 
~Albert Camus

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

October 5, 2014

Daily Painting, Leaning Towards Winter, Plein Air Oil Painting

"Leaning Towards Winter"
Fall colors are here, what a marvel for the eyes!

I went paintung at Pickerington Ponds Park, in Canal Winchester, OH.
This small tree on the banks of a pond had started  getting golden and copper colors, and it was beautifully contrasting with the water and the darker trees in the distance.

I had fun painting this, and after a period of very small plein air paintings (6"x6") this is an 8"x10", and I was able to complete it in a couple of hours.  I'm pretty happy about it. :)

October 2, 2014

September 2014 Daily Painting Recap

Collage of my Daily Paintings for the month of September 2014

Wow, it has been a wonderfully busy month: I participated in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, and even if I did not complete 30 paintings, I am very happy that I was able to paint (almost) daily. :)

At the end I have completed 24 small paintings that are summarized in this collage. Not too bad after all! :) I had fun painting each and every one of them, and I hope I can continue on this productive strike.

A couple of paintings are missing in action, they did not make it to be shown to the public. A few others never happened - some days were just too crazy to be in the studio.

Every painting presented specific challenges and some kind of lesson for me to learn. I feel richer now, and ready to continue on this amazing creative process, painting as often as I can.

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

September 28, 2014

Daily painting Challenge, Painting #16, Vibrant Portrait III

Vibrant Portrait III
Acrylic on Paper

I have been having so much fun doing these colorful portraits at the figure drawing/panting class!
We had the same model and the same pose for three weeks, and each weeks I did a colorful portrait of her with acrylics on paper.

Seeing other artists drawing with charcoal vine, kind of made me miss drawing the figure with charcoal, but this colorful experimentation is too much fun.
Next week we'll have a different model, that will keep her pose for three weeks again. I can't imagine giving up color for now, I plan of doing three colorful version of that model too.

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

September 27, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Paintign #15, Brick House, Small Plein Air Work

"Brick House"
Oil on Gesso board

I tried to paint this house in the German Village in the spring but was not successful. I went back to Schiller Park this week, and tried again, this time on a smaller gesso board, and some miracle happened, because I quite liked the final result. :)

Painting en plein air is lovely, I usually prefer natural landscape subjects, but mainly because buildings and structures are quite challenging to paint - for me.

When I tried painting homes before I got this inner friction between my natural instinct to paint tightly, and the will to paint loosely, and often what comes out is none of the two. As we say in Italy the result "non e` ne' carne ne' pesce" (it's neither meat nor fish). lol

This time I focused on the pattern of ligh and shadow, and I enjoyed painting it! :)

September 23, 2014

Vibrant Tree V - Small Acrylic Painting

Vibrant Tree V
Acrylic on stretched canvas

I'm getting the hang of these vibrant trees, I can tell because I can paint them faster now. :) Mixing paint on the canvas instead than on the palette is always risky: you never quite know what each stroke brings, and you can easily create muddy colors.
But it's fun!

Sides of the canvas are 1" deep and painted dark, ready to hang on a wall or brighten up a shelf. :)

Re-posted in Sep 2014 - Had to delete the original post (I forgot what date it was) because something weird was going on with traffic and scripts...

September 22, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, On my Easel: Painting #14, Over the Rooftops

"Over the Rooftops"
Oil on panel, 11"x14"

I went "big" today. Instead of a 6x6 I painted an 11"x14".
After a period of painting on location, this is a studio painting, made from a reference photo that I took this summer Italy, however my strategy has been to paint it like it was a plein air painting, quickly and loosely. This way I avoid painting too tight and I can finish it in a day, despite the bigger size.

I feel like it has all the elements I wanted to incorporate, so I am posting it, though I'm not sure if I will retouch some things when I look at it again. Often, after the my eyes get some rest from a piece and I come back later with a fresh look, I see all kinds of things that I did not see while I was  involved in the painting.

For reference I used a combination of the two photos below, a landscape in Veneto, the region of Italy where I come from.


September 20, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #13, Path in the Prairie - Oil Painting

"Path in the Prairie"
Oil on Gessoboard
Today I was finally able to join the COPA (Central Ohio Plein Air) group in one of their Saturday outings to paint on locations around Columbus, OH. Many Saturdays I tried to paint with them, but life has been taking me other places.

My view when I was painting "Path in the Prairie"

The prairie at Brandon Woods Park were gorgeous with yellow goldenrod, and the sun made them truly glow. :)

A few of us decided to paint the same path :)

Daily painting Challenge #12, Vibrant Portrait II

"Vibrant Portrait II"
Watermedia on Paper
Today at the model drawing/painting class we had same model and same pose as last Friday (It's a 3-week pose), everyone kept the same spot from last week so those who were continuing a painting could have the same angle. This is why this looks very similar to the one from last Friday - that you can see in a previous post-  though it's a brand new painting.

I love doing these experimental colorful portraits! I try to use color temperature and value to make believable portraits, with unbelievable colors. So much fun!

"Vibrant Portrait II", Detail
I love painting colorfully, so exciting!  Next week I'll do another one, maybe changing position, and having a different view of the model, I heard some people won't be there next week, I could take their spot, we'll see.  :)

September 19, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #11, The Outhouse, Small Oil Painting

"The Outhouse"
Oil on Board
I went to a local farm yesterday, and looking for something to paint I saw this cute little building, and soon realized it was a vintage toilette - well, there was a big sign in front of it that said so, lol - built in 1872.

The outhouse was shaded by trees, and the dappled light on the side caught my attention, so I decided to give it a try. Now, considering that painting buildings is not my forte, and that light spots are challenging, I have to admit I am pretty pleased with the results.

Painted completely on site. I have this thing now that when I paint en plein air, I don't like to tweak things in the studio. So, unless there are major issues that require extra brushstrokes, I don't touch up the painting after I leave the location. That's one more reason why I paint small: there is no way I can finish a bigger piece in a couple of hours. :)

Have a wonderful and creative day!

September 17, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #10, Magenta Sunset - Small Acrylic Painting

"Magenta Sunset"
6"x6". Watermedia on Canvas
Sides painted dark

Another one of my Vibrant Brushstrokes series. I really enjoy the spontaneity and fun of creating small paintings with this technique.

I usually listen to very upbeat music while I paint colorful and vibrant paintings. For "Magenta Sunset" I had my Latino playlist on, and alternated brushstrokes with dance moves. Good thing my studio walls can't talk, lol!

September 14, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #9, Macintosh Foliage, Small Painting

"Macintosh Foliage"
Watermedia on Canvas
This morning I went apple picking!  I got a bag of delicious, juicy, and crisp macintosh apples.
Apples from a tree are a total different thing than those from a store. Oh, so juicy!

The very last apple I picked came off with a bunch of leaves attached to it, and looked so pretty that I was inspired to make it the subject of today's painting.

So here it is, painted with quick strokes of acrylic paint, the last apple of today's picking, with its lush greens.

Prints now available on my Imagekind prints-on-demand store.

September 12, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #8 - Vibrant portrait I

Vibrant Portrait I
Watermedia on paper

Today started a new session of my figure painting class and I had lots of fun experimenting with colors.
I tried to render the beautiful model with bold and vibrant colors, using warm colors for the areas in the light and cooler colors for the shade. 

Lots of decisions to make as far as color choices.
The main thing was squinting at her and my painting to make sure I used value correctly. Darker colors for the shade and lighter for the light, keeping in mind that each color can be also warm or cool.
So I had to juggle bright hues, temperature, and value, and hope that at the end ir made sense.
My classmates said the colorful portrait looked a lot like the model, and that made me happy.
Vibrant Portrait I, detail

September 11, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #7, Pink Delight - Small Oil Painting

"Pink Delight"
Oil on board, unframed

It was a cloudy day at the Frankin Park today and I really did not feel like painting a sun-less landscape, I was not very inspired to paint en plein air, until I saw this rose.
It was near the sidewalk, perfect distance to be seen up-close, and it smelled delicious!

So I decided to paint the rose. Now, painting roses is not easy, it is actually quite intimidating.
Many times I ended up overworking the rose and trying to fix it, to the point that you could not even tell it was a rose anymore. With this pink beauty I have to admit I am quite pleased: after I was done it clearly looked like a rose, which is a big success on its own.

After I was done with it I had 40 minutes left before I had to head back home, so I decided to use the paint left on the palette to do a quick and fun landscape. After all I have some catching up to do to complete 30 paintings in 30 days! Because the landscape was painted carelessly, taking risks, without any fear of mistakes, I'll have to look at it again and decide if I want to post a picture of it on the web. It might be my next post, we'll see if I decide to make it public.  :)

Today was a day of remembrance.
An anniversary I'll never forget, so sad and life-changing.
My heart goes out to all the people whose lives 
have been hurt by the attack on America of 9/11/01.

What a blessing to be able to stand in a peaceful park and paint. It's great to live in a country where freedom and peace are a "normal" thing to enjoy.

September 9, 2014

Daily painting Challenge, Painting #6, In The Poppy Field, Oil Painting

"In The Poppy Field"
Oil on Stretched canvas
This painting is a little bigger one than my usual daily paintings, in fact I worked on it for a few sittings, and it was fun to see how it evolved and changed. For example the house was not included at the beginning, but then I thought it added some interest, and I painted it in.

I know I have said this before, but I'll to say it again, because it's true: I love poppy fields, they make me smile.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

September 8, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Painting #5 - Fairies' Shelter - Small Oil Painting

"Fairies' Shelter"
Oil on Gessobord

In my pursuit of the thirty paintings in 30 days challenge, I have skipped a few days... so technically this is my fifth painting even if today is the 8th of the month.
And yes, I am planning on catching up - who said the 30 paintings must be one-a-day?  Maybe I can be brave and strong and produce more than one painting a day... think positive Robie, you can do anything you put your mind to!  :)

I painted "Fairies' Shelter" en plein air, and the sun played tricks on me because it disappeared 5 minutes after I started painting, and came out again when I was on my way home.
Do you realize how frustrating it is to have seen the warm colors kissed by the sun, in patches through the leaves above, and then everything gets dull and low contrast, and you try to render the feeling of what you saw first, without actually seeing it?
Well, for a moment I thought of going back to the studio and leave the painting on location for another day, but I was loving that tree near the stream so much that I decided to stay and see what turned out.

I'm glad I stuck with it: I completely finished it on location.

September 4, 2014

Daily Painting Chalenge, Day 4 - Dancing Light - Plein Air Oil Painting

"Dancing Light"
Oil on Gessobord

Today I went to a local park to paint, it was part of a En Plein Air painting class, and I had a lot of fun painting this small landscape scene of the woods.

The challenge for me was trying to render the patches of light that came through the leaves and spotted the scene here and there. I like the result; I need to try this again. :)

This was #4 of my thirty paintings in 30 days challenge. :)

Here is how the painting looks framed:

September 3, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Day 3 - Serene - Small Oil Painting

Oil on Gessobord

Some days end with a placid and serene feeling to them, and those evenings make you want to look at the day's happenings with an inner smile.
Every episode, even the parts of the day that seemed so hard to live, takes a different meaning under this light of serenity.
It's not a sunset. It's a feeling.
I love those evenings when I can truly see the positive in all things.

Have a good and serene night. :)

Here is how the painting looks framed:

September 2, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Day 2 - Blushing Sunset - Small Oil Painting

"Blushing Sunset"
Oil on Gessobord
Sometimes you look up and you've just got to smile, even if the day has been tough, how can you not cheer up seeing the show the sky is putting up for you?

This sunset was a wonderful but shy performer, blushing all over. :)

September 1, 2014

Daily Painting Challenge, Day 1 - After the Storm - Small Painting

"After the Storm"
Oil on Gessobord
Buy Now
Day one of the painting challenge. The goal is to create thirty paintings in thirty days, and day one is DONE - nothing better than starting with the right foot.  :)

This is the way the sky looked one evening of this summer, not sure when.  All I remember is that I was at the park near home and I stood mesmerized looking at the clouds changing shape and color above me. We had many storms  this year and most of them created spectacular clouds and amazing sunsets.

I love looking to the clouds, and sometimes I even remember to take reference photos.  :)

August 31, 2014

30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge Starts Tomorrow

Oh boy, I have decided to join the "30 paintings in 30 days challenge" again!
I have done it last September, and I know very well now: it's not easy!
So many things can come up every day and prevent me from painting, that it really takes some serious commitment to produce 30 artworks in a month!
Of course they will have to be small pieces, but since I have some bigger paintings started on my easel, some days I can finish one of those and call it a day.
I can do it, I know I can. But I am a little nervous, because this period of the year is quite busy already with school and all kind of activities starting up.

What's the point of joining such a challenge? you may ask - and most people ask me exactly that: "Why?" Why on earth do you put yourself through an obbligation to paint 30 things in a month.

Last year I entered several of my small paintings produced during
the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge in art shows that asked specifically
for small artwork.
Well, I see many great reasons to do this challenge, many more benefits than negatives.

Let see if I can list a few reasons why I am joining this challenging 30 in 30 venture:

1. The more I paint, the more I learn. Every painting teaches me something, regardless if it's a good one or a bad one.

2. This challenge is a great incentive to become more productive in the studio. I am always regretting that I could have painted more. At the end of the day or the week, I look back and think I should/could have created more.

3. Each painting requires some answers to basic issues: subject matter, composition, color harmony, value scale, etc. Having to face these dilemmas for 30 small paintings rather than only a few big ones means a lot more practice and problem solving.

4. Small paintings are more affordable, so easier to sell. Several of the paintings that I have completed during last years 30 in 30 challenge came out really nice and I actually sold quite a few.

5. Deep down I know that if I can't make it and skip some days it's not the end of the world. There is no challenge police,  everyone is very supportive, and it's ok if at the end of the month there are less than 30 artworks posted. Knowing this takes a lot of the stress away - though I am aiming for 30!

I really hope I can complete the daily painting challenge with 30 paintings. Wish me luck!

August 25, 2014

A Red Carpet of Poppies in Tuscany - Small Oil Painting

"Red Carpet"
6"x6", oil on board

A serene view of Tuscan hills with a bright red poppies field in the foreground.
I guess I am back to my "poppies and sunsets" period, two things that always cheer me up.  :)

Prints of this painting are available at my ImageKind online store

August 22, 2014

Enjoying What Is Really Important in Life

Maturity, besides laughing wrinkles and lower vision, brought me a precious gift: better knowledge of what makes me really happy.
Once I overcame the ages of peer pressure and constant worry about what others think, the ages when I thought I never looked skinny or pretty, I finally started getting comfortable in my own skin.

Now that I am in my forties I have finally accepted that I can't please everyone, no matter what I do there will always be those that would like it different.
No matter how I dress there will be always someone that thinks I look too casual, or too stylish, or too old-fashioned, or too extravagant.
So why worry?

With my parents at my dad's shoe store.
Why spend so much energy and money trying to be accepted and liked by others?

It feels good finally getting to know who I am deep inside and accepting my strengths and my weaknesses.

What Is Important In Life? We are all different human beings with different likes and wants, but when it comes to what is important in life, what are the values and purposes that guide our choices, that spring our steps?

I had a great summer spending time with my parents and a few friends, in Italy. I enjoyed  every minute of it. Even if some days seemed uneventful, They were full of the best things in life:
           Financial stability
           Sunny days

Thankfulness for all these gifts is flodding my heart!

BTW, happy Birthday to my dad, that turned 84 this month!  He's an amazing man, and the wisest and most respectable workaholic I know. :)

July 8, 2014

A Walk in the Park, Following the Path to the Light - Landscape Painting

"Autumn Walk"
24"x36" (60.96 x 91.44 cm)
Watermedia on Canvas

It looks like I have a thing with painting paths in the woods that lead to light, I wonder what Freud would say about this passion of mine.  :)
I'm sure it means something positive, because that's how I feel while I paint paths and when I look at them: Positive and Optimistic.

Every person is walking a different path in life, but we all are trying to reach different destinations, our personal goals.
Walking to the light can represent many things: reaching "success", getting the job of our dreams, being able to graduate after studying so long, etc. What destination are you trying to reach?

It's good to have goals in mind that act as motivators to make us do better, more.

I think the important thing is to focus on the destination, yes, but without losing appreciation for the NOW, the present, the walk itself.

We should avoid to live our lives always wanting what we don't have.

Happiness is not to be found, 
but to be brought to life from within.

Only if we find inner-balance and self-acceptance we have a chance to find happiness.

June 19, 2014

Plein Air painting at the Park of Roses

"Beyond the Legend"
11"x14" (27.94 x 35.56 cm)


Every year in Clintonville, OH, home to the beautiful Park of Roses,  there is an event called "Stop and Smell the Roses. At the event there are lots of activities, the air smells of the delicious fragrances from roses of many different variety, and the visitors walking in the park and enjoying the day get to see more than 40 artists doing plain air painting.

The sketch I did of the
model posing for the painters.
The first time I attended the event I was in my role as a mom with two kids, and could not paint. Somehow I was smart enough to bring my sketch book with me and a few of the kids' school pencils.

The artists had a model that year, sitting under a tree with an oriental umbrella, and when I saw everyone painting her I could not resist: I stopped near the painters and made a quick sketch of the model. That day I decided I was going to be there with my easel one day!

That's how I got to know the COPA (Central Ohio Plain Air), an open group of artists that meet weekly to paint together, they invited me to join them sometimes.

That was two years ago.
Last year I could not attend the Paint Out, I don't even remember why, but there was something else going on in my life at the time - I was so disappointed.
But this year I made it!  I was there, and the pressure of painting in front of public, that would subconsciously compare my work to all the other artists was on!  To make the pressure a little higher, there is also a competition that you can enter for the paintings completed on that day.

I decided to take it easy.
I started a fairly large board for plein air (11"x14"), with the idea that if I did not finish it was ok, entering the competition was an optional factor, painting on location during the beautiful event was my goal.

So I took a stress-free approach and tried to have fun. And you know what?  I succeeded!  I had lots of fun and enjoyed the passer-byes that stopped and asked questions, they were all very nice.
The kids cracked me up with all their cute questions, and smart ones too!
Great experience over all. Looking forward to next year!

PS: The red roses near me were called "Legend", what a pretty name for some gorgeous roses!

Thanks for stopping by. :)

May 7, 2014

The Beautiful Last Light of the Day - Oil Painting

"The Last Glow"
6x6" oil on gesso board

Every time I see a sunset I can't resist. I have to stop and watch. If I'm driving on a highway and can't stop the car, it's true sufferance. :)

When I admire a sunset I find myself breathing deeper and smiling.
Sometime sunsets are so beautiful and the colors and shapes of the clouds so surprising that I often think if I even succeeded painting it with the perfect glow and colors, people would think it's an exaggerated artistic representation, so unbelievably beautiful are the colors.

Truth is I can't even get close to painting the real colors and inner glow of a sunset.
I can just paint an idea of it, a representation that reminds me of the wonderful feeling I felt when I saw it.

This small painting is from a photo a friend of mine posted on facebook, she kindly game me The Last Glow.
This is the photo that my friend posted
permission to paint it. Though I did not see this particular sunset in person, I can definitely relate to the feeling of

Too bad I can't paint a sunset from life: it changes too quickly, there would be no time to mix the colors, for when I look up again it'd be already changing into some other amazing shade.

Thanks for stopping by.
have a fun and creative day!

April 29, 2014

A Couple in Love Looking at the Sunset - Oil Painting

9x12" Oil on board

The sunsets at the beach are the best ones, and while I was in Florida last year I enjoyed every single one of them. One evening I took a photo of this sunset, and there was a couple just at the right spot, admiring it too.
I tried to imagine their story, and I decided that they were a newly wed couple, deeply in love, full of romantic thoughts; their eyes, blinded by love, could see hearts everywhere. :)

April 22, 2014

A Plein Air Painting in Crazy Wind - Whoosh!

"Pickerington Ponds"
8"x10", Oil on panel

Oh my, what an experience for a rookie plein air painter like me!  I went painting at a local park. The wind was blowing like crazy, and the gusts made holding a steady brush so difficult, not to mention the flying easels, brushes, and panel! lol

But I made it, I finished my painting even in the adverse conditions.
I have to admit that I refined it in the studio afterwards, mainly because it flew on the grass face down when I was packing up to leave.  Wet paint and grass make an interesting texture, but in some areas I had to remove the debris and fix the damage.
Overall it was a lot of fun!  And refreshing. I truly enjoyed being out, with the sun shining. I so needed that, after a winter way too long and too cold that kept me indoors.

So this is officially my first painting in the wind, and I like it. :)  The grass was not green yet, even if it was mid April, it could very well be an autumn scene. Maybe I should go back in a month or so and see how the colors have changed.

April 14, 2014

Sunset Oil Painting - Looking Forward to Tomorrow

"Looking Forward to Tomorrow"
22"x28", Oil on stretched Canvas

In Italy we have a proverb that says "Rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera", which means when the sky gets red in the evening, you can hope on good wheather.
That's why I called this painting "Looking Forward to Tomorrow", because of that saying.
But I also see this painting as an emblem of positive thinking: it's about being hopeful and believing on what tomorrow can and will bring.
When we focus on the positive, good things will come.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. 

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”


April 9, 2014

Painting Clouds Used to Be a Big Challenge for Me

"Clouds on Blue"
8"x10, Oil on board
How do you paint clouds?
Until last fall I found them very challenging and intimidating to paint.
Then I jumped right in, during a painting workshop, I asked the teacher - Kim Casebeer, a very talented plein air painter - to help me paint clouds, she gave me one of the million photos she took of Kansas skies and lands and advised me to start from that.
I started, I made mistakes, I corrected them, and I only asked her for advice a few times, but knowing I had her available if I got stuck made me braver, and I broke the ice with painting clouds.

Yes, I had painted clouds before, but with effort and doubtful results.
Look at me now: skyscapes are my favorite subject!
Between sunsets, sunrises, and cloudy skied, that's most of what I have painted lately.
This is my reference photo that I took at the
soccer stadium while waiting for the game to start.

I understood a few simple rules when painting clouds:

1. You've got to keep in mind where the sunlight is coming from. Clouds are thick, they have volume, so the sunlight creates areas that are extremely bright and others that are quite dark, even in white clouds.

2. Clouds are full of subtle color changes. What may seem like a gray cloud at first has actually blues, greens, purples, and pinks in it.

3.The best way to know how clouds look is to watch them live, right in the sky, and observe their coloration and how they change continuously.Then it's easier to paint from a photo because you know your subject.

4, It's ok to be a little creative with colors. In this painting I added pink in the cloud even if I did not see much pink in the photo, but its darker value helps defining the volume of the clouds.

Am I good at painting clouds?  I would not say that I am good at it, but I am surely learning, and what is most important I am not scared of painting clouds anymore. It's still a challenge, but a fun one!

Thanks for stopping by!