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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Urbino Alley

Urbino Alley, 30x20, oil on linen
Can't let those alleys go! where-ever I go, there they are...just calling out to me. There is an interesting story behind the little side trip we took to Urbino. This town was not on our agenda at all. On my last trip to Europe, we went to Venice; since we would be on the Adriatic side of Italy, I really wanted to go to the water to walk the beach and I thought it would be a nice place to catch our breath before heading to Rome. I picked the town of Pesaro after doing some minimal research. We would be there after the "season" was done, so I figured we would find at least a couple of hotels still open for business, and usually at a discount. I did not book a hotel in advance. I did not bring a map of Pesaro with me, thinking I could check it out online somewhere along the way. I do not have the latest technology but I did have my iPad and the internet is accessible most big tourist places, right? Wrong. NOT in Italy. After we got off the train in Pesaro, and went outside to find we were in the middle of a hub with 5 or 6 streets leading out in all directions! The one map I had managed to look at briefly beforehand showed the sea was 4-6 blocks from the train station...I had no idea which one of the streets to pick to go to "the sea." Looking down them, they went a long ways with no water at the end. I tried talking to a few people, including employees of Trenitalia, but no one understood, "the sea," "la mer," or "Adriatic." So, I am trying to just find a map of the town. Nada. I go check out the INFO sign...closed. BUT I hear English! There are 3 Brits looking at a bus schedule, so I ask them if they can just point me in the right direction, and they not only did that, but walked us into the old town and towards the sea. On our 20" walk into town, with luggage trailing, we discovered that they were 2 siblings and one girlfriend. The sister of the young man was the guide, as she was studying at university in Urbino. She said we MUST go visit Urbino, that we would not regret it. Pesaro was okay for the beach but as a town, not so exciting. Urbino was a walled city, with winding streets and alleys, and the birthplace of the artist, Raphael. So, she told us the ins and outs of taking the bus to Urbino, and we spent our one full day in Pesaro, going to Urbino. It was a fun day, and though she did not tell us of the Saturday market, we fortunately tumbled across it. While my friend shopped to her hearts content, I roamed around talking photos and even happened across the Raphael Museum, though we did not go in. There is also an art institute and the university. It is not on many American's iteinerary, but I am glad we went the eastern route. I am sure enjoying painting my way through my photographs of our time on the Adriatic.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Anniversary Bouquet

Anniversary Bouquet, 18x14, oil on panel
Our daughter brought us these lovely lilies for our anniversary a few weeks ago. A week later...I decided to paint them with the thought to be more expressive in my brushwork. I did this painting in a couple of hours and as I was painting it, the buds were opening. It was amazing to watch. It was, a Hey You! that is not how I sketched you in! Just goes to show how alive cut flowers can be and not so "still" afterall. I set the old wine stein on a chair as it was the only thing I could find handily that was the height I wanted it. So there you have it. A fun sketch just for the heck of it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Before and After-an orchid odyessy

Once upon a time, I was into orchids. I was thinking I would be this painter of portraits of all the odd and beautiful orchids. I even joined the orchid society to have more access. This was in the time before every grocery store sold phalenopsis and other more common varieties. This orchid is one of the only paphiopedilum that I ever owned, and I managed to keep it alive for a few years, but never got it to rebloom. I painted the original portrait about 10 years ago. In my quest to practice and to rework older paintings, I picked this one to rework awhile ago, but then decided to play with it some more. I actually took a photo of this plant (only one), which was not always the case back then when I was painting from life in my studio. It is very overexposed, so I think the flash must have gone off. I have tried to reach a happy medium between the colors of the original painting and the overexposed image I have.
A couple of things to note: I did a search for the name I had written down for this orchid, and I did not get anything to come up for it. HMMM.  I corrected some of the drawing, but not much; I added the bud coming out and I softened up the background. I like the bluer background better. I added the two paintings that were on the wall at the time; the blue one is another orchid, and the one further back was of tulips in my garden. I like the way those two rectangles add to the other rectangles in the composition. Phaps are stiff, waxier orchids, but I still tried to soften that down a bit in the reworked piece.
Flight Into Egypt, oil on canvas, 18x14, 2002

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Deja' Vu

Walking up the Beach, Melbourne, FL, 24x24
We are back to the beach! I tend to see problems once I post a photo of a painting; I know it feels never ending, but bear with me.
Melbourne, FL, which is where this beach is, had little done to it this time. I just added a bit more detail to the buildings so that they worked better with the overall painting. They seemed too unfinished relative to the whole. Otherwise, it is the same as when you last saw it.

Adriac Bicycle, below, I redid the shadow in the foreground. It did not feel like a unified piece of sand nor integrated to the whole beach; along with reworking the shadow, I lightened the water and added more of the sky color to it to show the reflected light. These may seem like minor details, but it is the little things that can make or break a painting. I think it now has more of a sense of depth.
Afternoon Ride, Pesaro, Italy, 24x24
As always, I am open to dialogue here if anyone is wanting to give their opinion. Also,  if something comes to you while looking at any of my work, I sure can use some help with titles.