June is the most popular month for making the commitment of marriage. As it turns out, June was also a month in which several people decided to buy a painting from me as a gift for a loved one. I am always grateful when my artwork touches someone to the point that they want to have it. Even more thrilled when they purchase a painting to express their love. Here are examples of a few of the pieces that found great homes this past month. Many thanks to those who fell in love (again) in June:
As a studio painter, I use tools to make my paintings. One tool that I use is photography. Yes, I do occasionally work outdoors. However, working outdoors does not allow me the time that it takes to be experimental in my art, an approach that I hold dear. When I use photographs, I make alterations. I make commitments to people NOT photos.
Something interesting happened during the course of this painting, that illustrates my firmly held belief regarding the use of photographs. So, I am sharing it here.
Since returning from Italy, people have asked if I was inspired to make art as a result of the trip. You would think that the answer would be simple, but it isn't. Although I took a sketchbook, our visit was spent seeing as much as we could see in the limited time that we had. So, my answer is this: I was awed by the artwork that I was able to see. The sculptures and paintings were magnificent. However, what inspired me as an artist were the frescoes. There were frescoes to be seen all over Italy, but I was particularly thrilled with the Roman era examples.
Perhaps the most inspiring fresco to me was in the National Roman Museum. In fact, I was surprised how much I enjoyed our time there. The museum is off the beaten track, air conditioned, and not mobbed with people; a trifecta that is rare in crowded Rome. The inspiring fresco that we enjoyed is the oldest example of a continuous garden painting. The work is dated from 30-32 BC. Being in the room with these wall paintings, I could imagine the sounds of birds and running water. Artistically, the textures present in the preserved work moved me beyond words. Who knows whether something so ancient will find a way visually into my present-day work? Here are some images:
Recently returned from a trip to Italy which was amazing. I get immense pleasure exploring locations that are unfamiliar. Funny thing is that so often familiarity will find you. Want proof? Take a look at this:
For some more familiarity, I will share a funny story. Traffic is particularly hideous in and around Rome. The rules of the road are clearly only suggestions. We had a driver taking us from our hotel to the airport in advance of our flight home. My hat is off to anyone who makes a living driving on the treacherous highways and clogged thoroughfares in that city. I shut my eyes more than once while the driver navigated around utterly nutty drivers. When we arrived at the airport, cars were coming from every direction, and no one was giving our driver space to navigate to the entrance of the terminal. This driver had remained restrained for the entire drive, but now, with hands gesticulating, he spewed what must have been swear words in Italian. What made me really chuckle was after the barrage of Italian, he punctuated his ire with, "SUNDAY DRIVER!" I laughed, and thought, I'm not even close to being done with Italy.