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Painting in Italy
Painting in the land
Italy has a rich and cultured history of painting, its churches, cathedrals, museums and palaces are dripping with famous works and great master pieces. Therefore this is the perfect place to start if you are looking for an inspirational, painting holiday. I am fortunate to live in the quiet landlocked province of Umbria, sandwiched nicely between Rome's Lazio and Florence's Tuscany. Although Umbria is a quiet little backwater, back in the day, it was a hive of activity, creative verve and cultural adventure.
Art all around
I don't have to travel far to see, in situ, the works of Luca Signorelli, frescoes in Morra, Giotto's St Francis cycle on the walls of the Basilica of Assisi or Piero della Francesca paintings in Sansepolcro and Monterchi. The lanscape too is awe inspiring, lucious green hills, rugged turquoise Apennine mountains on the horizon and bubbling streams that cut their way across the plains. All perfect for sitting amongst the green fields and picking up a brush or pencil.
This series of paintings draws on this vast reserve of imagery and echoes its renditions of Italian countryside and the towns and cities where its people live.
In them I have dispensed with classical rules about perspective and foreshortening, the compositions are inspired by old woodcuts and ancient maps, where artists stacked buildings, trees and hills together to give you a rough idea of where you were. These pictures have a similar "atmosphere" to these destinations, were the elements are familiar, the colours make sense but perhaps a little brighter, while the composition is not a rigid copying of the landscape but a selected feeling for it.
In the same way that a tourist will remember their holiday destination but not exactly with regards to where each and every building and bush was placed. They return home with a vague memory of the layout, the main sights, a rough suggestion of the colours and the arbitrary in filling of scetchy details with generic houses or trees.