Reflecting on Italy
Who hasn't fallen in love with Italy? The glorious light that skips across the landscape and stops to warm the buildings in golden garments has been the inspiration for artists for at least a thousand years or more.
And I am no exception. So today I stop to showcase some of my own Italian paintings. And I will start with San Gimignano as I was reminded of this town recently when I was preparing some posts for revisiting the works of Escher as he created a woodcut of this gorgeous village.
And here is my view of San Gimignano where I aimed to capture the warm of the sun on the sides of the buildings.
On my first visit to Italy back in 1977 like many people I fell in love with Florence and the Ponte Vecchio. It has much to do with the fact that I had been in Europe with a friend in the winter - knee deep in snow which loses its appeal after about 1/2 hour of throwing snowballs. After a particularly arduous train journey from Vienna we arrived in Florence to a bright sunny January morning and warmth.
This quick sketch was done much later but at a time when thinking of the warmth of Italy and the Italians was foremost in my mind. My friend I had been with on my first trip to Europe was ill and we were reminiscing about how warm arriving in Florence had made us feel. We were walking along the streets and an Italian woman nearby called out Ecco ciòc Ponte Vecchio! And here it is - a very special but a brief memory captured not well artistically but sometimes the background story is stronger than the art work.
I have always loved prowling back streets and laneways and along the journey in the blog I will share many of my paintings inspired by scenes I have experienced. The painting below was developed from seeing the cats of Italy and how so many of them enjoy meeting and warming themselves in the sun on the top of a wall.
Narrow streets and stairs are the signature of all Italian villages with the soft green rolling hills in the distance lined with vines and cypresses. When I paint my villages I can imagine the lives going on behind the walls and what stories those walls could tell!
I hope you have enjoyed a little reflection on this beautiful country of Italy and may we all climb towards the sun up warm and welcoming steps.