Open Studio on Friday

I meant to take a beautiful picture of our immaculately clean studio but never got around to it. Anyways, the details are thus: Open Studio at our gorgeous 19th century painting studio in Piazza Donatello (number 31) this Friday (the 26th) from 6pm onwards. Lots of new work on show this time.

Hope you can make it.

Update: Here’s a short time-lapse of the evening. I’m too lazy to run around with a camera all night.

Studio 31 Open Studio from Marc Dalessio on Vimeo.

The Swarthmore Bluffs and Garrapata Beach

Here are a couple of larger landscape paintings done in the studio, the Swarthmore Bluffs and Garrapata Beach. They are based on plein air landscape sketches from my trips to California the last couple of years. Although they were finished earlier this year, I just got around to photographing them.

The first is a painting of the so-called Swarthmore Bluffs where I grew up as a kid in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California. I have a lot of memories of scampering around these cliffs as a kid and it is a view I’ve wanted to capture for a long time.

Swarthmore Bluffs The Swarthmore Bluffs and Garrapata Beach

The Swarthmore Bluffs, Pacific Palisades. 59 x 72 in, oil on linen.

While I’m discussing the painting, I’ve never understood why it was called the ‘Swarthmore Bluffs’. Only one of the streets that hits the cliffs is Swarthmore Avenue, and the road that runs along the bluffs is Via de Las Olas. Maybe Swarthmore was the first street they built out to the area? I lived on Mt Holyoak though, and since many of the streets are named after colleges, I assume it was a housing development.

The second is a painting done from smaller plein air sketches of Garrapata Beach in Big Sur, California. My folks moved up to Carmel Valley years ago, and I’m always incredibly inspired by the beauty of the area when I visit them.

Garrapata The Swarthmore Bluffs and Garrapata Beach

Lifting Fog, Garrapata Beach. 59 x 72 in, oil on linen.

Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Here are a few recent larger landscapes. All done en plein air here in Italy.

villa argiano Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Villa Argiano. 80 x 100 cm, oil on linen.

benabbio Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Benabbio. 80 x 100 cm, oil on linen.

poggio delle corti Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Poggio delle Corti. 60 x 80 cm, oil on linen.

sant angelo in colle Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Sant’Angelo in Colle from Argiano. 80 x 100 cm, oil on linen.

gualdo cattaneo Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Gualdo Cattaneo. 80 x 100 cm, oil on linen.

bagni di lucca Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Bagni di Lucca. 60 x 100 cm, oil on linen.

Below are a few smaller sketches from a recent trip to Montalcino. I stayed at the beautiful Castello d’Argiano  and the reason there are no early morning paintings is due to their great hospitality and wonderful wines.

montalcino Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Montalcino, Sunset. 25 x 35 cm, oil on dibond.

convento dell osservanza Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Convento dell’Osservanza, Montalcino. 25 x 35 cm, oil on dibond.

pieve di santa restituta Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Pieve di Santa Restituta. 25 x 35 cm, oil on dibond.

castiglion d orcia Recent Italian Plein Air Work

Castiglion d’Orcia. 20 x 30 cm, oil on dibond.

Marsiliana Paintings

These are a few of the paintings I worked during my free time over the past ten days. The first is from the same spot where I painting the same large landscape ten years ago. I got a bit worried at one point, “What if my painting has gotten worse?”

Marsiliana Marsiliana Paintings

The Marsiliana. Oil on linen, 80 x 100 cm.

The next three are all from the same spot, just playing around with different light effects.

Backlit1 Marsiliana Paintings

The Entrance to the Marsiliana, Back-lit. Oil on linen, 50 x 70 cm.

Cloudy Marsiliana Paintings

The Entrance to the Marsiliana, Overcast. Oil on panel, 25 x 35 cm.

Sidelit Marsiliana Paintings

The Entrance to the Marsiliana, Side-lit. Oil on panel, 20 x 30 cm.

I also did a bunch of little sketches while doing demonstrations, but they didn’t make the cut.

Fiji

As a kid I lived for a few years in the Fiji Islands and have always had strong memories of the beauty of the place. Recently I was invited back for a wedding and jumped at the chance. We stayed on the east side of the main island, which wasn’t my old turf, but is probably the more picturesque side (and it is certainly the drier side).

Here are a few from Musket Cove Resort where the wedding party stayed, and Namotu Island Resort where we went for lunch a couple of times. Musket Cove is on a large island with lots of subject matter (well, mostly beaches and palm trees). Namotu is an amazingly beautiful little dot of sand next to some of the best surf breaks in Fiji.

manolo lailai Fiji

From the Point, Manolo Lailai. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

airport beach Fiji

Airport Beach. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

musket boats Fiji

Boats at Musket Cove. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

musket beach Fiji

Beach on Ratu Nemani Island. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

namotu Fiji

The Beach at Namotu. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

jet ski Fiji

Jet Ski at Namotu. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

I hope to get back soon with real equipment and do a focused painting trip (though that 23 hour flight in steerage is quite brutal).

Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Many of the posts on this blog are about my travels, as I find it more interesting. However, I do live in one of the more picturesque places around and paint here quite often. The problem with plein air painting in Tuscany is that the Chianti region, where I usually stay, is actually terrible as far as subject matter goes. The small olive trees are fine if painted up close, but the little blue blobs are really unsightly when seen from afar. And don’t get me started on vineyards… parallel lines from a distance?

That said, Tuscany also has some of the best plein air subjects in the world, especially the rolling hills and wheat fields south of Siena. My other favorite spots are the Mugello, north of Florence, and Maremma, along the coast to the southwest.

Here are couple from a trip to the Val d’Orcia:

banfi Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Vineyards at Poggio alle Mura. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

station at bibbiano Landscape Painting in Tuscany

The Old Station at Bibbiano. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

The Gulf of Baratti has to be one of the more beautiful bays in Tuscany, though it can be a bit too pretty.

chapel at baratti Landscape Painting in Tuscany

The Chapel of San Cerbone at Baratti. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

We stayed with friends on a couple of July weekends and I ended up painting around the house a lot to avoid the crowds.

well and barbeque Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Barbeque and Well at Torrenuova. (Needs to be cut down still).

bridge at torrenuova Landscape Painting in Tuscany

The Bridge at Torrenuova. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

I also painted a bit further north, on the coast near Bolgheri.

road at palone Landscape Painting in Tuscany

White Road at Palone. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

pines at palone Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Stone Pines at Palone. 30 x 40 cm, oil on panel.

palone Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Palone, the Beach. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

And lastly, I painted a bit in the hills above Lucca, which was new to me this summer and is an area I would love to paint more thoroughly.

bagni di luca Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Bagni di Lucca. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

benabbio Landscape Painting in Tuscany

Clothes Hanging at Benabbio. 20 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

Castello di Reschio Paintings

Here are a few plein air paintings from stays on a friend’s estate over the last couple of weeks.

castello di reschio Castello di Reschio Paintings

Castello di Reschio. 20 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

reschio tractor Castello di Reschio Paintings

Fields and White Road. 30 x 40 cm, oil on panel.

road through the woods 507x600 Castello di Reschio Paintings

Road in the Woods. 25 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

There is a tent they use for events which I was quite partial too. Here is a sketches from the north side, trying to get the effect of the light coming through the cloth.

tent2 Castello di Reschio Paintings

The Tent, Reschio #2. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

And a few more from the area:

P1050220 Castello di Reschio Paintings

Reschio. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

cypresses 420x600 Castello di Reschio Paintings

Cypresses. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

poplar 499x600 Castello di Reschio Paintings

Poplar at Umbertide. 25 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

Levitan Show and Catalog

levitan catalog Levitan Show and Catalog

There is a large exhibition of the work of Isaac Levitan on at the moment in Saint Petersburg to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth. Unfortunately I wont be seeing it as it closes tomorrow. I did manage, however, to pick up the catalog directly from the printer. There are a lot of paintings I had never seen published before and overall the reproductions are quite good, even if the catalog itself is rather petite.

Anyways, if you’re interested, you can contact the printer directly here. It was €38 with shipping to Italy.