A few studio landscapes from the last six months. Most are enlarged from plein air sketches done over the last couple of years.
Daniela Astone and I just finished our back-to-back plein air courses in Chianti and the gulf of Baratti. We had 19 glorious days of sunshine during the two ten-day sessions. Here are a few of the sketches I managed to bat out during my time off from teaching.
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:
The Gulf of Baratti has to be one of the more beautiful bays in Tuscany, though it can be a bit too pretty.
We stayed with friends on a couple of July weekends and I ended up painting around the house a lot to avoid the crowds.
I also painted a bit further north, on the coast near Bolgheri.
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.