Recent Plein Air Paintings (Ireland, Croatia, and Italy)

Plein air painting of Colclough Walled Gardens near Tintern Abbey, Ireland.

Colclough Walled Gardens #1. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

I’ve been moving around a lot and haven’t been posting much, so here are paintings from the last three months. The first few are from the AITO plein air painting festival in Wexford, Ireland. It’s always a great to be back in Wexford and they always find us great spots to paint. I focused on gardens this trip, as subjects to enlarge in the future.

Most of these were already posted on my Instagram feed.

Plein air painting of Colclough Walled Gardens near Tintern Abbey, Ireland.

Colclough Walled Gardens #2. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of the Walled Gardens at Woodstock Arboretum near Inistioge, Ireland.

Walled Garden, Woodstock Arboretum. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Curracloe Beach, Wexford.

Curracloe Beach Painters in the Rain. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

I left the next three in Ireland for the exhibition and didn’t have a chance to photograph them properly, but here they are in the field:

Plein air painting of Irish cows.

Ballymore Cows. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of boats at Passage East, Ireland.

Boats at Passage East. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of the bank holiday weekend in Wexford, Ireland.

Bank Holiday Weekend in Wexford. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

These next few are from a weekend in Zadar, Croatia where we went for a friend’s wedding:

Plein air painting of the Riva in Zadar, Croatia.

Morning on the Riva, Zadar. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a cafe in Zadar, Croatia.

Cafe in Zadar. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of the Riva in Zadar, Croatia.

Zadar, the Riva. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

And finally, the paintings below are from the last couple months in Italy. I have a lot of studio work and commissions on the burner, so I haven’t been painting outside all that much.

Plein air painting of a garden scene above Florence, Italy.

Lunch in the Garden, Vicchio di Rimaggio. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Jory Glazner painting near Vicchio di Rimaggio.

Jory Glazner painting behind the Villa Schneiderf. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of an afternoon at Vicchio di Rimaggio.

Afternoon Tea, Vicchio di Rimaggio. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air landscape painting of the Grand Canal in Venice.

Grand Canal sketch. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of the Grand Canal from the Accademia in Venice, Italy.

Grand Canal from the Accademia. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Recent Italian Studio Paintings

Here are a couple of larger studio landscapes done from smaller plein air studies done on site in central Tuscany in September. I realize I haven’t posted anything in a while as I’ve been working on these larger studio paintings and they take a long time. I have three more on the easel and I’ll try to update the post as I finish them.

Studio landscape painting of Castelmuzio, Tuscany by Marc Dalessio

Castelmuzio. 120 x 150 cm, oil on linen.

Oil painting of Scrofiano, Tuscany by Marc Dalessio

Scrofiano. 90 x 110 cm, oil on linen.

Update: Here are a couple more, I’ll keep posting them here as they come off the easel. Some are heading for the Grenning Gallery this summer, one is off to Constantine Lindsay in London.

Landscape painting of Castelmuzio in Tuscany by Marc Dalessio

Castelmuzio, Backlit. 90 x 110 cm, oil on linen.

Landscape painting of Giudecca in Winter in Venice, Italy by Marc Dalessio

Giudecca in Winter. 90 x 110 cm, oil on linen.

Recent Tuscan Plein Air Paintings

Plein air landscape painting of Sinalunga (Siena).

Sinalunga from the Valley Below. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

These plein air paintings are actually from a few weeks back, but I never got around to posting them. I was working in the area around Montisi (east of Siena), and looking for views that would work as larger compositions for studio paintings to be done over the winter.

As I’ve discussed before on this blog, the Holy Grail of landscape painting is a view where the foreground, middle-ground, and background compose well and I spend a great deal of time every year driving and walking in search of such a view. An obvious question would be ‘why not just invent it from parts of views taken elsewhere?’ The answer for me is that, in part, my training makes it difficult. I was trained with the more ‘Impressionist’ methodology of sight-size, which requires the subject to be in front of the artist (as opposed to a ‘construction’ based painting system). In part though, it’s also a component of my philosophy on painting of taking a more humble and reverent approach to viewing the natural world. Furthermore, there is a historic precedence as seen in the work of a great number of plein air painters, and Henry Fuseli said it best: “Selection is the invention of the landscape painter”.

It means a lot of driving though.

Plein air landscape painting of Castelmuzio.

Castelmuzio #1. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air landscape painting of Castelmuzio.

Castelmuzio #2. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air landscape painting of Castelmuzio.

Castelmuzio #3. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

I’ll often do a number of paintings of the same view when I do finally find one that will work on a larger canvas. This is in addition to a number of pencil sketches to figure out the balance and composition of the final piece.

One of my favorite ‘tricks’ to finding good views in central Italy is to look for the cemetery. They tend to be placed just the right distance from the town, usually with a very good view on the town, and they have parking and shade to work under.

Plein air landscape painting of Scrofiano, Tuscany.

Scrofiano. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a sunset in Tuscany.

Tuscan Sunset. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Overall I was quite happy with this short excursion and I think I can make at least three larger studio pieces from a few days worth of scouting.

Swiss Plein Air Demo

Here are a couple of images and a short video from the plein air landscape painting course I did in the little village of Les Plans above Bex in Switzerland.

I was teaching solo and didn’t get a ton of my own work done. That said, it’s a great little spot for painting as there is a ton of diverse subject matter in such a short distance from the hotel where we stay.

Plein air painting of cows in a field in Switzerland.

Cows by a Barn, Switzerland. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air landscape painting of a house above Les Plans, Switzerland.

Above Les Plans. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

We’ll perhaps to do another course next summer as well. And we discussed an ‘extreme plein air’ course in the winter, with snowboards, where the students have to sign a gazillion waivers protecting us from responsibility when they die. Stay tuned for more information.

I tried to film a painting demo but was drowned out by the cowbells, here is the first fifteen minutes where I discuss selecting a view and setting up:

Below is a video of a band that played at our hotel called Le Sirop D’la Rue. I thought I would throw in a plug for them as the music was great:

On the way home to Zagreb we stopped in the small Italian town of Chioggia, on the southern end of the Venetian lagoon. Edgar Payne did some beautiful paintings there in the 1920s and I had always wanted to see it. The orange sails are mostly gone (we saw a couple), but it’s an amazingly picturesque little town for painters. It has three canals, like Venice, but two are ‘working’ canals, full of fishing boats and the whole place has a terrific amount of varying subject matter in a very small area. There are cars in the town too, so you can park in front of your hotel.

Plein air painting of a cafe in Chioggia, Italy.

Cafe in Chioggia. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of fishing boats in Chioggia, Italy.

Fishing Boats, Chioggia. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein Air Painting in Tuscany

Plein air landscape painting of Sant'Angelo in Colle, near Montalcino, Tuscany.

Sant’Angelo in Colle. 20 x0 30 cm, oil on panel.

A quick post with some of my paintings from last week in Tuscany.

Late May/early June is my favorite time to paint in the area south of Siena, as the wheat fields are at their best, just before the harvest. The Senese is probably one of the more picturesque places on earth, and it is arguably the place where the first landscape paintings since antiquity were painted in the Allegory of Good and Bad Government frescos by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the town hall of Siena.

Plein air painting of a Fiat Panda.

Fiat Panda. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Painting of a farmer in Chianti.

Mario. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Castelmuzio, Tuscany, Italy.

Castelmuzio. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Montisi (unfinished). 20 x 30 cm.

Montisi (unfinished). 20 x 30 cm.

We were lucky with the weather. There were thunderstorms around Montisi (where we were staying) but with the big skies of the Senese we could see where they were growing and move around them.

Plein air painting of Sant'Angelo in Colle.

Sant’Angelo in Colle #2. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Dipinto della spiaggia a Roccamare.

On the Beach, Roccamare. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

The last few paintings are of the sunset every evening from the farmhouse where we were staying outside of the village of Noce, near Tavarnelle val di Pesa. It’s part of a continuing series I’ve been working on which I intend on framing all together in one large frame. You can see some of the ones from last year here.

Plein air painting of a Tuscan sunset.

Torricella Sunset #5. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a Tuscan sunset.

Torricella Sunset #6. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air landscape of a sunset in Tuscany.

Torricella Sunset #7. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a sunset near Tavarnelle val di Pesa.

Torricella Sunset #8. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.