Cala di Forno

cala di forno maremma Cala di Forno

Afternoon on the Beach, Cala di Forno. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

cala di forno morning Cala di Forno

Morning Clouds. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Cala di Forno is a magical little spot on the southern Tuscan coast. It’s a tiny clump of buildings just next to the beach, in the middle of a large natural park. Much of the park is off limits, even to those staying in the houses, so there is a lot of wildlife around. Down near the houses there are tame deer that stand under the fig trees, waiting for the kids to pick the figs for them (though they don’t stand still enough to paint with any accuracy).

deer uccellina Cala di Forno

Deer and Olive Trees. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

deer well Cala di Forno

Deer by the Old Well. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

We spent last week there with a few other painters. After walking all over Rome in the heat, it was nice to be restricted to a tiny area in which to work. Many of my paintings were done within 10 meters (30 feet) of the front door.

cala di forno well Cala di Forno

The Old Well, Cala di Forno. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

stone pine maremma Cala di Forno

Stone Pine. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

cala di forno casa Cala di Forno

Houses in Cala di Forno. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painters often look for people who are going to be in the same place for long enough to paint. Fishermen, for example, work great as subject matter as they move very little over the course of hours. I spent a few sessions painting the other artists while they worked. Other painters make great subjects since I have a good idea of how long they take to finish a piece, and thus for how long they’ll stay still.

beach cala di forno Cala di Forno

Tina Painting a Watercolor. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

ben painting beatrice Cala di Forno

Ben Painting Beatrice. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Ignazio Painting Cala di Forno

Ignacio Painting on the Beach. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

fenske painting Cala di Forno

Ben Painting. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

The beach can be accessed by boat, so many arrive and park their boats in the little bay. The water is so shallow, they often just walk from their boat to the shore (swimming the first bit, obviously).

boats at cala di forno Cala di Forno

Boats in the Surf, Cala di Forno. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

I spent a lot of time trying to paint people on the beach.

tamara and moss Cala di Forno

Tamara and Moss. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

tina backlit water Cala di Forno

Backlit. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

I even tried painting kids, though I have no idea how Sorolla did it, they moved much to fast for me.

beach cala di forno1 Cala di Forno

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

kid on a log Cala di Forno

Kids Playing on Driftwood. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

In plein air painting, sometimes I find restricting myself to a small area in which to work can be better than moving around a great deal. The extra time not spent scouting and traveling means more time for the paintings.

cala di forno sunset Cala di Forno

Sunset, Cala di Forno. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

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.

Ten paintings a day

all Ten paintings a day

Don’t try this at home. Some blogs do a painting-a-day, I was given a house last week for 4 days and tried to make as most out of it as possible by painting as many small sketches in a day as I could. I thought I would go for ten a day. This seemed easy as the estate where I was painting is in an especially picturesque part of the upper Maremma, and I was very inspired by the landscape. I ended up working from 7:30-ish in the morning until 11 pm at night (there was a full moon, so I could paint at night).

Unfortunately I have the habit of holding my brushes with my left hand while I work, and as I painted over the course of the day I kept grabbing clean brushes while continuing to hold the old ones. By the end of the day I had held a huge mass of brushes in my hand for hours and that night I came down with severe tendinitis and a terrible fever which lasted 4 days. It still hurts today as I type, almost a week later.

Clever. Anyways, here are some of the sketches:

entrance Ten paintings a day

The Beach Road at Bolgheri

reeds Ten paintings a day

Reeds

frombiserno Ten paintings a day

The View from Biserno

airplane Ten paintings a day

Airplane

viale Ten paintings a day

Stone Pines at Bolgheri

cecina Ten paintings a day

Fishermen at Cecina

cypress Ten paintings a day

Cypress at Biserno

beach Ten paintings a day

The Beach at Bolgheri