Zagreb Paintings – Spring 2014

Plein air cityscape of Ribnjak Street, Zagreb.

Afternoon Shadows, Ribnjak. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel

Here are some recent plein air landscape paintings from Zagreb and the surrounding countryside.

Plein air painting of Tina reading.

Tina Practicing a Speech. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of modern sculpture in Zagreb.

Modern Sculpture, Ribnjak Park. 20 x 15 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air cityscape of a garden near Zvijezda square, Zagreb.

Garden, Zvijezda. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

While the Croatian coast is rightfully famous for it’s beauty, the countryside inland has a lot of charm to it as well. It’s a very peaceful place to work since there is a real emptiness in some areas. Often I’ll paint on the side of a road and no more than one car or tractor will pass during the hours it takes me to finish a painting.

Plein air landscape of Sisinec, Croatia.

Šišinec. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a Chapel near Brkisevina, Croatia.

Chapel near Brkiševina. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Below is an updated image of a large plein air painting of a path in Maksimir park. It’s for an even larger studio painting that was requested by a gallery I work with.

Landscape painting in oils of a path in Maksimir Park, Zagreb.

Path in Maksimir (updated) 60 x 80 cm, oil on linen.

 

Spring in Zagreb

Below are a few plein air cityscapes from the last week in and around Zagreb. Here in Croatia Spring has finally started in all it’s glory.

Plein air landscape painting of Maksimir Park, Zagreb

Path in Maksimir Park. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air landscape painting of the old oak tree in Maksimir park, Zagreb.

The Old Oak, Maksimir. 30 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

I have a show of Zagreb cityscapes on May 9th here in the Upper Town at the Laval Nugent gallery. In the meantime the weather is too beautiful not to be painting plein air landscapes outside.

Plein air painting of the flower market in front of the Zagreb train station.

The Flower Market at the Train Station. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Dolac Market, Zagreb

Dolac. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

Painting of the Saturday morning Špica in Zagreb

Špica. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air cityscape of Cvjetni trg, Zagreb

Spring, Cvjetni Trg. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Zagreb Nocturnes

Since the days are so short here in Zagreb (and I’m losing my mornings to language classes), I’ve been trying my hand at plein air nocturnes lately.

The Bar at Zvijezda (2011). 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

The Bar at Zvijezda (2011). 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Last winter I tried one nocturne of the small bar around the corner from my house. The idea was to sketch the composition in pencil and then begin the lay-in on site. However, for the bulk of the work I had the painting elsewhere and, in the evenings, I would stop and try to memorized the view and then paint later from memory. It was like sight-sizing from a block away. The idea was based on the quote by Degas about memory drawing:

“If I were to open an academy I would have a five-story building. The model would pose on the ground floor with the first-year students. The most advanced students would work on the fifth floor.”

This year I’m more prepared. These new clip-on LED lights work very well, and have a much cooler light than the ones you could buy, years ago, when I last tried plein air landscape painting at night. The brand I’m using is Mighty Bright from Santa Barbara, CA and I have the two pronged ones they make for orchestra conductors. (Edit: As Jerry Campbell commented, these lights can be slightly blue. I also found myself compensating to knock down the oranges. Pushing the light right up to the canvas warms it up a bit, but if anyone one has a suggestion for a more neutral plein-air-at-night lighting solution, I’d love to hear it).

My set-up for nocturnes.

My set-up for nocturnes.

A second set of lights would be great as I don’t get enough light consistently across the panels and have to move the light to where I’m working.

Painting in the snow at night can be really cold. I wrote a post last winter on keeping warm, which you can read here.

Cathedral Nocturne #1. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

Zagreb Cathedral Nocturne #1. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

Cathedral Nocturne #2. 30 x 20, oil on panel (unfinished).

Zagreb Cathedral Nocturne #2. 30 x 20, oil on panel (unfinished).

The Central Train Station at Night, Zagreb. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

The Central Train Station at Night. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

More to come. In the meantime, here are a couple more from the heavy snows we’ve had this month in Zagreb.

Winter, Britanski Trg.

Winter, Britanski Trg. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Mirogoj in the Snow.

Mirogoj in the Snow. 30 x 40 cm, oil on panel.

Hrvatsko Narodno Kazalište

Steps of the HNK. 30 x 20 cn, oil on panel.

Ulica A.G. Matoša, Zagreb

Ulica A.G. Matoša. 28 x 18 cm, oil on panel.

July in Zagreb

Sunday Chess Players in Britanski Trg. 25 x 35 cm, oil on linen.

Here a few sketches from this week in Zagreb. The weather has been beautiful here.

The Cathedral from Kaptol. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

The Tram at Zvijesda. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Statue of the Virgin, Zagreb. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

Market Stalls, Zagreb. 20 x 30 cm, oil on linen.

Zagreb Sketches

After 18 years in the Oltrarno of Florence, I’ve left Italy for a while. I’m currently living in Zagreb, Croatia and will be moving to Maastricht, Holland in February.

Here are some sketches from the center of Zagreb where I’ve been living the last few weeks.

The Cathedral from the Marketplace. 35 x 25 cm.

Frost, Mirogoj. 25 x 35 cm.

The Walls at Mirogoj. 35 x 25 cm.

Tkalčićeva Ulica. 30 x 20 cm

First Snow at Mirogoj. 20 x 30 cm.

Palmoticeva ulica. 30 x 20 cm.

Lotrščak Tower. 30 x 20 cm.

Zagreb. 25 x 35 cm.

The Bar at Zvijezda. 20 x 30 cm.

The Cathedral, Zagreb. 30 x 20 cm.