Montefalco Plein Air

Here are a few paintings from my trip to Montefalco. Again, one of the more picturesque spots on Earth. I’ve been trying to update my geotagged landscape archive so people can take advantage of all the hours I spend scouting around for views (see my earlier post if you have no idea what I’m talking about).

My painting companions this time were Greg Horwitch, Ebba Heuman, Alex Rooney and Rupert Alexander (if anyone was wondering why it’s been raining in Italy for the last two months, it’s because Rupert has been trying to paint outside since early May).

This time, I was very partial to the Clitunno river which runs north through the valley.

Fig Tree on the Clitunno at Casevecchie. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Tractor Bridge on the Clitunno. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Another Tractor Bridge on the Clitunno. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

We were there for wheat field season. Always one of the best times for plein air painting. Here are a couple of larger paintings of the fields.

Wheat fields below Montefalco. 90 x 110 cm, oil on linen.

Wheat Fields on the Trasimeno. 80 x 100 cm, oil on linen (work in progress).

Our scouting trips took us quite a ways from Montefalco. Here are some sketches from further north.

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

Hay Bales at Montalera. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel

Poggio delle Corti and Perugia. 60 x 80 cm, oil on linen (in progress still).

The holy grail of landscape painting is a foreground, middle ground and background which compose together beautifully. The combination of the flat central valley, rolling hills, and mountains in this part of Umbria, combined with wheat fields, poplar trees, and picturesque hilltop towns, makes this one of the best areas to paint in Italy.

Here are some action shots from the trip:

Painting meter large canvases with a cigar box.

Greg at Casevecchie.

Ebba on Lake Trasimeno.

Alex below Montefalco.

Rupert scouting the wheat fields.

Me getting up over the olive trees near Trevi.

Geotagging for landscape painters

I spend a lot of time driving around the Tuscan countryside every summer looking for great spots to paint.

An ongoing project of mine is to take a picture from every spot I find which I think is especially picturesque. The camera on my cellphone is set to automatically check the built-in gps system to see where I am in the world, and the phone is set to automatically upload my landscape photos to a Flickr set. Flickr can then parse the location data in the photo and place it on a map.

Another painter can then check my ‘landscape archive’ map on Flickr to see if any of the views interest them.

At the moment there are just a few practice shots up, but over the next couple months the map should fill up.

(The phone is a Nokia N82, if anyone was curious).