You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Umbria’ tag.
The illumination in this watercolor painting is all from my imagination. I took a picture of this scene in the daytime, with cars and pedestrians and the sun shining. My challenge to myself when painting it was to paint the scene as a nighttime picture, with the clock tower illuminated against the night sky.
This is the village of Torgiano, in Umbria, Italy.
Bellissimo Restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia is where my Italian Collection is hanging for display. This name ‘Bellissimo’ has particular significance for me. In our first few months of living in Italy, I heard the word “bellissimo” repeatedly. Italians are all about beauty. Perhaps more than any other people I’ve been around, Italians seem to have an innate sense of what is beautiful. When you are in Italy, you are indeed surrounded by beautiful scenery, landscapes, buildings, vistas and art. Italians dress well because it is important to give others something beautiful to look at!
I returned to Italy several years ago with my Italian class from Fairfax. We spent a week in the home town of my Italian teacher taking in the sights of Umbria province and the village of Torgiano. Many of the images in my Italian Collection are based on photographs I took on that trip. Several of those paintings can be seen in Bellissimo.
Chef Omar Lavayen is an artist in his own right, creating masterpieces of art with every entree, every dessert, and every detail of Italian dining. Chef Omar and his wife Mary have recreated the atmosphere and cuisine of northern Italy with spectacular accuracy.
I got to spent part of the afternoon today with Omar and Mary when I delivered two more pieces for display, and took down a piece that had sold. They generously provide wall space to hang this collection, and regaled us with an indescribably delicious lunch.
Katharine (katharinetrauger.wordpress.com) commented on my picture of “Nella Chiesa” and asked (in jest) which way the window faced and what time of day it was, which reminded me about my previous post, “Moving the Sun.” Being an artist, I can change the direction of the shadows or the quality of the light to enhance my subject. I also use a compact camera, despite the salesman’s assurances that I would like a DSLR better because the quality of pictures is so much greater. I want a camera that I will carry with me a lot, and, actually, I don’t want perfect pictures. If I take a fantastic photo, then it should stay a photo. I use photos as references when I can improve the scene or use different colors to enhance the mood or make the scene say something more than is in the photo.
For example, here is my painting of the Duomo (cathedral) in Gubbio, Italy.
My reference photo is here:
I have brightened the interior and put in colors which don’t appear in the photo. A value study helps with this, as I paint from the study and therefore am not as subject to the tyranny of the scene as when looking at a photo.
And, Katharine, I think the window faces east-southeast and it was late morning.
I travelled to Italy a couple of years ago with my Italian class. We stayed in our teacher’s hometown in Umbria and took day trips to some of the picturesque hill towns near Perugia. This watercolor painting is of the duomo (cathedral) in Gubbio, which was built late in the 12th century.
Although the towns are small and crowded, the markets and cafes are noisy and busy, and Italians like being closer together than Americans, the churches are havens of peace and rest, and are treated with much respect.