I'm baaaack. And I'm kicking off my return to blogging with a new Varenna study. I actually hesitate to call this a study, given the amount of time it took. I guess a month away from painting has left me feeling a litle rusty and slow! In any case, this painting will serve as a preliminary study for a larger piece.
We have had rounds of winter sickness followed by school closings due to snow, so with my foray back into painting being thwarted quite a bit, I had the thought to develop a number of small scale studies of some larger painting ideas that I've been wanting to tackle. I'll be painting some of these to scale up to my larger sizes. For example this 6x9" piece will scale up to 24x36".
I've painted various views of this harbor a few times now, which you can see here, here, and here. I guess you can tell I am enamored with this particular view of this lovely Italian lake town! This composition emphasizes the strong horizontal of the walled town jutting out onto the lake, contrasted by the verticals of the buildings and tall cypresses.
While I almost always sketch out my composition on paper before I tackle a canvas, I usually leave the painted study for when I am out in the field painting from life. In fact, I have painted lots of studies and lots of larger scale studio pieces and quite a bit in between. Not all small paintings warrant a big statement, but I haven't been all that great about developing my viable studies into larger, more fleshed out studio concepts. My schedule has been so sporadic for such a long time now, and with not much chance of an end in sight, I really feel like I need to have a more methodical approach to my work habits. I am hoping that by tightening up my studio practices a bit, I might find more equilibrium when I do get a chance to enter the studio, and I will waste less time and feel less at a loss about what I am going to tackle next.
Well, nothing informs like experience, and since these small ones can presumably be completed in a fraction of the time, (ahem!) I thought it was worthwhile to have a go at a few of them, done, specifically with larger paintings in mind. I will also mine some of my other small works, in particular the plein air pieces I've done, as I think a number of them have potential for further development. I have worked from a number of them here and there, but I think there is more potential (especially in my James River series) and it could be something fun to do during these cold winter months when I'm not getting outside.