Lake Como W.I.P./Demo (continued)

Well I promised color in my last post, so let's get started! I don't know if I mentioned it lately, but I have been experimenting with expanded palettes for my latest paintings, and that exploration continues with this one. Regular readers may remember that I have for a long while used a limited palette of red, yellow, and blue, plus white (like this one). For this painting, my palette is (as I lay it out from left to right) Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Light, Golden Ochre (Rembrandt), Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Permanent (Gamblin), Cobalt Blue, and Ultramarine Blue. (I've specified brands where color names are specific to a particular brand.)   I haven't used any pre-mixed greens, as you can really mix a zillion different greens with this palette. I have used most of these colors off and on, with the exception of Cobalt Blue. To be honest, I was really hoping that I wouldn't like it, because it is a terribly expensive tube of paint. Of course, I love it!  It is a cooler blue than Ultramarine, which has more red in it. I still love Ultramarine, but Cobalt has some really wonderful possibilites. Any way, back to the painting...I start by painting in the sky, which contains the light source and is also the farthest in distance. The sky is Cobalt blue plus white, with cad yellow lt. added as it nears the horizon. For the clouds I've mixed a combination of blues and cads red and orange + white for the shadows, and Cad orange and red + white for the highlights.


Working from back to front, I next paint in the distant cliffs, which have a beautiful shadow casting down over them from low-lying clouds. The photo is a bit dark here (apologies) but I will try to get some more accurate photos in subsequent blog posts so you can get a better idea of the colors.

The distant mountains complete, I block in the buildings that jut out into the harbor, as they will serve as my area of interest in the painting, and everything will kind of flow to lead the eye towards them. I also decide to lay down my pattern of darks, to restate the plan I made in my notan sketch. Again, this photo just blackens everything out, but I had to make a choice between using my time blogging or photo editing, and at this point, I've chosen blogging.


Next, I work on the terraced hillside in the middle distance. What a joy it is to paint...all of those shadows and varied greens! A nice round bristle brush is great for painting in those cypress trees, which have always struck me as distinctive punctuation marks in the Italian landscape. .


 A mahl stick (shown in the next photo  on my easel below the painting) is a handy tool to have to steady the hand without smudging the painting, when painting details like architecture and tall skinny cypress trees.


I have yet to paint in the highlights on the cypresses, but once I've done that I will be ready to move on to the middle distant water and boats, and finally the boats in the foreground. All that will be left after that point will be fine tuning  wherever's needed.

Varenna painting complete

Just a quick post to share the final version of the Lake Como painting I wrote about in my last post:

Landscape painting of Varenna Italy

"La Passarella, Varenna" Oil on Linen, 24"x 20"


This view shows small fishing and leisure boats in front of the arched foot path called "La Passarella"  that winds its way around Varenna.Known  as "the pearl of the lake", Varenna is one of the most beautiful towns on Lake Como. A great place to leisurely wander and get lost!

I also really enjoyed this version of the limited palette I wrote about in my last post. I can see myself using this one again (as soon as I buy more Cad. Red Medium!) One of these days I will find time to update my website. In the meantime, please contact me for additional details about the painting and/or to purchase.

On the easel -Varenna (Lake Como) W.I.P

Just a quick post to share what's been on my easel of late. It's been so blazing hot this week that I have not found an opportunity to get back outside and have pretty much retreated to the studio to work. I'm still keeping things relatively small for the time being, though 20x24" isn't, for me, exactly tiny:

Lake Como, Italy landscape painting by Jennifer Young

Yet again I thought I'd experiment with another limited palette, using the "big three" primaries of red, yellow blue. In this case the red is Cadmium red medium, the yellow, cad. yellow pale, and my ol' friend ultramarine. The main difference for me is using cad. red medium. I almost never use this red but found some in my bins and thought, why not? At first I felt like I was shooting myself in the foot with this palette on this subject, as it is a bit more muted than when I use my usual gem-like transparent red of alizarin crimson. But having gotten used to it, I am quite liking it. I think I should be finished with this piece in another session or two, which will hopefully be this week, providing I have the studio time.

Bellagio from above; more oil painting w/out solvents

Following up from my prior WIP, here is the final painting. This is a view of Bellagio from a hike we took up to Villa Serbelloni. The villa is now maintained by the Rockefeller Foundation, who uses it as a retreat for  the Bellagio Study and Conference Center for artists and writers (wouldn't that be nice?) For this reason, we couldn't go inside the villa when we visited, but we could tour the grounds, which offers gorgeous views over Bellagio.

Oil painting of Bellagio, Italy

"Bellagio From Above" Oil on Linen, 20x16"


Both this piece and my previous Lake Como painting, were done without the use of solvents or any other medium other than small amounts of walnut oil to clean brushes and thin paint when necessary. But even when used judiciously, the walnut oil served to slow drying considerably. At present this is not a huge problem, as I am spending most of my time painting/renovating/preparing home and life for the new baby! But it does change the nature of things and the overall result became more impressionistic due both to the behavior of the paint, and probably also the gaps in my working sessions.

I know that an oil painting requires a certain length of time for all of the layers to fully dry (sometimes as much as 6 months or a year.) But normally the top layers will dry to the touch in about a week's time.  Not so with the walnut oil method, which seems to require at least an additional week to my usual handling time.

Maybe it's just that my painting habits are not particularly suited for this method, or maybe I just need to get used to new ways of doing things. Overall, except at the very beginning stage, I don't paint in thin layers. In fact, while I don't lay it on with a palette knife, I do paint passages that are relatively thick and juicy. But oddly, I experience the most difficulty in the lay-in, (early stage) which I am used to having set up rather quickly.

First of all, in order to follow the "fat over lean" rule, I have been trying not to make the paint too "fat", too soon. So I keep the walnut oil I use in my initial lay-in stage very spare. The result is that instead of a thinly painted initial sketch and color block-in, I find myself with trying to move paint around that has a definite drag and is less fluid. The lay-in becomes more often a "rub-in" with a rag or a "scrub-in" with an old brush, and the edits and corrections are very hard to lift off the canvas.

On the other hand, if I use more walnut oil at this stage, the paint can get too smeary and unmanageable for successive layers, not to mention less stable (with any medium you use, you should only use no more than 20% total volume when mixed directly into the paint, and I usually err on the side of caution and use rather less than that.)

One solution may be to use a runnier paint in the lay-in stage. M. Graham walnut oil paints are such a paint. I do have a few tubes on hand, as I've tried them in the past. As much as I wanted to like them, I normally prefer more body to my paints. But they might just work for my purposes now--but still probably just in the initial stage only. (Incidentally, it's perfectly okay to mix walnut oil with linseed oil based paint, so even if you want to paint solvent-free, you do not need to buy their paints exclusively.)

Aside from walnut oil to thin,  there are other oils to try. Linseed oil is commonly used by artists, both in mixtures of ground paint and in various mediums. And while both linseed and walnut oils are considered to be "drying oils", linseed tends to be the faster-drying of the two.  However, I seem to read a lot about how linseed oil tends to yellow over time. Maybe this is an exaggerated worry, but a quick look at experiments like this one swayed me to first try the walnut oil over linseed.

So, to sum up from this layperson's perspective, some of the pros of using walnut oil to thin/clean are:

  • Non-yellowing
  • Non-toxic/ solvent-free painting (though other oils can also serve to achieve the same thing.)
  • Odorless
  • Does not evaporate like solvents, so it seems fairly long-lasting
  • Conditions brushes nicely


  • Walnut oil is expensive! (If you are only using oil to clean your brushes, you could probably get by with a less expensive oil.)
  • Slows drying considerably (this could actually be a "pro", depending on your painting technique.)
  • Compared to solvent, it requires using more brushes and/or more wiping of brushes between colors in order to keep the color clean.
  • Walnut oil is expensive!

A WIP and oil painting without solvents

After a couple of wipers, I finally have at least a work-in-progress to post. I've continued with the Bellagio theme, this time with an ariel view. I guess I'd call this a color block-in:

bellagio painting work in progress

Why the wipers? Well, I've been oil painting without solvents, and it's taking some practice to get the hang of things. Now as a fairly long-time an oil painter, I'm quite used to being around solvents. I do try to be conscientious of the risks and precautions, so I minimize odor (through ventilation and the use of a high quality OMS) and contact (wearing nitrile gloves) when handling my paints. But otherwise I admit I haven't thought too much about what potential hazards might be involved.

I guess I've been fortunate, in that I haven't experienced some of the allergies that other artists have suffered. But allergies or not, now that I am in the midst of  pregnancy, taking the utmost care in the studio has taken on a new significance. So I decided to do a little investigating....

* Warning, this post is rather's the first in a series of postings about what I've learned on alternatives to my usual oil painting method, presented in my usual rather rambling way. It's certainly not the definitive source on the topic, but may hopefully provide some insight or a jumping off point for other painters who may be wondering about some of this stuff.


When considering alternatives to my usual method of painting, I first took a look at the  pigments I was using, simply because they are essentially the same substance found in oils, watercolors, acrylics, casein, etc.  Pigments are the ground powder, either natural or synthetic, that comprises the "colored part" of the paint.

From what I can gather, due to the risk of inhalation, pigments seem to be most hazardous when in their ground, dry form. Some folks using manufactured paints from the tube are rather indifferent in their attitude about pigments in paints, saying, "Well, as long as you don't snort or eat your paints you'll be fine."  Nevertheless, some pigments do contain toxins and heavy metals, which could potentially be ingested or absorbed through the skin on surface contact. So for this reason it's always a good idea to wear gloves when handling them, and avoid eating, smoking, etc., around them, at least not without thoroughly scrubbing with soap before hand.

I put the question of hazards in manufactured artist oils to the maker of the oil paints I use most frequently- Winsor Newton. The technician, Amy Faris, was extremely helpful and very quickly responsive to my queries. Here's an excerpt of some of what she wrote about pigments:

"Depending on the color, our oil paints contain either linseed oil or safflower oil, with the possible addition of a drier, again depending on the color.  Other than than, I am unable to give you any specific recipes regarding the oils, because that information falls under the category of proprietary, and they won't even share it with me." (*Jen's note: this last sentence is one I heard over and over from the manufacturers of artist's materials that I queried directly.)"

"What I can tell you is that all of our products are tested and labeled for health and safety by an independent toxicologist at the Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI).  An AP label - or a non-toxic label signifies that the toxicologist has not found anything in the product that can cause you harm, as long as you are using the product in the manner for which it was created - in other words, you are not eating it, applying it to your friend's body, etc.  A CL warning label signifies that the toxicologist has found something in the product that can potentially cause harm.  This CL label is usually followed by a statement on how to use the product safely."

"All health labeling can be found right on the back of every tube of paint we manufacture and on every container of medium, solvent etc.  If you would like more information on the toxicologist or on health and safety in general, please visit the ACMI website at:"

"In terms of pigments:  some mineral or metallic based pigments can be hazardous to your health if they build up in your system over time. Lead, cadmium,cobalt  and chromium are some problematic pigments that spring to mind. Generally, the biggest hazard comes in to play if you are working with these pigments in their dry, powder form and are breathing the pigment dust into your lungs.  In terms of the pigment while it is contained in a vehicle (contained in the paint form we are all used to working with) as long as you are not spraying the paint (cadmiums breathed into the lungs prove to be cancer-causing), or ingesting it in large quantities over time ( I sometimes joke about eating it, but if you point your brush in your mouth or eat or drink in the studio with paint covered hands you run the risk of ingesting the paint)  you should be okay.  Paint that contains lead (usually whites such as flake or cremnitz white)  needs to be handled with great care - the lead can be carried through your skin layer if the paint has been diluted with a thinner - you never want to clean your brushes by rubbing them in the palm of your hand - doing so can drive pigments directly into your skin.  Cobalt can be a skin irritant to some people."

...And the vehicles?

So basically, since I don't grind my own paints, I can take care in handling and just make note of the labels (and manufacturers that use such labeling) to make my choice of paint. But what about the vehicles used to suspend the pigment in the paints and give them their characteristics? In many cases it is nothing more than a seed or nut oil (linseed oil, walnut, poppy, etc.) But in other cases, there are other additives, and they seem to be both more mysterious and potentially more hazardous to me (and my unborn baby) since they can be inhaled as they float about in the air. Paint manufacturers are, as I said, pretty hush-hush about the specific additives used in their formulas.  As artists, even with the labeling, it's often difficult to impossible to derive specific information on which elements beyond the pigments in the paint are potentially toxic. But through a very cursory look around the web, I learned that  some of the potential additives to common artist paints (oils, acrylics, etc.) could be various solvents and resins that are volatile organic compounds (toxic inhalants), formaldehyde, preservatives, and mercury. Yikes!

And contrary to popular belief, in terms of tubes of paint, it doesn't seem to me that oil paints are necessarily any more toxic than say, acrylics. In fact, while acrylics clean up with water, many acrylics use vehicles that contain ammonia and formaldehyde that off-gas as they dry.

So, being at best a dabbler in watercolors, not having enjoyed my past experience with water soluble oils, and seeing no compelling reason to jump over to acrylics, it looked like oil painting without solvents was still worth pursuing for me. It would require some changes in my work habits, but if I could use precautions and avoid both the use of solvents to clean my brushes, as well as solvents, driers, and other potentially noxious fumes that come from various painting mediums , it could be done.

And that has been my aim. The W.I.P. pictured above, as well as and the one from my prior post were both done without the use of solvents. I'm using my usual paint brands--just using walnut oil instead of OMS to clean my brushes and a very tiny bit to thin my paint if needed. But it's slow going. This old dog is still having some trouble with her new tricks, and it's taking some getting used to. I'll write more about those challenges in a future post.

A Game-Changer

"How long did it take you to paint that?" I think any artist who has been painting for a while has to have heard that question a million times. I always find it a little hard to answer, because the question seems to imply a kind of value judgement, such as "paintings that take longer are worth more" (which isn't always the case.) But if I were to answer the question in regards to the painting below, I'd have to say that it's taken about 3 months. More aptly put, 1 trimester.

Yes, that's right...Back in early November we received some surprising and life-changing news. Turns out we're expecting our first born, due in July of 2010! Having been married for 15 years with no expectations of having children, let's just say we were happily surprised!

What it has meant for me professionally (at least in the short run) is that my painting came to a screeching halt for the rest of the last quarter and the early part of 2010. Not only did I feel oil painting (with solvents) to be not good for the developing fetus, I was so constantly nauseated and exhausted that I had no  problem staying out of the studio altogether. Heck, even sitting at the computer for any amount of time gave me some serious vertigo, so I had no choice but to unplug for much of last quarter as well.

What it will mean for me in the future is a little unknown. I'll still be an artist, but this one's certainly a game-changer, at least in terms of the way I'll play it. For sure there will be more periods of absenteeism once the baby makes her big debut. For now, I'm in my 2nd trimester and have both better stamina and the blessing of my obstetrician to get back to work, so I am finally tip-toeing back into the studio to have a  go at painting again. Here's my first attempt, after a "pregnant pause"; a painting of lovely Lake Como:

Italian landscape painting Lake Como Italy

"Gilded Afternoon, Lake Como" Oil on linen, 24"x20" SOLD

So...since it took me all these months to finish, do you think I can charge more? Nah....I'll just price it as per usual. Mama needs a new nursery! ;-)

Lakeside Chalet

I'm not sure if this painting is finished yet, but I feel like I've been looking at it for so long that I can't see it any more. Time to get it off of my easel for a while and work on something else! This is one of two Lake Como paintings I started working on side-by-side:

 lake como Italian villa chalet painting "Lakeside Chalet" Oil on Canvas, 30x40"

 I eventually left off of this method and focused on one painting at a time. I think working back and forth might be okay if I have one small painting and one large, but with two big ones it was getting me nowhere fast.

We've had some gloomy weather this week and between that and the wet glare of this painting I'm having a hard time getting a good photograph. Once I reshoot it in better conditions I'll upload it to my website  (Update: Sunshine today! Image reshot). Meanwhile, please contact me for more info about this piece.

A two-fer; Lake Como Paintings

My schedule has been NUTS lately so unfortunately my blog has suffered a bit of benign neglect. Still alive and kicking and painting, however. Here's something I thought I'd try to see if I might be able to save a little money on paint. A lot of times when I paint I can mix too much color, (which I still think is far better than mixing too little). These mixtures can be reused of course, especially if the subsequent painting needs similar hues. But I'm not always good about consciously planning my subjects like that. So here's a conscious effort to get two paintings going at the same time with color mixtures that relate to each other:

lake como paintings by Jennifer Young

 The key will be not to just lazily use what's already mixed if it doesn't really suit what I'm painting. In hindsight it might have been better to start one large painting and one small painting instead of two rather ambitiously sized pieces, (they are both 30x40".) But I guess I was feeling cocky when I started these! 

While I did the transparent color block-ins  one after the other, what is happening  as I proceed is that I am still focusing on one individually, with an occasional switch-off when I need a change.  I don't really know if I'm conserving much paint, but it does keep things interesting. ;-) In case you can't tell what these are, the subject matter for both pieces is Lake Como, Italy. The painting on the left will be a more fleshed out version of the little watercolor painting I did for my last charity auction.

Speaking of which, a new Art for Food Auction will be posted by tomorrow morning!

New art Auction: "Mountain Chalet", Lake Como, Italy

The "Art for Food" charity art auctions continue! This 7-day auction is for a landscape painting of a little chapel and mountainside chalet overlooking a small fishing harbor on Italy's lovely Lake Como. The Mediterranean trees and buildings are set against a dramatic backdrop of the Pre-Alps, making this one of the most stunning destinations in Italy.

Lake Como Italian landscape painting "Mountain Chalet" Watercolor & Ink, 8x10" sold

According to the Central Virginia FoodBank, $25 could provide as many as 200 meals. So, with that in mind, opening bids for these auctions are set at the mega-bargain price of about 200 meals or $24.99 per item! 95% of the proceeds for these auctions will be donated to the CVFB.

Art for Food auction for the CVFB- Italian landscape painting of Lake Como

The online art auctions for the Central VA Foodbank are doing great. So far the auction sales have made donations that will provide over 800 meals! A note of my sincerest thanks to the winning bidders, and everyone who has taken the time to bid. I plan to keep the project going for the next 6 months, so I hope you will too! Today I've posted another "Art for Food" auction. This sweet original watercolor/pen and ink painting on paper is of Italy's beautiful lake Como. The vantage point is looking over the terra cotta rooftops from a lovely terrace lined with flowerpots:

Italian landscpe painting lake como italy "Patio View, Varenna"

sold Watercolor/Pen & Ink on Paper, 7x9" (Image size 4x6") Visit the auction and bid! This auction has ended, but click here to see the current auctions.

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Lake Como, Italy painting 6x6" mini

When we were last visiting Lake Como Italy, we splurged on a private boat tour around the lake. It definitely was a splurge for us, but worthwhile because we took different routes than you'd normally take on the larger lake transports (vaporetti). This little painting was done from reference shots taken as we were approaching a precipice near the charming village of Varenna:

Lake como landscape painting by Jennifer Young "Varenna Vista" Oil on Canvas, 6x6" sold

The private boat also stopped in intervals so that we could take pictures without worry of camera blur. If only I could find a way to hire a boat to use for an extended period at the lake as a floating studio, the way Claude Monet did  with his studio boat on the Seine. A girl can dream.

A few gallery snaps from the "Small Stuff" show

Don't let anyone tell you that hanging a show for a bunch of small works is an easy task. But after it was all in place, we were very happy with the results, and I'm glad to report that my husband and I are still married. ;-) Here are a few shots from the show, on view now through Jan. 30th: When we were looking at this space for the gallery, one of the first things I noticed was this cute built-in. It's a perfect display for my minis and my new line of watercolor/pen and inks. Here I've decorated it with some lights and mistle toe:

miniature landscape paintings

A close-up that shows some of the ornaments--I like the little silver and gold Christmas balls along the bottom shelf:

miniature landscape paintings in a group

On the opposite wall are the landscape paintings of Venice and Lake Como:

landscape paintings of Venice and Lake Como

Close-up shot of the mantlepiece decorated with paintings. To the left of the large Venetian landscape are a series of little square 6x6" Lake Como paintings. Anyone who has read my blog for a while, or my squidoo lens on hanging art must know I'm a fan of grouping big and small paintings together like this. I'd love to do something similar over my fireplace mantle at home.

paintings of Lake Como and Venice

A small grouping from the next room of some of my more local autumn scenes:

paintings of autumn landscapes by Jennifer Young

I  guess that's really all I had time for, photography-wise. I may share a few more snaps and I will definitely share more info on some of the individual pieces in the show very soon.

Landscape painting of Lake Como, Italy

 landscape painting lake como italy

"Morning Quiet in Pescallo" Oil on Canvas, 20" x 24"

Fresh off the easel is the painting I blogged about a bit earlier. It shows a view from Bellagio looking down on the tiny fishing village of Pescallo.  This was our morning view from our hotel room balcony. What a way to wake up!

For more information, please click on the image or contact me.

On the Easel- Lake Como Painting

 I thought I'd share a new painting I have up on the easel:

 Painting of water Lake Como Italy

 Not sure how much more I'll get done today because I'm getting the studio ready for the First Fridays art walk tonight. If you come out to the gallery on the art walk tonight you'll probably see it on the easel in all it's unfinished glory (along with a number of other paintings that are actually finished and framed :-) .)

 This scene is an aerial view of the little fishing village Pescallo in Lake Como, Italy. It was my view every morning from the balcony of our hotel room in Bellagio (*sigh*). What I'm painting is the village rooftops and  the placid lake with docked boats in early morning. I hope it turns out, because I really loved that scene.

All of this work I've done for the "Luminosity" show, has really helped to get me into painting water scenes. For the longest time I had a fear of water-- not "real" water, just water as subject for my paintings. I don't know why. I guess it was just a mental block or something. So this past summer, I made a point to "just do it" and I really tried to focus on water scenes, especially when I went out painting en plein air.

On another note, I'd like to send a shout of thanks out to artist Boyd Greene for giving me a nod of recognition yesterday on his own fine art blog. I just discovered that I was among the artists he honored with a "Shibumi" award. According to Boyd;

 The ’shibumi’ award was originally created by Hawk and has a deep and profound meaning: ‘Shibumi is a Japanese term which used in the following context is a noun. Its meaning refers to a ‘particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty� which can be applied to almost anything.’

Thank you Boyd! I truly feel grateful and honored by my fellow artist bloggers this week. :-)

Do you Squidoo? My new lens on hanging artwork.

According to Wikipedia,

"Squidoo is a network of user-generated lenses --single pages that highlights one person's point of view, recommendations, or expertise."

According to me, it's pretty addictive! I've really been enjoying surfing it, and I've also created a couple of lenses of my own. My most recent lens is: Hanging Artwork and Caring for Your Art Collection. While I've blogged some of this information before, I've included new content on my lens that I hope will be of interest to art lovers and art collectors. I've also just updated my other lens on landscape painting with new content, so check them out! And if you enjoy my lenses, please consider leaving a star rating for them at the top of the screen.

Italian Waterways Art Opening Tonight

If you are out and about during Richmond VA's First Fridays art walk, please stop by to our opening from 6 to 8 PM. The show will feature my Italian waterways; recent paintings of Venice and Lake Como.

paintings of lake como and venice italy

If you are a Richmonder and haven't been to First Fridays, it has really become quite the event. It is again featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch. This time it is on the front page!  It's a really nice article for everyone involved in First Fridays. I'd like to emphasize that First Fridays includes more than the galleries and restaurants on Broad. My gallery and a few others are just an easy few blocks off of Broad Street, where the parking is still relatively easy to come by ;-).  View the art walk map, plan your route, and come on by!

For information about the painting pictured, please click on the image or contact me.

Villa Balbianello

It's been about a week since I've been back from Key West and I've not had time to unpack and photograph my third painting from that trip, which I shipped back home before I left. Right now, I'm getting ready for a show at the gallery this Friday called "Italian Waterways". This show focuses on recent paintings of Lake Como and Venice. Here is a new painting I did for this series of the Villa Balbianello:

Villa Balbianello, lake Como painting Italy


Dave and I took a private boat ride and tour out to the villa in Lenno while we were staying in Bellagio. The villa has had an interesting history. It was built for a cardinal in the 1700's on the grounds of an old monestery. It passed through the hands of several owners since that time; the last of whom was Guido Monzino. Monzino was an explorer and led the first Italian exedition to Mount Everest. Upon his death he bequeathed the villa (and apparently a lot of booty from his explorations) to the National Trust of Italy, which is why people can visit it today.

While the story of the villa is interesting, what fascinates me most are the beautiful grounds and gardens, and it's excellent position on the tip of a peninsula. Apparently it has captivated the imagination of many artists and filmmakers as well. It was the setting for several films, including Star Wars Episode II.

Any way, back to the painting! It measures 24x36" and is oil on canvas. For more information about this painting, please click on the painting or contact me.

Long Shadows on the Villa

I have been under the weather and it has been too long since I have blogged. But I'm finally back to painting again and it feels good! This is a painting fresh off the easel of beautiful Lake Como. This was one of the views from our hotel balcony.

 Italian landscape painting lake como

The painting measures 30x40" and is oil on canvas. I did watercolor sketches of our views and took many pictures. But I also spent a good deal of time just sighing and looking and drinking it all in. Every evening the light differed and provided me with a slightly different spectacle.

For more information about this painting, please click on the image or contact me.

A Boat Ride in Como

Continuing on with my Lake Como series, here is a newly finished 16x20" oil painting inspired by our recent trip to Lake Como, Italy.

 Italy painting Lake Como


One day during our visit we decided to splurge with a private boat ride around the lake and a tour of the beautiful Villa Balbianello. On our way to the villa, the driver indulged us by stopping often so that we could drink in the sites and take plenty of photos.

For more information about this painting, please contact me.

Bellagio Vignette

With this cold February weather, I naturally long for warm, sundrenched places. So lately I've found myself pouring through sketches and photos from our last trip to beautiful Lake Como. This is a little watercolor/pen and ink sketch I did from the balcony of our hotel in the lovely lake town of Bellagio:

painting of Lake Como Italy

We had great mountain views on three sides. This brings back some warm, sunny memories for me, painting and listening to the water lapping on the lake shores below. The image size is about 6x8", done on 7x9" paper. For more information about this painting, please contact me.