29 November 2013

being trendy

Posting partials, either partially completed or parts of works, is happening a lot these days. With so much rampant theft of images from the internet (to make cards, decorate porcelain, produce calendars... you name it, we do the work and someone else takes our images and makes money from them) it is perhaps better to post only parts of images that are special to you.

This is part of a partial - no, not part and parcel, that brings back memories of life in the sixites, where having family near was simply "part and parcel" of one's life. But missing my family is sending me back into painting, and that's a good place to be too.

So this image is a part of a bigger painting and still about four days from completion, all going well. And that makes it part of a partial.

Today I am grateful for citrus fruit and blue skies. 

28 November 2013

sunset two nights ago

The view from my studio was amazing, but the inside temperature was only 9 degrees. So it's back downstairs to the steady 16 - 17 degrees for a while. 

The snow across the valley is still looking solid, and up behind me on Monte Cairo there is a deep icing on the cake. Despite the falling mercury and dramatic skies, here on the slopes of Monte Asprano we are yet to have a frost. 

Today I am grateful for warm clothes and alternative heating sources.

25 November 2013

new paintings

I am reasonably happy with my new paintings. One I am very happy with. It has also spun off a new series in my head, so I have lots of capturing to do. Sometimes taking that half-formed image and getting it to fruition is a bit tricky.

I have decided not to share my new works on the web yet, but if you are really wanting to see them I can email images to you.  Let me know. As the series develops I'll give you some little glimpses just to tease :-)

Today I am grateful for warm clothes.

22 November 2013

wow wow wow

Over the last two days, between internet unplugging and loss of internet, and painting, I have watched this amazing doco. I hope this link will work so you can enjoy it too. Talk about aging with passion, colour and style!

Ignore the title, is it so much more than "Don't Dress Your Age: Six Women Say No to Drab".

When it's my turn I hope I have as much strength as these amazing ladies.

Thank you, each one of you, for your charm, wit and wisdom. And thank you for your amazing example.

Today I am grateful for life.

can't resist a glimpse

This is day four on this painting. Photo a bit grainy, as it is a tiny image blown up. But so is the paper grainy, unfortunately, so really sharp definition will be tricky. But I am very happy with progress so far, and will just live with the grainy texture. Here is a peek...

Today I am grateful for:
shared experiences
happy students
dinner with good friends
progress with my paintbrush
internet (back after yet another night storm). 

20 November 2013

painting is bliss

I want to share progress but I want the work to be a surprise. So for now you will just have to imagine...

It's enough to say that I am loving making the petals curl, watching the travelling colours scoot across the water, manipulating the heat and dampness of the paper to control paint effects.

Why oh why did I ever stop painting in watercolour? Italy and your damp stone walls, was it because you don't value works on paper so much? Shame on you for not appreciating them, and shame on me for being influenced. (That, of course, was a gross over-statement and simplification of the real art world here).

Today I am grateful for all the skills I have been taught and given in this medium. 

16 November 2013

new works forming

But because they are still forming in my mind I wont share them yet. They will be a mixture of realism and abstraction, with a message. But I hope that they will be essentially as beautiful and optimistic as they could be challenging.

Pencil and paper already in use, and this time I don't want to rush in ill-prepared as I usually do.

It's difficult, finding a balance between spontaneous enthusiastic creative energy and technically well researched and beautifully sketched designs.

But I think I can do it.

Wish me luck.

Today I have struggled to find five new things to list. Yes I have many things I could list, but I like my gratitude posts to be from the heart. I choose instead two quite contrasting gratitudes, one the result of a lot of thinking, the other the result of two days of shuffling papers and filing them into plastic sleeves.

Today I am grateful for creative ideas and some semblance of order in my teaching materials. 

10 November 2013

my constantly changing, stunning view

Today I am grateful for:
  1. My wonderful children (all grown up and wise)
  2. This beautiful view that I am sharing with you
  3. Peace and tranquility
  4. Inspiration
  5. Contact from a long lost friend

8 November 2013

post-olive picking downtime...

The olives are pressed and the flavour is superb.

It's time to rest a little, between some rather strenuous chores and some intense Legato work. Legato keeps growing, and spreading to more towns... it's great, but time consuming. I think that regular "down-time" is essential so I am not totally consumed by the monster I have created. 

Winter is coming (eventually), with open fires, toast, and soup. One of my favourite theorists has a nice quote doing the rounds of blogs at the moment, some salve for my soul as I don't have time to paint:
"A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting". - Abraham Maslow
I have been reading a few blogs as I relax, to give my brain a bit of a work-out as my body unwinds. One of my favourites produced this wonderful article today, discussing a meaningful life and happiness. The blog is "The Daily Good".

Today I am grateful for:

  1. the olive harvest 
  2. photos from the Antipodes 
  3. a little help from my friends 
  4. a range of music 
  5. and two little dogs who keep me company while I work and dream.

1 November 2013


Today, extra above my normal sign-off, I am grateful for olives to pick, a friend to help with the harvest, good advice from the oil press, and wonderful weather.

Yesterday I was grateful for an unexpected invitation to dinner in the home of lovely friends, safe travel on Via Casalina, and an email from Rome.

I am grateful for books, blogs, and my love of reading and writing...

But I am about to neglect you in terms of content and photographs. I probably wont be posting much for a while. Between lesson plans, garden clearing, olive picking, Legato writing, a promise to myself re one of my projects, and normal chores, I doubt I'll have the time or inclination. Unless, of course, like now, I am procrastinating...

Today I am grateful for time out.