Recent Work: Italian Hill Village

Italian Hill Village jpg

This imaginary landscape is done in Post-Impressionistic style, something that I don’t believe is my usual thing. It was done with a thought that it would be a gift for an old friend of mine. He is a noted scientist and has done his best to understand or, at the least, to feel comfortable with art. His comfort zone ends with early Impressionism, back when Manet and Monet were the cutting edge. He is happiest with Constable and mid-career Turner. Of course, that is true for a lot of folks. They get itchy when they have to think about Cezanne and increasingly uncomfortable with work that came after that. It is an Italian scene because this individual is a world traveler as well as a scientist. Actually, it all goes together; he travels a lot because he attends scientific conferences and presents scientific papers and is invited to lecture at universities all over the place. He recently volunteered to be a guide for another scientist who was visiting Tuscany and Rome for the first time. They grew up together but while one thinks nothing of hopping on a plane for one interesting destination after another, the other rarely if ever travels and when faced with the prospect of traveling abroad spends weeks neurotically worrying and dithering about what might happen while away from home, even though he knows deep-down that he will have a fabulous time. I figure that sacrificing some perfectly wonderful days in Florence and Rome to guide this nut-case around deserves a painting and in particular, one in a style that is borderline comforting. I snuck a bit of Cezanne-style brushwork in there to give him something to think about. As for the technical details, this 16 by 20 inch work is on 140-lb. watercolor paper that had been treated with heavy coats of yellow-tinted acrylic gesso. It is painted thinly over a preliminary charcoal drawing. Painting thinly over charcoal creates interesting shadings. I recommend it.

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