Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Salvation of Shade for the Plein Air Painter

Workshop participant Kim Owens plein air painting in the shade.

I love this photo taken during my Plein Air Painting workshop this past June, because it evokes a sense of creative solitude that is like a meditation for the plein air painter. Fortunately, Kim found the best of all worlds: a great view and some serious shade. Despite the heat, the shade is significantly cooling in Tuscany as are the afternoon breezes at Spannocchia. She actually sitting in a grove of olive trees.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Terraced Garden at Spannocchia 2012

I just returned from teaching my plein air painting workshop in Tuscany for the third time. Though it was pretty hot the group prevailed and had a great time painting at Spannocchia and all around central Tuscany. It was reasonable in the mornings and always nice by the evening. Just like a lot of places it is unseasonably hot this summer.
I became obsessed with by little 5 by 6"  Khadi watercolor sketchbook. I guess I just love small paintings. I find they serve as a quick demo and studies for larger paintings.
I especially love the terraced vegetable gardens at Spannocchia that are planted with vegetables and  and flowers. In this view you can see that the lavender on the left is just exploding with color. The gardens are meticulously planned and tended to by Carmen the incredible gardener and her team of agriculture interns.
I always love returning the Spannocchia. It is a rustic working organic farm and green hotel located about 30 minutes drive south of Siena.