In case anyone is curious about what I’ve been up to, here’s the latest. I was contacted by a book publisher in the UK a couple of months ago and asked if I would consider writing a book on composition in painting. I decided to go for it and I’m now busy writing and planning. It’s not a sure thing though, the process has tight deadlines and needs further approval before (and if) it get published. I’m thrilled to spend so much time researching composition in painting and even if the book doesn’t get published it will have been worth it. The down side is that I have no time to paint and constantly wanting to throw my computer out the window!
Just putting the finishing touches on my website to compliment the start of my new affiliation with the Noel-Baza Fine Art gallery who will now be representing my work in San Diego. Their gallery will be putting up a two-person show this October, which will include many of my landscapes painted in Italy this summer as well as various recent landscapes and cityscapes of San Diego.
This 2-person show will also be showing the terrific abstract paintings by Theresa Vandenberg-Donche.
An opening reception is planned for Thurs. Oct. 10th 6:30 – 9:30pm. also, there is another reception for the general public the following evening (Kettner Nights), Friday Oct 11th 6-9pm.
I recently returned from six weeks of painting in Civita Castellana, Italy with the Jerusalem Studio School summer program in Civita. This was my second time visiting this amazing town about an hour and a half north of Rome near Monte Soratte. The country side around Civita Castellana is fantastically beautiful with its gorges, tufu rock formations, forts, castles, ancient ruins, pastures and the towering Monte Soratte looming over all. The town dates back to pre-Roman Faliscan civilization and has many medieval structures and streets. Since the the 17th century Civita was an important Grand Tour destination for landscape painting north of Rome. Many important painters such as Corot, Ingres, Valenciennes, and Turner painted here.
I stayed in two locations, the first was a wonderfully large home with a delightful host, a few miles outside of town. It had amazingly luxuriant accommodations, even a large swimming pool, very rare for the area. Regretfully I decided the commute with the unreliable local mini-bus was too formidable and I eventually moved to the center of town to a 4th floor hovel with only the barest of necessities and a maddening 4 sets of keys to unlock rickety ancient doors to get through the steep stairwells. However,my new place had a magnificent patio overlooking a great view of Monte Soratte and the rooftops of the town – where I made several paintings. As I get the time I will post some photos of where I stayed and visited.
Painting everyday full time, without the interruptions and distractions of daily wired life was a godsend. Critiques and discussion from Israel Hershberg and others were extremely valuable in helping me go forward with new directions with my work. I was also videotaping footage of the JSS program that I will be editing over the next couple of months to about the area and many aspects of the program.
Here are a few samples of work from Civita this summer. Titles, size, etc are available in the Italy section of my website as well as larger views.
Liz took this great photo of me painting a new view of San Carlos overlooking Mission Gorge and Cowles Mountain. I’m painting in a very small and brand new public “open space” park that very few people know about. It is also only a few blocks from where I live. Incredible sweeping, unobstructed views in all directions.
I’m also happy with my new set where I’m finally getting some use out of my video tripod – where I’ve attached a sun umbrella to the head so that I now have excellent control of the angle of the umbrella and can very easily change it as the sun moves lower in the sky. Very sturdy and holds up to moderate wind although I do need to tie it all down with a bag of heavy rocks. Also seen is my Gloucester-type easel that can easily hold larger (up to 40 x 60 or bigger) and still be stable in the wind (as long as is tied down with weights.) I’m also using a custom made palette which is mounted on a tripod and has a lid which also serves as a sun shield.
Here is the finished painting that I was working on in the above photo
Cowles Mountain over San Carlos, 26 x 36 inches, oil on linen mounted on board, 2013
Another painting I did in the morning at the same location and looking more northwest.
View from Hemingway, San Carlos, 24 x 24 inches, oil, 2013
Three Tanks – 20×24″, oil – recently exhibited in the San Diego Art Institute’s 52 International Show and received the Hoffman Trust Award.
Reconstruction Oil on Paper – 13 x 19″, 2013
This painting is of the San Diego Farmer’s market building that is being converted into a Walmart. After community protests, Walmart apparently agreed to keep this iconic San Diego building intact with the grain tower and other elements, while incorporating it into a Walmart. This information has no real relevance to the actual painting which is about reconstructing the shapes, colors and light into a painting that would capture the sense of being there.
I’m planning a complete redesign of my website very soon and may decide to remove this blog. I haven’t the time to update it regularly, spending more time on my other blog, Painting Perceptions.com. I will give it careful consideration however and may still decide to keep it so I can quickly post recent work and information that might be of interest to any viewers.
In other news, I recently purchased my ticket to return to Italy for six weeks, back to the JSS Summer program in Civita Castellana. I’m very excited to be returning and will post more information as I can.