This summer I went to Italy with my family. We stayed in Florence with one side trip to Sienna.
It was so incredibly inspiring. There is so much art there and some of it is so old. It reminded me of the importance of using quality materials and making sure that when you paint that masterpiece, it is on a substantial support. There were enormous paintings, maybe 10 feet tall or more, painted on board from the 1500's. It was surreal to see the beauty still there after such a long time. The sculpture in the Accademia dell'arte was also amazing.
I carried my art box that I made from a casino humidor and four tubes of paint. In Sienna, I bought no odor turpentine and was able to plein aire paint two small paintings early in the week. These paintings would take at least four days to dry enough to get home and since I was only there for seven days, I had to paint early.
I chose to paint the "via" leading up to our apartment as it was so typical of the area. It was one of those pinch me moments. Am I really sitting here in Italy painting on the side of a road. Vespas flew up the hill as did several of the small cars. It was noisy but so vibrant. The next day around six in the evening, I took wine up to the porch overlooking Florence and painted the scene from there. It was such an amazing view, I am glad to have the painting as a reminder of how that moment felt. I hope to use this plein aire and paint it larger soon.
Since returning home, I have begun work on a large painting of Ponte Vecchio and so far I am happy that I feel like I caught the feeling that the view from almost down at the bridge down from Ponte Vecchio gives a new visiter to Florence. I will post this painting soon but here are the two quick studies I did on location. Hope you enjoy and I welcome your thoughts !