Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creating Watercolor Memories of Tuscany Workshop comes to an end

“All good things must come to an end”, or so the old saying goes.   We not only created memories in our watercolors but we also created wonderful friendships to cherish always. 

Mary Jean I know you will get this post right away on your I Phone so please tell Patrick and Angela that I made it safely to my hotel in Positano.  I was a bit pooped after 3 trains and 2 buses and a 70 step climb dragging my suitcase to the front door of my hotel.  It should have been just one bus but by the time I realized I was at my stop so many people were crowding on I could not get off.  So I just rode on to the end of the line in Amalfi, had a gelato and then caught the bus back to Positano.   Bus rides on these narrow roads are a whole other story… more about that later. 

I promised myself my Positano vacation, would be just that a vacation, so I have been relaxing (thus behind in posting on this blog).

Anyway, back to our last day at Cortona.  I photographed almost all of the students paintings because I am so proud of their dedication and the progress they made, I wanted their friends and family following this blog to see their creations.   So here is our gallery:

First up, Berna’s paintings:

Berna’s pots in the nuns’ garden

The valley view from Cortona and she resisted painting every little house out there!  YES!

Great colors,lovely line drawing

rained before she could finish, off to a lovely start

cute door but lunch time came before she could finish

Cathy’s first day (she and Pete joined the group later in the week).  We both had a devil of a time with the angle of the steps on this building on a slanting street, she no sooner got the window and door frames painted than it rained buckets and we made a dash for the cafe umbrellas where we had lunch.

The next day she concentrated on one window and got much more done.   She had a great time with the old wall, and it shows!  When she gets the mortar in-between the bricks and stones and the rest of the wall done this will be a fun and successful painting.  Cathy please send me a photo when you finish this painting.

This beauty is by Crew, our most experienced artist and a teacher himself.  He chose to do the simple cross in the square at Lucignano and started with pencil and finishing with ink.   l love Crew’s style of drawing and stunning use of values.

Rose Michelle awarded Crew the Cortona Sunflower Award for “the best unfinished bit of roof painting” for this one!

Mary Jean really enjoyed panting small watercolor sketches and it shows in her work, there is a happy quality about each painting.  Love the wood on the door on this one.

After this photo was taken Mary Jean worked more on this painting and brought it by my room to show me, it looked even better than it does here.

Mary Jean spotted this old watering hole next to our cafe umbrellas, quickly got the basics on paper as lunch was being served and then she added the rest of the color later.  Great job in a short amount of time.

Mary Jean’s roof tops impression of Lucignano that was appreciated by the “Art Critiques” that passed by while she was working.  Again a painting that shows she was having fun!

At Le Terre dei Cavalieri this tiny wall leads the way to a bridge, Mary Jean created a lovely painting of it, again in a short amount of time.  Great job!

Pat seems to do her best work from her imagination.  Clearly she knows the shapes of flowers well as she created this bright cheery “plein air” painting on the airplane on the way to Italy.  It is easy to paint on the plane if you pack a tiny travel watercolor half pan set and it sure makes the time go faster!

Pat began this colorful painting in the park over looking the valley below Cortona.  She worked on it off and on during the week and will probably finish it at home.  Next time she may tackle something a little less complicated!

Pat began this painting at Le Terre dei Cavalieri of a restored farm building but ran out of time.  I hope she finishes it with her loose free splashy color style.

Rose Michelle did many many light whimsical pencil sketches all week, but my camera just could not record them.  I sort of got this one (sorry about the shadow of my arm).  Its the cute little house in Lucignano where the lady from New York via London lives with her 8 or 9 cats.   Rose Michelle got the cute lamp, the shutters and of course a cat.  Fun!

Also in Lucignano, Rose Michelle used a few pencil lines to tell the story of this roof top.  Bella!

The outdoor sink and large bottles for storing wine at Le Terre dei Cavalieri, another of Rose Michelle’s pencil drawings.  Again she told the story of what she saw, simply.  good job.

Rose Michelle chose to do this watercolor of the stump on the tree that she sat under, instead of a building.  I love that it shows the “nature” side of Cortona not just the man made side.  Great job with the values, you know that is a whole in the stump!

Sylvia’s painting the first day in the nun’s garden, she was beginning to think right brain, but not quite hit her stride yet.  Now look at the painting she did later in the week below:

Sylvia hit her stride later in the week .  This pot was under a grape arbor and next to a pretty door but she rightly focused on the pretty pot with its tiny olive tree and the rosemary growing next to it ONLY.  Great choice, beautifully done. 

Sylvia did several sketches during the week but this is my favorite.  It is a door in Assisi that she sketched in the time it took to refresh ourselves with cold sodas on a terrace in front of a bar.   She told the story of the door with its one pot of flowers and that is all.  Great job!


As teacher I spend most of my time running around from student to student and get little time to finish anything.  But here is a little sketch of a Grandma watching her grandchildren in the playground.  I loved her sunglasses!  She kept moving her hands so just tried a quick gesture for the hand and it obviously did not work!  Oh well I got the sunglasses!

I did this painting to show students what you do if the sun is playing peek-a-boo with clouds.  I did the ink drawing, then mixed a transparent gray mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna, then waited for the sun to come out.  When it did I quickly washed in the grey where the shadows were.  The sun went away again, but no problem, I had the shadow shapes.  I could then add  transparent colors to the painting and where the shadows are the grey would simply make the transparent color look like a darker shade of the color thus creating all the proper shadow shapes.  Or not.  I like it without color so I am leaving it this way.

My little painting of the Cat Lady’s window in Lucignano.

Farewell dinner is always bitter sweet.  Such a wonderful group this was.  Thank you all for your kindness, patient good natures, many laughs and great painting sessions.  And as always, thank you to Patrick and Angela for a perfectly wonderful watercolor workshop.

1 comment:

cindy said...

yes yes and more yes! i am reading and always read your blog posts. love all the info down to the tiniest scrap of detail. keep them coming!! cindy landy