I thought I’d show you this painting ‘Sunset Tuscany‘ which is in the ‘Tuscany’ group of watercolours in my current exhibition.
I was standing on the top of the ancient stone parapet, next to the church in the little village of Chianni. This really is high, as being a hilltop village they were designed with a good clear view all around, just in case those rotters from the next village tried to pop over uninvited.
Anyway, while the others were over having a cool drink at Bar Centro, I was watching the sun setting beyond in the valley below, and taking reference pics of the incredible colours. I can see how easy it is to go over the top with these scenes, as it looks like the very cliche you try to avoid. But to get it, you have to. I must say when I did the painting, I thoroughly enjoyed the strength and contrast I could use. Most of the time, particularly with daytime paintings, I have to hold back on pouring too much colour in. Actually I don’t have to in Australia, as we have very pure colour, but in Europe I need to keep it softer. You can see this by comparing the colour in the ‘Paris’ paintings, – cold days and early Spring, to the Sydney beach paintings – pure colour and summer. All of this keeps me on my toes indeed, or I just don’t capture the place I’m in.
I am getting interesting feedback from visitors to the show. It is clear people are seeing the different light in the countries I paint in. I suppose it does show when you get everything up for viewing, and you can go from one grouping to another. It’s fantastic that people get so into it. Even if they are not painters they can begin to understand what you need to consider each time you start a work.