Saturday, August 25, 2012

Old Town in April

This was the last painting that I completed on location in Old Town, Dubrovnik. I could paint there endlessly but at this point (mid-April), the town was being taken over by cruise ships full of tourists. It became difficult to find an area to paint in peace. I must admit though that even that experience was interesting. People were constantly walking past and taking pictures of me painting or more often, leaning over my shoulder and taking a picture of my painting in progress!
Sometimes they would say something to me, occasionally speaking English...most often not. The thing that I enjoy most about Plein Air painting is how all of your senses come into play as you paint. Sights, smells and sounds are locked into my brain from each session.With this piece, I sat in a cool shadow on a low stone step and heard singing coming from a nearby elementary school. All of the children speak primarily Croatian, but they were singing a popular Adele song in English. It sounded beautiful!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Warm & Cool "Street" Light

Here is a small gouache painting that was completed from a high stepped "street" on the extreme west side of Old Town, Dubrovnik. We would probably call these streets... walkways or alleys, but they were designed centuries ago to create maximum shade to provide cool, relief from the extreme heat of Adriatic summers. This creates interesting lighting situations everywhere you look in Old Town. The cool reflected light of the shadows contrasted dramatically with the warm light or hot spots of intense sunlight.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hilltop Pine

This 5 x 7 gouache painting was done at the top of the hill on Lokrum Island, near Fort Royal. The fort was a gun position left by the Napoleonic French. I sat on a low rock, facing east as I painted this hilltop pine. I started to loosen up a bit here and have some fun with the washes and specks of subtle color. Lokrum is just a short twelve minute boat ride from the Old Town port. It is heavily wooded with rocky beaches and dramatic seas. It became my favorite place to paint while in Dubrovnik and I think that I visited the island about seven or eight times.