Painted at Black’s Beach on a chilly day. Stiff wind off the water. It’s a nude beach but I was glad to have my down jacket with me. I frequently do prefer to strip down while painting here. In part because why not and in part because wearing clothes in this area often results in a weird vibe. I’m a weather wimp, that’s what brought me to San Diego in the first place, so too bad.
I rented an apartment on AirBNB in Rome with a partial view of Castel Sant’Angelo, an ancient structure later used as a fortress by the Popes. The view was very partial, you could really only see it by peering over the neighbor’s patio through some kind of spiky screen covered in plastic vines. To get around that for the painting, I stood on the rickety metal steps to the roof with my easel in a planter box, on top of the crusty remains of departed flowers. In gale force winds, but I didn’t blow off.
For 10 days this October I stayed in what was once a tenant farmhouse to a castle up on the hill beyond this field. Coming from a family that moved all over the place with the US Military, and having traveled quite a bit as an adult, I have seen a lot of beautiful places. I have to say that Tuscany in autumn is the prettiest place I have ever been.
The crops had just been harvested and the fields freshly plowed. To my left was a pig farm. I could hear and smell the pigs, but not see them. This was right on the border of Tuscany and Umbria- the castle had been in both regions at different times. Coming up the lane to the house, you left Tuscany briefly and went into Umbria, then looped back around. The lady who rented me the house told me the creek and the bridge (at the bottom of the painting) is the border. I was standing in Tuscany and painting Umbria. The color of the fields though, was Raw Sienna, a color I regrettably did not have on my palette.
The leaves went from summer green to fall yellow and russet while I was there. Through some magic, or maybe just the same climate change that destroyed the grape and olive crops this year in Tuscany, I was blessed with perfect sunny weather on this trip. I made the most of it.