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Archive for category: Italy



Il PaganelloFriday, December 02, 2011 by Steve Hill
View from Il Paganello” and “Happy Birthday”

If I could hand-pick the most ideal painting site in Italy, together with a birthday present to myself, this is the spot in the heart of Tuscany.

We were very fortuate to be able to rent an apartment for 8 days at the beautiful Tuscan villa owned by Riccardo and Susanna Bordoni, between San Gimingnano and Siena, Italy. They also own and manage this large farm property, “Il Paganello” a large 15th Century Italian building complex near Val D'Elsa, overlooking the Tuscan countryside, where I painted this piece.

Riccardo and Susanna are restoring the old building to its original condition (lots of stone work and preserving frescoes) and have located their wine and olive oil production to this site. It's very impressive, both from an historical perspective, as well as the hundreds of acres of grapes and olive trees, all yielding beautiful Chiantis, Tuscan reds and the premium olive oils that they produce.

Curvilinear countours defined by divisions of wild and cultivated land that follow every sensuous twist and turn of this unique landscape, excite me a great deal. The warm light and splashes of color from fall foilage still lingering under the incredibly torquoise blue Tuscan skies pulled me in like a vortex.

View from Il Paganello
View from Il Paganello
So, give me paradise on earth and I'll call it “View from Il Paganello”, painted on my birthday, November 29, 2011.




Casciano ItalyTuesday, June 24, 2008 by Steve Hill
Casciano, Tuscany June 19, 2008


Italy Pisa area Storm brewing
Italy Pisa area Storm brewing
This piece was from a vantage point overlooking the Tuscan landscape, just 50 km south of Pisa, on a very hot day. Thunder storms in the nearby mountains added a bit of drama with some good winds to move things around (including my easel) but mainly the grasses and grains in the foreground. It was like bathing without the water, but a clean feel nonetheless.




Lucca, ItalyTuesday, June 24, 2008 by Steve Hill
Lucca, Italy, June 20 & 21, 2008

What a way to celebrate the beginning of summer, working first from the top of the wall surrounding Lucca, towards one of the 'Torres', then another painting from below and outside the wall surrounding this beautiful Tuscan city.

This distinctive wall seperates Lucca from all other walled cities I have painted in 3 trips to Italy. Reconstructed at least 3 times (the last I believe in the eighteenth century when it was rebuilt using bricks!) this venerable landmark has very large dimensions on a human scale. It's at least 40 feet wide at the top, where one can stroll or ride bikes for 3 ½ kilometers, completely circling the city. Large old oak and chestnut trees have been planted there and provide welcome shade as well as an invitation to walk what was once the fortification for Lucca.

Italy Lucca San Martino Torre
Italy Lucca San Martino Torre
Italy Lucca old city wall
Italy Lucca old city wall






Amalfi CoastSunday, June 22, 2008 by Steve Hill
Salerno, Italy June 4

Italy Steve sweating over a painting
Italy Steve sweating over a painting
After a week at Monopli on Italy's southeast coast, we set-up camp at a waterfront hotel in Salerno on the Mediterranean side (west), just south of the fabled Amalfi coast. Two boat trips to both Positano and Amalfi netted two paintings via plein air and hundreds of reference photos and sketches for future work.





Italy Positano Amalfi Coast
Italy Positano Amalfi Coast
The piece here is a nearly finished painting done at Positano, looking straight-up from the beach in front of the duomo. Summer arrived in full swing at 38 degree centigrade – which was darned hot, but added some warm tones to the painting as well.




Pulignano A Mare, ItalyFriday, June 13, 2008 by Steve Hill
Pulignano a Mare, Italy, May 26

This medieval coastal town near Bari on Italy's southwest coast had a small cathedral with my own name in Italian, Cathedral St. Stefano. I couldn't resist the urge to paint there, plus the afternoon light reflecting off the Adriatic Sea was turning-up the volume on the colors on and around the companile of this small cathedral.

Southeast Italy Pulignano A Mare
Southeast Italy Pulignano A Mare




 
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