Monday, September 12, 2011

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Laura and Billy

Here, Billy listens to and teaches Kaz.

Billy's Podere Carceroni, in progress.

These are some of Laura's works in progress.

Laura was pretty prolific also! Besides teaching, she got these done. My camera card was filled at the end of the critique, so I couldn't get close-ups.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011 - parting thoughts

Below are postings made much later than the actual dates of occurrence. We were in the Maremma in early July. This is September, almost 2 months later.

All the class members' works are posted below, except for one person, who opted not to have any photos published. It is a shame, because she, like all the class members, made such good progress, had breakthroughs and produced wonderful work under the tutelage of Billy and Laura, whose paintings I forgot to post. One more coming up.

I hope that in the future we will have such a group of dedicated people who will get together and paint such lovely work.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011

Our travels around the area took us to several teeming towns and cities, in contrast to the peacefulness of Podere Carceroni. Our shopping and lunch mecca was Paganico, a walled town which requires driving through arches at both ends. There's a great bar for lunch, with a gelateria next door - very important. Outside the arches is a Coop, the supermarket where I got most of our essentials and plenty of bottles of water. It was so hot during our stay that people stayed in the pool as much as possible.

Day trips were to the island of Giglio, off Monte Argentario, just written up yesterday in The Washington Post. That visit required a ferry ride from Porto San Stefano to Giglio Porto. A bus took us to the top of the island with incredible 360 degree views. At the top, there was a castle to climb to. More views. Sorry I don't have photos for all these places.
One painting site was Talamone, a very quaint fishing village just a bit north of Monte Argentario. Great painting, not so great walking down the rocky paths.
One afternoon most of the painters went to Pienza. Some took advantage of the painting and photo opportunities; others shopped. Pienza is one of the first really planned towns, at least in Italy; Pope Pius II (1458) designed the layout of the town. It is a very user-friendly town and thus attracts lots of tourists. The pecorino cheese is wonderful, as are the views by the wall over the valley and down the curving alleys.
We found out that Grosseto, the capital of the Maremma, is a nightmare to drive in. Each time we went there we got lost. Walls, tunnels, one-way streets, round and round we go.
The Maremma is indeed not the frequented Tuscany most are familiar with. Its access is a 2-lane road that is scary to drive. Hill towns are scarcely populated. It is not commercial; it is peaceful and private.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Walter

Walter was really the most adventurous of us. He had never painted before, but picked up waterpaint and brushes and colored pencils and drew and painted what he saw. He was methodical going about his adventure in painting, but adventurous in getting exercise. He used the podere's bike and rode for miles down the bumpy and dusty dirt roads nearby. He needed to do lots of laundry and airing out afterward.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Valeria

Valeria is the owner of the podere. She is a very talented woman - she's a cook, an architect, a designer and a painter. She previously had never done pastels before, so this is her first painting in that medium. Her basic artistic ability makes this seem so easy for her.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Larry

This is Larry's second workshop in Italy; he started painting again last year after a 55 year hiatus. If he can get over his engineering side and list in favor of his left brain, he could paint what he sees and not what he knows. I can say this about Larry because he's my husband!

Pleased as punch!

These are Larry's final critique paintings that he showed. He wants to still work on a couple, I guess.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Karen E.

Karen paints the hills.

The Garden Wall.

Karen, who usually paints with oils, tried pastels for the first time.

And my camera card filled up before I could get Karen's critique shots.

P. S. I had the best time gossiping with Karen: she lives down the road from where I grew up, knows everybody in town, including some of my very old dear friends.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Sandy

Sandy Spitzer was the most colorful, passionate, and prolific participant. She went everyplace there was to paint: Orbetello, Giglio, Talamone, and from every angle of the Podere Carceroni.
She's also extremely fast.

Sandy just spits them out; hence her name Sandy Spitzer!

Sandy paints in the courtyard of Podere Carceroni.

Sandy hams it up at the final critique. Here you can see how prolific she was during the week. She took advantage of every minute and painted, painted, painted.

Plein Air in the Maremma 2011: Kaz

Karen Stanton, aka Kaz, is from Australia. She joined our class after holidays in Naples with friends. In Australia, she has a performing arts studio; she brought her dancing to the easel.

Kaz at work. She multi-tasks: dances, sings and paints.

Kaz lays in color for the Podere painting.

Kaz' paintings dry on sunny terrace.

Kaz' works at the critique.