My time at La Macina di San Cresci is coming to an end and as I reminisce on my special experience, I reflect upon my initial proposal which I sent in 2012.
Searching through my computer files I found my proposal. At the time I was painting landscapes and I wrote “I currently live in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley which is wine country of Australia. My work responds to this environment and I would therefore enjoy working en plein air within the rural, wine country area of La Macina. To compare, contrast and explore the similarities of these two rural towns would be inspirational”.
It has been 4 years since the proposal and upon my first visit I was so overwhelmed and intimidated by the beauty of the landscape, I decided to go back to what I knew best and draw. This resulted in large gestural drawings of local produce. I was happy with what I had produced but I left with a feeling of disappointment that I hadn’t been brave enough to complete my initial project.
Two years later and equipped with my pochade box (en plein air box) of confidence, I embarked on my initial project of painting this majestic landscape. I’m still rather in awe of its beauty however after a month long residency, resulting in 30 paintings, 3 boxes, 20 drawings, sketches and 2 large soft pastel drawing, I am feeling more assured to paint this breathtaking scenery.
I don’t know if I will ever be completely relaxed, in the company of this historical backdrop, but I’m happy with the work I’ve produced. I look forward to bringing a piece of Tuscany home with me and using the colours, marks and textures I’ve discovered here in future landscapes.
It is always hard to say goodbye especially when you fall in love and that is certainly the case here. I love this experience more than I am able to express in writing and to say farewell to my second home (seconda casa) is not easy.
It will be another patient two years (fingers crossed) until I return to take on this landscape again.
A special thanks to my patient little family, Andy, Oscar and Baxter, for joining me on this wild adventure. I hope you had fun too!
Grazie mille e arrivederci Mimma, Duccio, Ugo. I will miss you and San Cresci very much.
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Yours in art,
"Various Storms and Saints: paintings and drawings from Hunter Valley, Australia and Tuscany, Italy" opens Saturday 9th July 2016 Galerie Belimage Switzerland. All work is for sale. Please contact the gallery if you are interested in buying work.