Monday, October 10, 2011

Back to Tuscany Again and Again to Teach Painting Workshops!

Blue Fence - Oil on Canvas - Sold - © 2011 by Linda Warner Constantino
Great news! I am heading back to Italy in 2012 to teach two plein air painting workshops. Though more information will be coming, here are the dates, locations and times:
Spannocchia - Plein Air Painting in Oils - June 28 - July 6 - in Tuscany near Siena, Italy. $2500 per person single. $2300 per person double.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blue Door

Blue Door - 10 in. by 11.5 in. - Oil on linen. $400 Framed.
© 2010 Linda Warner Constantino.

The opening to my show was a lot of fun and I saw a friends old and new and all the food got eaten. You never know how much you need when your show is open to the general public. I tried to go with an Italian theme with the food. I was rolling proscuitto around the asparagus right up to the last minute!

This painting above is in the exhibit. I loved the way the light was hitting the door with the grapevines and their cast shadows. This door leads to a covered outdoor eating area where dinner is served most nights during the summer. There is always lots of talk about the day and whatever people are interested in. You can have a bad day painting but it is hard to hang on to a sour mood once dinner begins at Spannocchia.

I am heading down to the local television station WHHI this afternoon to talk about my Chasing the Light exhibit. I think it will air on The Low Country Report on at 8 am, 6 pm and 8 pm each evening this week.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Chasing the Light Exhibit

Spannocchia Doorway - 7 in. by 5 in. oil on linen. Framed 12 in. by 10 in. $400. © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino.

My show of new work entitled Chasing the Light opens tomorrow, August 9th at the Art League Gallery on Hilton Head. The opening reception is on Tuesday, August 10th from 5-7 pm. I invite you to stop by if you are in the area.

The paintings on exhibit are in oils and watercolors. Some were done en plein air and some in the studio. I work small in general with the largest painting being 11 in. by 14 in. My inspiration comes from my recent month long painting trip to Italy that was made possible by a presidential fellowship from Savannah College of Art and Design where I teach.

The painting above is a little doorway that always looks the same but is beautiful in its simplicity with the grapevine creating a natural awning. The sink is used to clean out the slop buckets for the pigs. So there are always some colorful buckets around it. I also loved the simple little pot of geraniums catching the light. This sun only hits it this way in the mid-afternoon and was painted en plein air.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Colle Val d'Elsa

Colle Val D'Elsa - 4 by 5". Watercolor on Khadi - Sketchbook. © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino.

I had just finished a larger painting and I was still wanting to paint. So I decided to paint whatever was in front of me. I do this once in a while as a challenge - to try and make something ordinary interesting. I was taken by the light and shade. It was a little outdoor cafe in a town about a half an hour north of Spannocchia. I think I got the feeling of light and shade. Some details are a bit wonky because I went back into it after I was done. For me watercolors are a constant reminder of the imperfections of life. There is a certain beauty to how the watercolor tends to wander around the page and do its own thing. I keep trying to remember to let it be. Don't over mother it, should be my mantra. :)

On another note - I went to see the botanical exhibit of the works of PA Kessler at the Art Center here on Hilton Head. The paintings are mostly of orchids and they are simply unbelievable! She is a true botanical artist whose dedication to detail is beyond impressive. Her work reveals knowlege, sensitivity, creativity and craft at the highest level. You will be impressed if you go see it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lavender in Tuscsny

Lavender 4 by 5 in. Watercolor Sketchbook. © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino.

Above is my first attempt at lavender that grows among the vegetables at the terraced gardens at Spannocchia. The color is so elusive - it is not really blue and not really purple. I did have to add some white goauche to paint the lavender over the stems. I find lavender to be not only aromatic but dreamy and relaxing. Every time you see it, the color is just so perfect and it kind of takes your breath away.

I have few more sketches to post and then I will start posting the work for my show. I would like to take a moment to express my deep gratitude to Paula Wallace, president of Savannah College of Art and Design for believing in my project and allowing me the opportunity to immerse myself in my painting for almost a month in Italy by granting me a fellowship. I won't deny that the school year is busy with a very divided focus and never have I had such time to myself to create. I cherish it. It was not only being in Italy but it was about being alone and having the time to work without any other demands on my time. It was also about being in the moment and gently directing but also going with the flow of what was happening around me. This is very necessary for an artist. I will never forget this experience. I am so charged and elated about painting. I know my enthusiasm will inspire my students.

One other thing. I have never been much for boredom but I think it is really banished from my vocabulary. There is so much that I want to do and express creatively. Not enough hours in the day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sketchbook - Even More Italy

Scorigano - 4 by 5 in. Watercolor Sketchbook © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino

This view is of a farm in Scorigano, a small village in Tuscany. My friend Liz and I spent our last afternoon in Tuscany riding around taking pictures and we found a small restaurant with a great view so we could eat and paint. It was very hot out but we were outside in the shade. It was delightful to have a great view and a great meal. The roads in the area are narrow and it is very rural but rolling hills and vineyards are everywhere. So peaceful.

Below is a quick (because they were really moving) cloudy study done at Spannocchia.

Spannocchia Cloud Study - 4 by 5 in. - Watercolor on Khadi paper - @ 2010 Linda Warner Constantino

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pig Barn at Spannocchia - 4 by 5 in. - Watercolor Sketchbook. © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino

The larger sketch is of a building known as the Pig Barn but it no longer houses the pigs. It is currently used for for pottery classes. A pottery workshop class was there a week before my group. They constructed an authentic Etruscan kiln and it worked! Everyone was so excited.

I liked painting this building because it is so rustic and unusual looking and has tall cypress trees behind it. The little wheelbarrow that is a familiar site to the interns who work there and use it frequently.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sketchbook - Carmen's House

Carmen's House - 4 by 5 in. - Watercolor Sketchbook - © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino

Seems only natural that Carmen the gardener would have such a nice array of plants blooming around her house. I have painted this scene in oils and watercolors and it is always hard to do justice to it. People who love things that grow seem to encourage it all around them. My mother, my sister Patti and my sister Dona are all blessed with that kind of nurturing talent. They are the kind of people who can just seem to stick something in the ground and it will grow like crazy.

Garden Gate - 4 by 5 in. Watercolor Sketchbook - © 2020 Linda Warner Constantino

I love this little garden gate that someone took the trouble to paint such a lovely shade of almost turquoise. This is another one of Carmen's many gardens. She has asparagus growing on the right. I loved the way the morning sun was basically backlighting the gate.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sketchbook - Gardens at Spannocchia

Carmen's Gardens - 4 by 5 in.- Watercolor Sketchbook

I cannot say enough about the vegetable gardens at Spannocchia. Carmen is the gardener and you just know she loves what she does. She knows the terraced beds like they were her own children. She can tell you what has been planted there in the past and what will go in next. She really has a roll going because the vegetables are used in cooking the meals at Spannocchia and they utilize as much as they can from the gardens.

When you take a cooking class at Spannocchia they start with a garden tour conducted by Carmen and you can tell she is so knowledgeable just by the way she talks about the plants. I find myself gravitating to the garden at least once a day while I am there. This view is from the bottom of the hill looking up the terraced gardens. The two little dark doorways lead to Carmen's office. I painted this as a demo for my students on how to simplify because there is a lot to see from this view. By they way, if you want to know if it is going to rain, just ask Carmen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Sketchbook - Spannocchia

Spannocchia Doorway - 4 by 5 in. - Watercolor Sketchbook.

This doorway is always the same when I pull up to Spannocchia. I love the way the grape vines shade the doorway and the geraniums sit on the window sill over the sink. I did this sketch before my workshop students arrived to warm up.

Road from Casseta al Leccia - 2 by 5 in.- Watercolor Sketchbook.

I am a sucker for greens. I liked the way this little road was surrounded by different shades of green. It is really almost nearly abstract. Sometimes I just like to take an ordinary view and paint it with a little inspiration. I think it was John Singer Sargent who claimed you should be able to walk out the door and paint whatever you see. However, I must say it is hard to find a view in Tuscany that is not already stunning. One day, while walking back to Spannocchia on this road, I picked wildflowers and did not pick the same kind twice. I wish I had had the time to paint them. Next year...