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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Elba ~ Italy

The following sketches were completed on the beautiful island of Elba which is off the west coast of Italy. The sandy coves, old fishing ports and quaint villages high in the mountains make this a painter's paradise.


Low Tide ~ Elba

Hilltop Village ~ Poggio

Hidden Cove

Rocky Shores

Morning Mist ~ Elba

I have been fortunate to visit many wonderful areas to paint and have to say the island of Elba was one of the most beautiful I have seen so far.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Along the northern coast ~ Italy


I decided to walk back along the winding coast from Portofino to Santa Margherita on a warm sunny afternoon. The road was narrow and winding with many cars zipping by. Too bad for them because I feel the only way to appreciate this part of the coastline is on foot. I came around a corner and saw this tall narrow rock with a tree growing out of the top. Strange to think this is even possible. The locals call it “La Caraga” which means The Chair.
Now to explore more of the town and the narrow streets. Another day to be filled with painting and writing...it's great to be alive! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cinque Terre ~ Italy

I have been staying in the Port of Santa Margherita. She is a spectacle of colour tucked away between many jewel like villages along the north western coast of Italy. On my first day here I simply wandered the streets admiring the beautiful frescoes on these tall narrow buildings. How in the world am I ever going to be able to get the perspective right! 

A few days after getting to know this wonderful seaside town I caught a bus to Portofino. This is another little gem of a village waiting to be painted a few kilometers away along this northern coast. There were such wonderful colours and light to be explored but unfortunately many tourists as well. I am told if I were here a week earlier I practically would have had the place to myself. I find that hard to believe looking out now across a sea of people!




Today the sun shines again and I decided to go for a hike. I came around the corner and saw this picturesque scene. What a perfect day!


                                                                       
 


Since returning to the hotel I have worked on a couple of sketches of a particular cove between these villages. My view was from several meters above looking down into the deep aqua blue waters that was surrounded by towering pines. Very difficult to portray in paint as it was such a majestic sight and tricky for me to convey the height from which I was standing.









I plan to do a large painting of this in oils when back in my studio. I do love a good challenge!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Memories ~ Italy - Poem

Sitting in the gardens
Birds singing, warm sun upon my back
The water gently ripples as a sculler passes in silence
Church bells ring eight
As a new day is born
I am now caught in her rhythm
This timeless endless quality of life
Living in a moment that is true and perfect

Lighthouse Lookout ~ Portofino




My mind drifts back to days gone by
Of when life was as new for me
As this day that now unfolds
Marbles with colour swirls
Fresh new box of crayons
Mud pies with my sister
Exploring with my brothers
Always curious about the day






Door to the Past ~ Santa Margherita




Now back in the present 
I find myself asking questions
For which there are no answers
I believe at least none of which I am meant to fully understand
For this I am grateful for I really don’t want to know all
Only to accept and live this life I've been given
Full of hope ~ the way it was intended 

Portofino Afternoon

One day this day will be a memory
From days long passed
The thought of this makes me smile


I hope I will still be wondering
In my future life
With childlike innocence
Of this day, this gift we each have been given
May I always see the hope in a sunrise and comfort in the setting sun


Now to get out there and enjoy another day of sunshine, painting, writing and perhaps just a little more good Italian cooking!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Emerald Isle

I met Joan and Patty while waiting for the Dublin train to Belfast. She and I really hit it off talking about children and the joys (and challenges) of raising them. The more we talked the more I liked her. Her hubby was in line getting their tickets and when he came over I immediately liked him too. “Great fun loving couple they are” as they say here on the Emerald Isle. Lots of laughter and teasing between them as the green grass and stone houses passed by my window. Dublin is the place of my mother’s birth father. I will be exploring this city during my final days in Ireland and plan now to make my way up to Belfast. After a much needed sleep I will travel through the countryside to the northern town of Bushmills then back down to Belfast along the coast then fly over to the Isle of Man where my other grandfather’s family was from. Hmmmm seems like a lot of moving around but I do want to experience as much of this part of the world as I can.
The combination of the rhythmic motion of the train and the fact I have been on the “road” now for over 24 hours is making it hard to stay awake. The best way to get on track with sleep patterns is to stay awake for the first day for as long as possible and try to go to bed at the regular time.

....It seems I have failed as an hour has passed as I nodded off to dreamland but I must admit to feeling a bit more human after my “wee” rest. I must say I do love the way the Irish are so musical with their words!

The announcement has been made as the train slows and now I feel like I have truly arrived to this land where my grandfather was from.

Top of the mornin’ to ya!

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