Join me....

I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, October 4, 2013

When in Rome.....

When in Rome...
Do as the Romans...!
Nah, no worries, I didn't really hop on Kelly's bike for the day.  She was kind enough to brave the buses, trams, trains and taxis on my behalf, all the while giving me a running commentary of what we were seeing including historical facts sprinkled with local color and lore.  Si, I am in painters heaven.
Here's a little recap of a day in the life of a wanna-be plein air artist....Roman style.
We set up in the Villa Borghese Gardens which offer some spectacular views of the city below, including St. Peter's Cathedral.  Some of Kelly's friends joined us for the day and while I thought they might add to my self consciousness they actually eased it!
This watercolor artist intrigued me with his set up and how he worked.  He also became my new muse as, since he is deaf, unless he is reading your lips he doesn't hear you.  I quickly discovered that since I could not understand the gawkers who spoke Italian I tended to ignore them and not be nervous.  Voila!  I will channel Giovanni henceforth, regardless of the language spoken.
After several hours of work it was time for a serious break: coffee and pastries in the park.  Then back to the easels so others, if they forgot a lunch, can take a breather.
Kelly and I headed to another spot for the afternoon so she could finish up a commission. This was right before school let out and tons of excited elementary children besieged her with questions and comments.  Kelly answered and calmly painted on...naturally they assumed I was deaf and kept asking me why I did not speak Italian!  Kelly assured me they were complimentary of my colorful piece, even if she lied it made my day.
By now, I'm pooped, seated on the curb playing with some final touches.  In case you are wondering Kelly finished her work on site, not back in the studio.  I guess this is a mark of a true plein air artisan...done allaprima.  Me?  I tend to want to add and subtract days later...but I'm learning, and practicing...

Day is done!  Ok, I toted 50 lbs ( well, maybe 25?) all over town, set up my rig in two places, completed two paintings, braved the onlookers, packed up, cleaned up and....?
As Kelly says, " it's wine o'clock."  Better call for the bottle girlfriend, I hear we are doing this all over again tomorrow!

Thank you kelly!  Bring it on...all of it!  And for you non-painters, allaprima is an art term which means "all at once" or all in one sitting.  It presents numerous challenges in that certain strategies require paints to dry before you continue on....impossible under these circumstances.


  1. I am loving your journey! As an allaprima painter, I really appreciated Carol Marine's advice - paint the inside to the outside (she uses the concept of paint the island then the ocean around it). Experience (meaning multiple mistakes) taught me to start at the top so I wouldn't keep making handprints in wet paint! LOL. . .

  2. Love reading your posts Cindy. Just keep peddling all over Rome and keep us posted.

  3. Johnna - I am laughing because I have so much to learn about plein air work; absolutely everything I took to wear came home covered in paint! But what fun it was once I got over the anxiety of choosing WHAT to paint!


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