Monday, 22 September 2008

Bone Dry River Bed

Well despite a couple of days rain, its going to take a couple more to get the river Aggia flowing again. At the moment it still looks like a really badly constructed road full of rocks and boulders and dust. But I am sure it won't be long before we have to use the stepping stones to cross it once more.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Colour Me Bad

I have a lifetimes experience of getting the colours wrong, my trouble is tonal opposites, where the colours that have the same intensity clash. This leads to confusion over orange/yellow green, pink/grey, purple/dark blue and the more common red/green. Now this doesn't bother me when I am painting, but it does upset me when shopping. Once again I bought something due to a confusion over a companies colour coding and skimmed milk tastes foul.

Its not like I am asking people to change their lifestyle, become vegetarian, adopt another religion or questioning their sexual preferences but as colour confusion is a constant and recognised problem, why don't companies simply adopt a combination which is easy to detect by the visually challenged.

For most of you these eight colours will be obvious but to the rare few who only see four it can be a problem, especially when you go shopping. Painting strangely enough never really posed that much of a problem, I know where the colours are on my pallette and have a good idea about how to mix and match. Once you have painted a scene who is going to know whether the house was red or green or if the car was purple or blue.

Cats can be funny and I have always marvelled at green ginger tomcats and felt that the group "Deep Purple" should be called Dark Blue but it doesn't have the same ring does it. At least when everyone else is moaning about "those ominous dark grey clouds" I see a gorgeous pink sky. Always see the positive I guess.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Dry Riverbed

Ink sketch of the dried up Aggia riverbed. I have been meaning to draw this for 2 months now and within hours of finally completing it we had 12 hours constant rain. Talk about getting something done under the wire. Being a city boy from Wales, where it always rains, coming across the river without water was a novelty for me and source of constant fascination. For 13 weeks now there has been little rain to speak of, yet the countryside is still a gorgeous vibrant green.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Monastery in the landscape

A quick ink pen sketch of La Preghiera, a former monastery, surrounded by green wooded hillsides. This traquil setting has been the refuge of peace and serenity for over a 1000 years and its no wonder. Save for the noise from the occassional hunter or tractor it is a most peaceful location. As it is situated on the old St Francesco trail to Assisi, I wouldn't be surprised if the man himself hadn't called by on his travels.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Source of the Tiber

This watercolour is looking north towards the Appalachian Mountains where the river Tiber rises and ultimately flows through Rome. At the minute the grain has been cut and the tobacco is just about ready to be harvested. As it dries out it turns all shades of green, yellow and Umbrian brown making the landscape very colourful to look at.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Original Artwork

I have attached a detail of the original poster which details the trades and artisans of the Upper Tiber Valley in the Seventeenth century. At a time of mass literary problems, images depicting trades were extremely important and these lovely but simple pictures detail the differing types of works carried out. The whole poster includes such things as Optician, Watchmaker and Barbers, somethings have always been there.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Occupational Hazard - 1602.5

watercolor italy
The Taylor and the Builder today, all tastes are catered for back then. The sketch pad is only 2" X 1 1/2", a very small hand made leather bounnd pad but excellent for carrying around in my pocket.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Trades II 1602 - lunchtime.

watercolour poster italy
This is my next installment from the 1602 poster of occupations in Italy from 1602. Don't worry we will soon have videographer and slurpy maker in the series.

Today we have Woodworker and Ropemaker

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Trades 1602 - M. DC. II

poster old fashioned
watercolour medieval
Italian medieval ink
So Summer is over, well we can't complain here, as we have had about 2 hours rain in twelve weeks and only the occassional cloud. Over the weekend they held a medieval festival in Citta di Castello, all the local people dressed up in traditional clothes and turn the house fronts into market stalls, taverns, blacksmithy or pottery. It proved to be excellent entertainment. There are falconry displays, public execution and battles all with a olde world feel about it. As Castello is comprised of lots of narrow alleyways and piazza's, it makes a first class venue.

So it was here that I bought a lovely, small, handmade, leather bound sketch pad and decided to do some reworkings of an old poster depicting the trades locally in 1602, the idea is eventually to have a little book full of medieval influenced sketches, paintings and drawings and these are the first three. Butcher, Armourer and wine trader.