Photography sketches of the Florence Countryside

There are times, as many of you know, when I am taking photography sketches that I will then be use as reference for paintings that I will do in the studio. It is tricky business to do these sketches as they are often a series of several photographs taken from different perspectives so that there is enough memory triggered in the later viewing to bring me back to that specific place and time. This is necessary as I need information from all of my senses to successful interpret a painting in a meaningful way onto a canvas. A few of these photographs are worthy of being considered completed works in their own right. Mostly though, they are reference work just like a charcoal drawing or quick painting sketch. That said, it was a nice walk and I thought you might like to come with me for at least part of it.

The air is full of seed pods with parachutes today. David has to keep his sneezing self indoors. So it is just you, me and the camera hiking along with a water bottle on this May 1st, national Labour Day holiday in Florence, Italy. The sky is trying to rain but just can’t work up enough gumption to deliver the goods.  We will be fine. I promise.

Florence countryside by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 020

We will turn this way, then that way, in a maze of back streets that take us to a high road where we can look across to some place north of where we came from.

looking across from the high road in Florence by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 029

A soccer game is playing over a mega-phone system or some such thing. At least I think it is a soccer game. Whatever it is, the sound seems fitting and odd all at the same time. The side of the road is very narrow where we are standing so we best go part way back the way we came and go in the other direction as it looked much more peaceful – quiet even.

afternoon in  narrow lane of Florence countryside by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 141

Lucky us, the sun has come out for a few minutes and we have over an hour of these old bricked back roads to explore. There is only one problem. I need to be at least a foot taller.

over the fence in Florence Italy  by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 188

About half of the view always remains a mystery to me. How about you? How are you making out. Oh heck, let me give you a boost and you can get a good look…. no, no! Don’t fall over the top! That sign said something about a dog. Pheeeewfff! Okay, no more of THAT! Lets just look in through the bars of the gate instead.

sun in olive tree grove  by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 153

There will likely be fireflies in this olive tree grove this evening. If we wanted we could catch some in a jar and leave them beside our bed. In the morning the fireflies will have turned into one cent coins. It’s true! Just ask my host if you don’t believe me. Though she is pretty sure that her father had something to do with these results. However, in the whole valley all the small children would go out in the fields in the evening and catch fireflies. Then they would try to stay awake at night to see if they could see how it happened. No one ever did. But in the morning, sure as anything, there would be a few coins in the jar beside their bed and the fireflies would be gone. I saw my very-first-ever firefly two nights ago. I am going to go out tonight and see if the thousands of others have arrived yet. They are reportedly suppose to arrive in early May. A few small coins might be kinda nice don’t you think?

So….. maybe if it rains tomorrow or maybe not until I get back to Canada at the end of June but I am confident that at least a few of these photography sketches will become paintings.


What kind of creative sketches do you do in preparation for a final work?


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Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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8 thoughts on “Photography sketches of the Florence Countryside

  1. I can not travel, I wish I could. But I use pictures of places for references for my paintings. I love your blog, you make me feel like I am right along side you. Thank you for your creative storytelling. Have a wonderful day.

    • I can understand the need to use pictures of places under these circumstances Beatrix and welcome to Creative Potager. There are always have lots of photographs here and you are free to use any you want for painting reference – you have my permission 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post and a wonderful day to you as well.

  2. Terrill – I’m equally confident that these magnifiscent photography sketches should become paintings!

    You asked, “What kind of creative sketches do you do in preparation for a final work?”

    For blogging purposes, it’s six of one and half-a-dozen of the other:
    — Sometimes I take a photograph to support verbiage I’ve written
    — Other times I write verbiage to support a photograph I’ve taken

    • Ah Laurie I just had to approve your comment with the new email address… a gentle reminder to update my address book as well. I know what you mean between this left-right kind of stepping between writing and photography.It works though and so we keep stepping.

    • That it is Patricia. We just spent the most relaxing day downtown today. I am not sure if it was because it was Monday or if it was because the sun was out but it wasn’t too very hot and people were less frenetic or that we are just getting used to the place.

  3. When they do become paintings they will immediately become some of your most sought after works. Of this I have no doubt at all. What a way to spend the morning of Mother’s Day taking a European trip with a great artist!

    • Ah! Sam I am so glad you took time out on Mother’s Day to come on a journey with us. I have all these visions of paintings that I want to do when. I return but I am guess many of them will be so worn from reviewing in my mind that they will not reach the canvas. We will have to wait and see I guess.

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