Olive Tree en plein air

On occasion a painter is mesmerized by a subject. In this case, I have fell under the spell of a particular olive tree in the Tuscan hillsides of Florence Italy. I have added it to two previous paintings – once because it was actually there and the second time because I wanted it to be there. This morning I made a third attempt. It is our last day in Florence and the only chance I will have to set up directly in view of this prized olive tree.

olive tree in progress 2 25 x 35 cm acrylic on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 038

I rough in an underpainting and settle in to work. Oh how my brush lacks the life of the moving light! I struggle with the acrylic painting, my limited ability to interpret what I experience so fully in front of this tree and the landscape that holds. The haze is heavier than I am used to on the west coast. The colours are richer and fuller in this May midday sun. I want to give up. I want to sit on the ground and toss the brushes in the air in defeat. But I don’t. I take a deep breath and I keep working. This painting will hardly be able to be called a sketch. It is already long past my self imposed 60 minute limit for a painting sketch. I care not for this limitation today. I am determined.

Finally the brushes still. I have no idea what is on the canvas really. I lost conscious track way back when the last long narrow tree was brushed into the distance. So let’s have a look together…

 

plein air painting of olive tree  25 x 35 cm acrylic on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 045

Well, it isn’t what I had imagined. Nor does it fully capture my intention. But it will have to do because no further brushstroke is asking to be added. This is it. Finished.

OLIVE TREE 25 x 35 cm on 185 lb coldpress archival paper

olive tree in25 x 35 cm acrylic plein air on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 052

(Art prints available in my Redbubble storefront HERE)

 

I have no question for us today… what one would you like to ask?

 

Now I really must go and pack or we shall be in a flurry tomorrow morning.

 

© 2014 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com

Arriving in Florence Italy

Our hosts, Nicoletta and Roberto, call me “Terri” just like my step-son-in-law who is from Malan, Italy. They said that the people of Florence like to welcome their guests and how true we have found this to be. They met us at a small train station in the industrial west side of the city and gave us a full tour on our way to the southern edges. We were presented with gifts of Easter cake, wine and coffee for the espresso machine. Yes, I did still sleep last night after doing some taste-testing before they took me to get a few groceries which in hindsight I should have made a bigger shop. But, oh well!

Today, when we were shopping for a larger supply of sustenance, strangers readily helped me several times until I was able to independently work the weighing machine in the produce section.  In the stores we have been to in Italy, the buyer weighs their own produce and a purchase slip is then created by the machine and you stick it on the bag of produce for the cashier. Quite handy really and efficient when you get to the checkout.

A little while after that I was enthusiastically given tips about the area by a fellow motor-bike riding local photographer. Needless to say, we are finding the people of Florence the warmest, most friendly and inviting hosts in our travels so far. Granted, we are a bit off the tourist map. Just the same – we feel we are at home in less than 24 hours. The view across the valley last evening didn’t hurt either…

view across valley in south Florence by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 016

It is the end of the day as I walk around the yard exploring and looking.

end of the day in south Florence by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 024

Someplace a little further to the left of this, I am told that Galileo’s observatory can be seen through the trees in the winter. I haven’t spotted it yet but it isn’t for lack of trying. It is warm here but not hot like in the summer when is common to have 40 degrees Celsius.

We are staying alongside a narrow one-way street that runs along a hill and is part of the old via Romana or old road to Rome from Florence. The street is now called via del Podesta.

old via Romana by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 063

One of the side roads has poppies blooming along the edge of the stone wall…

poppies by a stone wall in Florence Italy  by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 077

and a great view which I will show you on our return.

We walked over the top and down the other side to get our groceries for the next two days as tomorrow, April 25th ,  is Liberation Day in Italy, a national holiday. The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. This means most everything is closed.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. – See more at: http://www.florencewebguide.com/things-to-do-in-florence-in-april.html#sthash.ush8QP2p.dpuf

While shopping, I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. Our hosts had taken me the evening before with their car so I would know where to find the store. I only had a small amount of cash on me so just got enough for supper and breakfast. As we were returning they told me about the national holiday. I knew then that our main task for today was going to be to get a few more things to eat. Well, the great little store with fresh produce and oven-fired bread was packed shoppers. We jostled our way through with the locals who were laughing and joking and being helpful all at the same time. It was a hoot! When we finally got ourselves out on the street again with our pull-cart full of supplies, I told David, we couldn’t get a better experience of local life than shopping on the last day before a national holiday in a neighbourhood store. But, I assure you, now that we are back up the hill and have the provisions tucked away, anything we forgot, we are going to live without 😉

I didn’t take my camera with me but right around noon walked back to that place with the wonderful view.

landscape of churches south of Florence Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 121

This is when I ran into a fellow photographer on his motor bike and he gave me a bit of a rundown on other places to check out in the area. He was born and raised in this neighbourhood but had also made a trip to an island of the Pacific Northwest of the United States so he had some idea what it was like where I was from.

In conclusion, I have decided that my Italian name is Terri and to say it properly you have to roll the “r” just slightly – not too much and leave the emphasis on the “i” and give it more of a long “e” sound. It is very pretty said this way and I will answer to it without a moment’s hesitation.

 

What is your name in another language that you might like to be called?

 

is ‘Liberation Day’ in Italy, a national holiday.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. 

– See more at: http://www.florencewebguide.com/things-to-do-in-florence-in-april.html#sthash.ush8QP2p.dpuf

is ‘Liberation Day’ in Italy, a national holiday.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. 

– See more at: http://www.florencewebguide.com/things-to-do-in-florence-in-april.html#sthash.ush8QP2p.dpuf

is ‘Liberation Day’ in Italy, a national holiday.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. 

– See more at: http://www.florencewebguide.com/things-to-do-in-florence-in-april.html#sthash.ush8QP2p.dpuf

© 2014 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com