Intimate Corners of the City
Italian Watercolors Capture Intimate Italian Lifestyles
Peek into Dorothy Fagan's watercolor sketchbooks and see Italy as an artist.
On my first trip to Italy, I was fascinated with the abstract patterns created by colorful clotheslines against the wonderful Tuscan Vermilion and Naples Yellow buildings in nearby Figline Val d'Arno. This watercolor plays with the juxtapositions of man made and organic shapes.
There is something so appealing about a backyard garden. Even an apartment building, above a busy city, has an intimate space for a flower garden.
The balcony of my apartment in Tuscany overlooked a spectacular view of Florence. I painted vineyards and rolling hills, sunsets, and dreamy colors for weeks on end. And on occasion, I turned my attention to the villas just below me.
In this wonderful view, we peek into everyday Italian life. A balcony and garden play with local colors. I feel their magic smiles, just to look at them.
In the oldest part of Sorrento, the architecture dates to the 12th Century. Nooks and crannies of the town hide lovely intimate spaces. Though the day was a bit overcast, this table for two captured my eye. I couldn't resist adding it to my collection of 'backyard gardens.'
Exaggerating the lavender shadows to contrast with coral tones of the stucco, I experimented with this warm tonal interpretation. The greenery of the vine and window box adds a counter point of seriousness!
It seems that visiting on a cloudy grey day made the colors feel ever more vibrant. That seems backwards, I know. However, once everything felt so gray and I had painted gray, gray, gray ~ I began to see subtle colors in a different way.
These villas caught my eye because of their coral and pink colors. They stood out against a world of gray. I did take artistic license to paint the sky so turquoise.
I rather like the pairing!
I really wanted to become embedded in Italian life. The tiny hilltop village of Poggio Alla Croce was the perfect place to paint and live for two months.
The intimate atmosphere gave me a feeling of ownership, which I believe translates into my paintings. Near the end of our stay, we returned from a weekend in Venice ~ feeling as if we were coming home!
This big house with the big view of Val d'Arno wasn't mine, though I feel I may have adopted a bit of its outlook.
Dorothy began carrying a watercolor sketchbook in France. Stashed in her satchel, fabulous colors fly with her where ever she travels. . . over lunch in Positano, on a park bench in the Jardin Tuileries, or the Grande Canal in Venice.
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