Mare Incanto, Antonella calls it the Enchanted Sea.
Painting Positano, I felt enchanted by everything I saw.
Enchantment began on the bus ride over steep cliffs. Spectacular views peeking between the mountains hinted with sublime colors.
Verdant vineyards clinging to the hillsides, told me only rugged souls live up here on top of this paradise.
My dear friend Antonella wanted me to see it from this breath-taking (literally) point of view.
The narrow road winds in and out between old stone cottages. Perched on these cliffs for centuries, these are not tourist bungalows. Tucked up between the rocky ravines, are simple homes of rugged Italians who have lived here for centuries.
Though the glamorous part of Positano may be more colorful, the connection to these timeless cliffs is knowable only from this view of native Italy.
Walking through the main street of Positano, I stopped to paint. Antonella's stories of growing up in Positano with her sisters, playing hide and seek on the beach, captivated my imagination.
As I painted this view, Antonella stood beside me. Her voice inflected passions of Mare Incanto (the Enchanted Sea.)
I could feel her sparkle in the emerald water, and see it in her eyes.
Do you understand?
What I'm telling you is that painting melds our spirits together as one upon this page.
Antonella's passions and mine are one in this simple watercolor painting. I hold her spirit with me forever. What a gift you have given me, Antonella!
I can feel the colors still. Though a year has passed, I am here again in the moment with Antonella painting.
The shadow on the page reminds me of the light.
I feel it now.
Back and forth between emerald green turquoise sparkles ~ and pink terra cotta vermillion Naples Yellow red earth . . .
Painting Positano or anywhere, for me is about balancing the colors.
Whether vibrant or subtle, my urge to balance them remains constant.
A pastellist for many years, I couldn't resist the opportunity to acquire a new set of Charvin water-soluble pastels for my trip to the Amalfi Coast. The box of 48 slipped right into my satchel with my watercolors.
It was a HUGE risk to try new materials on a venture where I only had four days to paint. I SHOULD take tried and true media, right? Leave the experimenting for home where I have time to fail?
I just did it anyway.
Each time I used them in Italy, I thought I'd made a mistake. 'Oh, they're so uncontrollable,' I felt wishing I had more good sense and control.
Yet this morning (a year later) I feel sooooooooooooooo glad I followed my muse!
I feel something vibrant in this painting now, that escaped me a year ago. I feel alive. I feel the urge to paint from this sketch. I feel a large abstract oil painting with this vibrancy coming on.
If I'd had good sense a year ago ~ I'd have missed the ticket to see with enchanted eyes!
You can see the difference between it and this (watercolor only) painting I made on the dock.
While Antonella purchased our hydrofoil tickets to Sorrento, I sat on the dock and painted this other view of the mosque. That's right, the mosque in the foreground in the painting above, is the same one in the foreground of this one, from the other side below.
Looking at the two painting side by side ~ it is the top one that makes me feel like being there!
Don't get me wrong. I like Prayers by the Sea.
I like the open white space, and the pattern where landscape and villas inter-weave. And I like that the Enchanted Sea sparkles in the foreground.
That's what it's all about. Life ~ making sure we let the enchanted in us sparkle in the foreground,
a little every day.
I have to include this photo of the dress shop. Positano and Sorrento are filled with beautiful Italian linen dresses. And I would be remiss if I didn't give you a clue as to what the next story in this series might include!
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