the inspiration actually began in scotland when I watched several series of SKY ARTS, PORTRAIT PAINTER OF THE YEAR. I’ve watched videos on youtube giving advice on how to paint portraits etc but it was so much more inspiring to watch all kinds of people with all different methods and styles and abilities actually paint portraits from life.
Some started with pencil drawings, some used tablets and squares and some started with colours…..there was an endless variety of ways of working. And almost all of them wondered if they could manage and worried about over working and one even started again half way through.
Some had been to art college or had training and others painted for fun. Some had never painted from life before.
I found it so encouraging to watch people who didn’t seem so different from myself struggle to get a likeness.
mostly on youtube I have been watching experts but these were ordinary ( or extraordinary) artists working for real, making mistakes, getting it right by accident, and intent, and taking a risk.
I returned to Italy in a great mood…. determined to do something different. I had been getting a bit bored.
I don’t know what would have happened if I had been left to my own devices, but luckily a lovely swedish friend who is also an artist suggested we paint together outside and then it developed into , “why don’t we paint portraits of all our friends?”
So we have. And we learned such a lot on the way…..from being a little more proactive about how the model posed, taking photos so we could finish off later, checking the light, finding a good setting , organising materials for painting outside and lots more.
We have different styles and I tended to concentrate only on getting a likeness and didnt bother with the background whereas Eevi would make the person a part of the complete setting. ( including dogs and cats and beer bottles etc.)
I am now determined to make much more effort with backgounds even if that means painting on much larger canvases. ( have started this in the portrait including the kitten….the one that looks like a dog!)
During this time I met another artist from switzerland , who stayed in my little artist’s house and we painted each other several times. that was so much fun and very interesting.
Then latterly we have gone to the beach and painted the sea and beach from life. That is very exciting ….especially when it is windy and you are trying not to get sand on wet paint.
In the middle of all this I have painted 2 large flower paintings….one from life and one from a photo.. I have gone back to painting contrasting colours underneath first and I find this great fun and very liberating.
I feel like I have recovered my enthusiasm for painting and its given me back my confidence. So much so that I have changed my signature to “ANNE”. I am hoping to have 2 sets of paintings: those for sale locally at local prices and a new set with an international price range.
So a big thanks to Eevi for everything. Will miss her lots when she goes home……hoping she will be back in autumn…….when we can carry on being inspired.