October 22, 2012

Italy 101

So, to arrive at the Amalfi coast, my most efficient route required that I travel from Kentucky to Nashville, Nashville to Atlanta, Atlanta to Paris, Paris to Naples, Naples to the coast (what day is it?) But somewhere along the way that double shot of expresso kicks in, and suddenly you wake up and smell the lemons! Yes, the roads do consist of many hairpin turns along the cliffs in and around the lemon groves and vineyards, but then take a look at what is just around the bend...

Your first impression is that the colors are so intense, they look...well; they look fake. Fake as in photoshopped. Over the top. Ridiculously, excessively, outrageously VIVID. And everywhere you go, you see paintings that scream high chroma, and appear far too garish, too bright, just too much because... can you guess? The artists painted the truth of what they felt and saw. So that is the challenge in painting in a location like this, because our eyes need a little neutral, a little grey, a little atmosphere to break up and balance out the brilliant and bright. Every detail just can't be the "star"... Who knew, right?

Meanwhile, let's cut to the chase and call it what it is here-- crazy beautiful. CB for short. Which begs the question-- do the people who live here, who see these surroundings every single day; do they even notice the CB after awhile? That would be a resounding yes. They see it. They grow it, drink it, live it, breathe it. You hear it in their laughter, and see it woven into their life's work. And they are exceedingly gracious and proud to share it with you. All CB all the time. And in the days to come, I in turn, will share it with you...

"Of life's two chief prizes,
I found the first in a loving heart
and the second in a laborer's hand." 
Khalil Gibran

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