Thursday, September 29, 2011

Italy Recap, Part 1!

So I lost a bit of blog-momentum having gone on vacation this past week, but I came back from Italy with 28 paintings under my belt--and I have more than enough inspiration from that trip to make 28 more. I also have quite a few sketches, though most of them are very rough and simplistic. They're more like preliminary thumbnails for my paintings than actual sketches.

But my point is, I finally feel like I have enough work hanging around my apartment to start selling it. As soon as I can figure out how to scan the larger paintings and get quality digital copies of everything, I'll post them to an Etsy shop--or maybe even submit them to a local gallery to sell, if I can figure out the best way to do that. If anyone out there in internet-land has any tips about selling artwork on Etsy, Blogger, personal websites, in small local art galleries, or any combination of the above, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Oil paintings I made in Farnese, Italy, laying out to dry in my craft room.

Now, some more info about my trip: I stayed just outside of Farnese, Italy. This page on Trip Advisor has a couple of decent pictures of Farnese, though no photograph could possibly do it justice. It's like the entire town has been forgotten for a couple of centuries, but inside of these medieval-looking houses people live fairly modern lives. Of course, since it is such a small town it's got a very intense community atmosphere. I have a feeling that everybody there knows everybody else and knows all about their personal lives.

We spent the week in a big, beautiful Tuscan villa, surrounded by farmland. Each room was floored with marble or tile, decorated with furniture ranging anywhere from Victorian to 1930s art-deco. Faux moldings and elaborate cornices complemented the ornately painted ceilings, and gorgeous artwork adorned every wall.  The roof and second-floor balcony offered views of olive orchards; groves full of nectarines, figs, and grapes; and even the Mediterranean coastline. Overall, the place was like a more beautiful and charming "Under the Tuscan Sun," with a rich history of occupants of many shapes, sizes, and walks of life.

The villa is owned by Signora Guglielmina Clarici, who is a brilliant artist herself. She works and lives in Rome, and comes to stay at the villa every so often when she has business in Farnese. She and her family inherited the house just before World War II. During the war they were kicked out of the house by the occupying Nazis, but they reclaimed the property after the war. The Signora is an incredibly talented painter, a very good storyteller, and one of the most charming and lovable women you could ever hope to meet.

As I mentioned before, I have too many paintings and too many memories to fit into just this one post. I'm already afraid that this one is too wordy for most people's attention spans, so I'll continue with the words another day. In the meantime, here is one painting that I was able to scan: a 6" by 6" oil painting of the Farnese landscape, as seen out of the window of our studio.
Oil on canvas, Joa Stenning, Sept. 2011

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