“Drying on the Line” Oil Painting

| March 26, 2010
"Drying on the Line" - 8x8, Oil on Gessobord

“Drying on the Line” – 8×8, Oil on Gessobord

I couldn’t stop thinking about starting a new painting so I thought I would try to fit one in before another this weekend. When Donna and I visited Italy last summer, we made a side trip from Florence to San Gimignano and Sienna. Not wanting to rent a car and try to navigate our way out of Florence, we decided to take a bus tour to the walled mediaeval towns in the Tuscan countryside. I’m not a huge fan of bus tours but it seemed to be the most practical solution for the task at hand.

On our way, we passed some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. The day was bright and sunny, which was the norm for the entire trip. Once we arrived in San Gimignano, we escaped the clutches of the bus group and made our way into the side streets that feed the quiet neighborhoods of the city. I snapped pictures of everything that grabbed my eye and for some reason, the laundry drying in a line outside a wonderfully aged building looked interesting. I think the crisp shadows cast by the laundry on the sunlit worn stone surface was the motivation. The earth tones on the building make for an inspiring palette of colors that I hope I captured as a visually stimulating backdrop for the colors of the clothing and their stark cast shadows.

I feel that my confidence in painting is improving and I think it has everything to do with carefully planning the paintings and making sure the drawing is right before I wet the brushes. I sketched this in about 45 minutes on Wednesday night. I did not have the energy to start painting that night due to the fact that Donna and I got about five and a half hours sleep the night before.

The John Mayer concert on Tuesday was perhaps the best we have ever been to but as we listened to some amazing guitar playing at the Pepsi Center, the snow was raging outside. We left the concert at 11:45pm and rapidly found out that the highway was closed between Denver and Monument. Not wanting to risk our lives on some of the older highways, we took up residence at the Hyatt and spent the night. A short six hours later, we were back on the road to let poor Zoe the dog out for some much needed relief. So, after some rest, I finished this in one sitting in about three hours last night. I loved painting the shadows and trying to capture the light in what is a pretty high key painting overall.

I want to extend a huge thank you to all that have submitted paintings for the painting challenge. I find it incredibly inspiring to see all of your work and am really pleased with how the gallery page is looking! The apron drawing will happen promptly on the first of April, just before I leave for Arizona. Have a great weekend!

Category: Italy

Comments (4)

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  1. Perry says:

    Wow, how was the John Mayer concert? Love the new song,
    “Heartbreak Warfare” which is almost as good as your painting here. Great job on the shadows stone wall and window detail, Lee.

  2. Lee says:

    If you have an opportunity, buy tickets and go the next time he is here. I was listening to my “John Mayer” Pandora station late last week and told Donna that his concert needed to be on the bucket list. She said, “he’s playing Pepsi Center next week, I just bought tickets for my boss.” It was destiny so I bought tickets the next day. Despite his recent media flubs, he is one talented dude. An absolutely amazing guitar player and a string of hits you can listen to all night. He played his radio songs, a few covers, and some blues and rock and roll to boot. Very high quality concert. Thanks for the kudos on the paintings. I still have a lot to learn but it is actually starting to get fun.

  3. AutumnLeaves says:

    I do not know too much about John Mayer and what I have heard of him as a person isn’t the best. But then I’ve also heard a few good comments from him as well. Who knows? I’ve not really heard his music either, but I did catch a snipped somewhere of some song and I really liked his voice and his style. I think I’ll have to find a few clips somewhere and listen anew.

    I was immediately struck by the coincidence of both you and David Lobenberg painting a laundry hanging scene straight from Italy! Your bricks are even similar in color and style! LOL I think this is a fabulous piece, Lee, and those shadows thrown by the hanging laundry are so exquisite. I need to pay more attention to shadows!

  4. Julie Hill says:

    Lee, love the shadows and the looseness with movement in the hanging laundry…all your blues are masterful too.