Today I want to share with you a painting and an excerpt from a current project I'm working on. I'm gathering the paintings, sketches and notes from my trip to Italy this year. At the end of April, I flew over to see my son Ray and his girlfriend Ria while they were spending a semester in Rome on a study abroad program. If you want to see more artwork and sketches head on over to the Italy Paintings page here.
Italy Trip April 2018 - Excerpt:
Day 2 -4/25/2018
Today is Liberation Day in Italy. A national holiday celebrated annually on April 25. It marks the fall of Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945. The streets were filled with both tourists and natives soaking in the sunshine, enjoying the sights, shopping, listening to music - like one big street party. The temperature peaked around 65 to 70 degrees. The blue sky gave way to just a few white fluffy clouds.
First stop on the agenda, the Vatican. Ray and Ria have become so familiar with the streets in Rome. Since they arrived a few months ago for their study abroad program at JCU they have called Rome their home. As for me, I had to put a little pep in my step to keep up with them. I did the best I could to capture the scenes with my iPhone. A photo here, a short video clip there. I don’t think they realized I needed to do double time to keep up with their longer strides by their longer legs. But that’s ok, they would move ahead through the crowds and then instinctively know to turn around to see where I was at. Allowing me time to shot a few photos here and a few videos there and then scurry up to them. They patiently waited for me... what lovely tourguides they made. They also didn’t realize how in shape they were from their daily walking routines and how out of shape I was. (puff - puff)
Every street we turned down there was either a trattoria, ristorante or cafe or sometimes all three! Each one set and ready to serve. The vibrant overhead awnings stretched out just a little past the dining tables offering a comfortable shady spot from the bright sunlight. The tables set with rolled up white napkins and sparkling wine glasses, sometimes a tiny bouquet of flowers in a glass vase graced the table. The string of lights were definitely for ambiance and character, and I must say they played their part well. As we strolled past each establishment we could hear a friendly voice call out "Buongiorno" - "Good Day". From the savory aromas, to the abundant visual scenery and the romantic sounds of the Italian language - a stroll down the streets of Rome is sheer bliss.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog - I'll be sharing more of my Italy adventures in upcoming posts.
Ciao! From the streets of Rome
Side note: A funny little story to share. The stretched canvas that this painting was painted on I gave to my son for Christmas. I wrapped a blank canvas with a note attached "Future home of a Linda S. Marino Original Oil Painting" - and 5 months later I gave this painting to him for his birthday.
This original painting was created in 2012, it's been in and out of a few art shows and exhibits but has remained a loyal companion in my studio. Last week I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint, pop the colors and glaze the background color to lean more toward an orangey coral. Why you ask? and I'll answer.... why not? (I hope that didn't sound too snarky?)
I've learned over the years that as we grow in our art journey we see things differently, we're evolving and hopefully, learning, developing and building. With each painting we create we learn a little about ourselves, we develop our skills and build our confidence. And sometimes as we reflect on a piece created a few years ago we can see where some improvements could be made. There is a risk involved, especially if you've become attached to the piece and like I said earlier it's become a friendly companion. But never the less, when the desire for making a change outweighs the familiar, it's time to put the brush in motion.
I think a lot had to do with the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. In early December the international color company Pantone announces their pick for 2019. Living Coral.
As I was sitting in my studio, contemplating the Pantone press release article that read, "how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time" and "Living Coral, is an animated shade of orange with a golden undertone, which reflects the warmth, nourishment, and shelter of coral reefs to sea life." Pantone states that this year's selection symbolizes an "innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits".
ohhhh... I like that. Definitely worth repeating a few times... an innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits. Couldn't we all use a fresh coat of optimism and a pop of joyful pursuits as we look to open the book to a new chapter, new year. I know I could.
Thanks for reading my post. Let me know what you think about the Color of the Year - Living Coral. How does it make you feel? What images come to mind when you see this color. And believe me you're going to see it pop up everywhere. In graphic design, packaging, clothing, make-up, fashion design, interiors and decor and yes..... ART. If you continue to read this blog I'm sure you'll see a few more posts about this blushing, pinky-orange hue as we joyfully leap into 2019! I'm quit certain it will be a "regular" on my palette.
Cordially.... or should I say "Coral-dially" yours,
This painting was created during a three-day workshop on the Thimble Islands with Bob Noreika. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny with a slight breeze. On the third day, we were at the tail end of Governor's Island. I love to paint and sketch my fellow artists as they work. For the most part, they stay still and they're concentrating so much on their own work, they have no idea I'm painting them.
This piece has gone through the editing and refining process twice! And I'm happy to say it's finished... I think... :)
12 x 16" oil on canvas
framed in a silver/gold champagne finish frame
for purchasing information click here
I love painting interiors! What I often do is flip through design magazines and when a photo has the right light effect I use that as my starting point. I love the way the light streams through the windows and casts a warm glow across the counters and wood floor. From there I like to put my imagination to work and re-decorate the room. I'll add my own elements, change the light fixtures, add different accent pieces. Change the fabric or window treatments. It's like redecorating but without the fees or the mess! Just a little paint a brush and my imagination.
For more information on purchasing this painting click here
Soup Prep - Chef Dean
oil on board, 6 x 8" framed in silver and gold tone frame
for purchase info click here
Often times I tell my art students to "trust in the process" and not to judge their painting too soon, especially while they are in the midst of creating it. I’ve said in the past it’s like baking a cake and trying to eat it when it’s half baked - it doesn’t taste good.
It’s easier for us to understand the cooking process when it comes to creating a meal. Planning the menu, buy the ingredients, prep the food, cook or bake, waiting time and then knowing when it’s done. And then.... yes enjoy eating it!
There are many similar steps and stages when it comes to creating a painting with the exception of one. The "Cook Time" or the "Create Time". For instance, you do have to plan and purchase materials. Find a place to create, whether a studio or a kitchen table. You'll also need some instruction, even the basics like mixing and applying paints. And surely what would be helpful, like in a recipe you are given the time it takes to prep and the time it takes to cook or bake. But that's not the case when it comes to creating art.
"Create Time" is the one mystery element. It's the one ingredient that is truly different for every artist. How can I tell my students that an exercise will take exactly one hour. Sometimes I'll try to set time limits and on occasion it will work but for the most part, I've come to the conclusion - a painting will get done on it's own time. We truly don't know how long it’s going to take to create a piece of art. For some it could be thrown together in minutes and called finished for others the "cook time" could take hours, days maybe even years.
But what if we savored and embraced that "time of simmer" - the "process time". What if, with patience and with a listening heart, we lean more into the method than the end result. I mean we aren't planning to eat our painting like we would a meal, so why can't we just take the time to listen to our heart not a grumbling stomach. What if we apply the phrase "Trust the process" to mean both trusting you will be satisfied with the end result AND enjoyment while in the midst of creating it.
So perhaps the next time you are in the middle of painting a painting whisper to yourself “ embrace the simmer” .....and I will do the same.
Happy to say this painting: "Soup Prep- Chef Dean" was accepted into the "Deck the Walls - Holiday Show and Sale" at Lyme Art Association in Lyme, CT - The show will run until January 4th, 2019.
"Tomatoes on the Vine - Kitchen Prep - Chef Dean"
oil, 16 x 20" -
Winner: Honorable Mention 2017 Biannual Juried Exhibition at
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts, Wethersfield, CT
for purchase information
For an experienced chef who knows just the right time to add the ingredients to a soup or a sauce, he begins by activating all his senses. He smells, sees and hears the sounds during the cooking process and knows exactly when to move to the next step. At first it could be the sound of the onion coming in contact with the heated oil - he listens for the sizzle or the pop. Or perhaps he’s waiting for the stock to reach a slow boil before adding in the seasoning.
As students of art our senses need to be engaged too. Of course we don’t take this literally when it comes to tasting our paints - we aren’t tasting anything - that would be gross! But when it comes to creating art "switching on" your senses is part of the creative experience. Sight is the obvious one, but how about smell, touch and hear?
To this day I can still remember so clearly the smell of the wet watercolor paper when I first learned how to paint. During my college years my instructor had us wet the entire sheet of paper in the sink, place it on a board, staple and tape it down. As the paper dried the smell would disappeared and then I knew it was time to start painting. Some say it smells like wet dog, others say glue or adhesive, even unbaked bread - yeasty smell - for me it I can't really describe the smell but what I did know is that it triggered an internal sense of "NOW. Now it's time to create!".
Recalling an instructor's exercise at the Yale British Art Center for art educators, the facilitator placed several pieces of fruit on the table and asked us to create a still life using the art materials supplied. I thought to myself - I got this.. But it wasn't until she had us close our eyes for a minute and she cut open the orange and asked "can you paint what you smell?" Just being more aware of the smells around us can influence our work. The orange sphere on the paper just became juicier, the lemon yellow made you pucker your lips and yes .. just about taste it.
I believe our sensory awareness plays a key roll in our artistic growth and development and the more we paying closer attention to the ordinary things around us in our everyday environment the more we connect more deeply through the expression of our art.
Back in the kitchen with Chef Dean as he's preparing a meal or getting ready for a cooking class all the senses are awakened. The sweet aroma of the hand-picked basil drifts through the air, the freshly cut onions releases an all too familiar odor and maybe a tear or two, and the vine ripened tomatoes, still warm to the touch from the afternoon sun. As Chef Dean incorporates these ingredients into a stainless steel pot over high heat, is when your mouth begins to water as you breathe in sweet aroma of an Italian kitchen ... in essence, he just creates a masterpiece for the palate!
Here's a quick little impromptu clip of my students finishing up their paintings in our 4 week beginner acrylic class. Such a fun class - my students are the BEST!
Over the summer Becky Butler, the Director at Arts Escape and I developed a new class format - well it's actually a blend of two classes I've been teaching. - We took the best parts of "Paint Nights" but creating a step by step instructional lesson of one painting and extended it out to 4 weeks. - 2 hours sessions. Within those 4 weeks I incorporate much of the lessons from the traditional beginners acrylics class - such as color mixing, brush techniques, canvas preparation and so much more. It really is the best of both worlds and It makes this art teacher so happy because not only do I get to see my students progress over the 4 weeks but I love the friendships that have been formed. I have students who come early to help set up and students who'll stay late to clean up -
We have new dates and paintings and lots of mini-lessons scheduled for September and October.... Plus... I'll be teaching this same format at Artsplace in Cheshire -
For more information on our NEW fusion class - go here -
Thanks again for reading my blog and I hope your day is bright and colorful!
Wonderful day at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT with my two students - It was a quiet day. A few passers-by - we enjoyed the warm light that peaked over the ivy covered wall. The light framed the colorful purples, blues and violet color flowers so nicely in this elegant sunken garden. The garden with a extra long gazebo sits directly across from the main entrance of the Hill-Stead Estate.
Afterwards we made our way inside to tour the home which was designed by Theodore Pope Riddle and her father. Theodore is one of the first female architects in America. She attended Miss Porter's boarding school, fell in love with Farmington CT and convinced her parents to move there from Chicago. At one point they ended up purchasing over 3000 acres of land in the area. Such a wonderful and fascinating story of this family, their home, their hospitality, their amazing art collection and now a museum for everyone to enjoy! We are so fortunate here in Connecticut to have folks willing to invest, preserve and share our state's history.
Just a little thought.... in my little mind... but what if more people took the time to learn, appreciate and enjoy all the fascinating history that surrounds us... right in our own backyard... maybe it would give them a fresh perspective, maybe we could just forget about the not so good news that can just drag us down and learn to fall in love with our quaint little charming New England state.... I have!
What an honor and privilege to work with Lisa Leonardi and her crew The Room Doctor of Madison, CT, to be apart of the home staging for an exquisite luxury home in Deep River - “ Breezy Day on Griswold Point” - rests on the rustic wood mantle of this fieldstone fireplace in the second more intimate living room. -Decorated in earthy neutrals with lots of textural elements to touch.
-and the second painting - “ Autumn Swing” hangs above the mahogany fireplace in the game room - next blog post will be about this painting - ...
Here's the link to the zillow listing to see this amazing home and how Lisa and her crew tackled this sizable project.
September 8-9, 2018 - On the Green- Glastonbury Art Show - Booth #34B
September 22-23 - Introduction to Plein Air Painting Workshop, Cheshire, CT
September 28 - Oct 1, 2018 - Arts Escape Fundraiser Art Show, Southbury, CT
October 5-8,2018 - Fall Gathering of Artist, Litchfield, CT
click here for more info on shows
plus weekly class in Cheshire and Southbury - click here for more info on website
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." - Albert Einstein
Just like the way the wind swirls the clouds in the sky or moves the water into waves - I think that's the way my imagination works. Working behind the scenes, as I go about my day, my imagination begins to weaves together experiences, ideas and visions. And the more a painting idea circulates around in my mind the stronger the vision and the deeper the conviction is to make it come forth.
How "Breezy Day" came together really transpired back a few months ago... let's trace the roots of it's beginning.
In June, I began preparing for an upcoming class in acrylics for beginners, part of the lesson required teaching how to paint clouds. so what did I do... I painted clouds, lots and lots of clouds. Just practice.. then paint right over them the next day and start again. Searching how other artists painted clouds, I watched a few videos and then back to the easel. Clouds have become a recent obsession, you might say.
Fast forward to a few days into August we had one rainy stormy day after another - hazy hot humid and lots and lots of rain..... But as I dropped my mom off at Bradley airport that morning - kissed her good-bye the sun came out peaking around the billowing clouds. I headed south on 91 - picked up my gear at home- packed a lunch and back out the door to Old Lyme. Yes.... chasing the clouds all the way!
Even though that day's plein air study didn't thrill me... the vision was becoming clearer and on a much bigger scale.... like a few feet bigger! The distance sailboats and the wooden sailboat in the foreground made its way onto the canvas based off of the dozens of reference photos from our trip to Mystic Seaport Museum in June for the annual Wooden Boat Show and searching the web.
As each idea worked it's way shape by shape, brushstroke by brushstroke onto this large canvas the energy and momentum and vision crystalized and the palette knife made the waves sparkle..
But deep down... what anchored this vision, I would have say faith. Faith that it would all come together, faith that what I saw in my imagination was canvas worth - because faith is the belief in things unseen.
... and in the next post I'll share with you where this painting, "Breezy Day" made it's first debut! ....and the story continues...
keep creating .... make your day colorful and bright!
Receive my latest paintings and blog updates in