In painting Montecucco I realised that I would have to edit the landscape. There were over 240 degrees of interest, too much for a canvas measuring 70 cm. To convey the sheer wonder of the landscape would require some creative thinking and considerable compressing of the horizon.
However, there was plenty left to create an interesting painting. I decided have a triptych landscape and to divide the canvas up into three. Separating each section with two iconic trees that were on the property.
The left hand side and the centre panel would be split with the magnificent oak that stands outside the farmhouse. Then a little down the track is a tall, thin tree, poking out between the rocks.
I also continued to paint the large trees in styles that pay homage to the early Renaissance painters who worked the area some 600 years ago. Therefore the oak resembles a similar tree in Giotto’s painting of “St Francis Preaching to the Birds”. The second tree is reminiscent of Gozzoli’s ones in the “Parade” fresco in Florence.
The buildings differ immensely too. There is the monolithic Castello di Valona, the narrow street of Amiata and the hillside sprawl of Montenero. Castelnuovo, like the others, is out of proportion, a larger than life representation of the village. Geometric patterns in the landscape that nestle between the hills and are liberally decorated with trees. All of this goes into creating an interesting composition, full of little surprises and deft touches.