Gothic Kitchen Corner – watercolor and ink, 21 cm x 29 cm (For Sale)
The Gothic Kitchen has all the mod-cons necessary for today’s life but drawn in a 14th century style. The stove and work surface/ sink are completely flat but given depth through the use of shape and colour. The fridge is drawn at a crazy angle, typical of the time and has a very bulky feel to it, again the perspective is deliberately drawn as if for the High Gothic period.
The floor level is raised at an unrealistic angle but the accurate depiction of perspective in the tiles adds dimension to the room. It features a cooker hood in the manner of Medieval kitchen’s but then has a modern electric light fitting hanging from the ceiling. The cooker is also modern, white, clean and has an old style pot boiling on top of what looks like a wooden fire.
The building, having all the elements of a 14th century house wouldn’t look out of place with a seated Madonna and an angel inside. The background as is often shown in religious panels of the time, is painted in gold acrylic, giving it a reverential feel.
Medieval Bathroom – watercolor and ink, 21 cm x 29 cm (For Sale)
This time I explored the Medieval bathroom, complete with contemporary fixtures and fittings. IKEA don’t make baths and shower units so I had to look elsewhere for a modern tub. However, the shower curtain, the basket and the toothbrush glass all come from the Swedish furnishers.
Painting the old and new
Again the painting has a typical 14th century palette and I’ve got some gold acrylic paint to replicate the gold leaf commonly found in Medieval manuscripts. These pictures have the feel, colour and style of the original artworks but with the fun inclusion of electric sockets and brass taps. All fitted into impossible spaces, at weird and wonderful angles, just like the International Gothic artists did.
When planning this series it suddenly came to me that IKEA are an excellent choice for the furnishings. Their designs are clean and simple but most of all they are a world renowned brand, instantly recognisable and easy to identify with. Giving their products a Medieval spin but still making them obviously IKEAesque.
Imagining how past things might have been portrayed in a modern light has always interested me. As with images, the same applies to music. Today, would the group Buggles have written YouTube killed the MTV star, instead of the long dead video killing the radio star. Blondie’s classic “Call me!”, most likely would be “Text me!” while Joni Mitchell hails an Uber cab instead of her Big Yellow Taxi. Next up, a kitchen I think.
IKEA Medieval Bedroom – watercolor and ink, 21 cm x 29 cm (For Sale)
I’ve always loved the works of the International Gothic period. A time when conventions were being broken and new techniques explored. Artists in this era were busy exploring ways to represent three dimensions, trying out different ways of painting trees and attempting to understand the nature of water.
The thought behind this current crop of works is to take the idea of these magnificent rooms and fill them with modern furniture. I found it amusing
IKEA Dudero lamp
playing with how someone like Simone Martini might paint a modern IKEA chair or see how his bed spreads would look on a Hemnes bed.
Using a typical palette of the day and acrylic gold paint gives these watercolours a wonderful sense of a Medieval artist’s take on the modern world. Living in Italy it’s not difficult to find 700 year old buildings so the only garish thing is to fill their ancient rooms with cheap, modern furniture. This I’m sure happens all over the country, not everyone can afford or will like antique furnishings.
The aim is to continue in this way, creating bathrooms, sitting rooms, kitchens and dining rooms, all featuring IKEA furniture within a medieval surrounding. Each will have bold, bright colours and dark or golden backgrounds, giving them a dramatic effect. Obviously if people want their own lounges recreated in a period fashion, I’d happily look at that too.
Fingers crossed for a fun time. 🙂
Posted in Painting, Uncategorized
Tagged beds, bright, buildings, furniture, Gothic, houses, IKEA, lamps, medieval, tables, watercolor
Niccone Valley Castles – Watercolour and ink 38 cm x 58 cm (Sold)
The Niccone Valley watercolor painting features the Umbrian and Tuscan castles that have stared out at each other for centuries. This trip takes you past the bar at Sorbello and below its castle, then across the fields and over the border into Umbria, passed Reschio Castle and on up into the hills.
The area around the Castles and Altabella
Houses on the hill
The drive ends in the wooded clearing at the top of the hills where you come to the houses of Altabella, La Quercia with its monolithic sculpture and the villas of Pietra and Casa Piccolo with their beautiful views of the valley below.
The olive tree in the foreground is where Paul and Anne, who commissioned the painting, placed a plaque dedicated to Grace their dog.
The rays of the rising sun converge on the house at La Quercia, drawing the eye to where Paul and Anne spend their winters.
Colours of central Italy
The area is a luscious green, full of woodlands and trees, fields of sunflowers, olive groves and vineyards. Peeking out among the trees you can make out the occasional farm or villa in its distinctive yellow ocher or cream coloured walls.
I decided to paint the castles in the colours that represented their origins. Therefore, Sorbello’s Tuscan stone walls are in raw sienna and the Umbrian castle of Reschio is a rich burnt umber. The trees vary from a sap green foreground to a dark blue/green wooded background giving the painting a nice sense of depth. 🙂
Posted in landscape, Painting, Uncategorized
Tagged castle, green, Italia, Italy, landscape, sunrise, watercolor, watercolour, woods
Garden View from Montone – Watercolour and ink 53 cm x 31 cm
This wedding present features the Italian garden where the happy couple got married. It is next door to the ex-San Francesco Church in Montone. A beautiful location with lots of trees to shade the guests and a spectacular view behind.
Views from Montone
From this lofty position you can see across the Val Tiberina towards Trestina, Fabbrecce and the hill top monastery of Canoscio. In the distance is the little village of Lugnano and on the horizon the omnipresent Monte Santa Maria Tiberina.
Painting the landscape
The garden itself features three distinctive trees, two birch and a large palm tree. Between these is a bench. I liked this as a metaphor for married life, two becoming one and looking out on the bright new future with the sun raining down. Corny of course but I think it makes for a nice composition too.
If you’d like your special place captured in watercolour or think it would make a perfect wedding gift, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Isola Polvese – watercolor and ink, 52 cm x 21 cm (Sold)
Here’s the finished watercolor of the third island on Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, Italy. The picture captures the lusciousness of the place, covered in oak woodlands and olive groves. Dotted around the island are a collection of buildings,a cafe bar by the dock, a ruined castle and an abandoned monastery. The island also has its own oil press where they produce their olive oil.
Castiglione del Lago
As it’s perpetually shaded, even on a hot day, it’s a cool place to walk around. The island is now an unspoilt nature reserve with thousands of birds flocking to its shores each year to take advantage of the lovely natural habitat.
The painting is part of a threesome, with the Isola Maggiore and a study of the town of Castiglione del Lago completing the set. Lined up together you get an idea of the large expanse of water that makes up Lake Trasimeno and the wooded hills that surround it. However, most of all, you can feel the tranquility of the water as it laps along the shoreline and the serenity that can be found all over the islands.
Posted in landscape, Painting, watercolour
Tagged art, castle, island, Italy, lake, landscape, monastery, original, painting, watercolor, watercolour
The Dark Alleyways – watercolour and ink, 31 cm x 50
The latest painting is of the back streets of Citta di Castello. The brief included a particular doorway, which is down a narrow alleyway, plus three piazzas.
Painting the alleyways
The scene needed to take into account the rear of the cathedral, the town’s famous round bell tower, along with three other structures that make up Castello’s memorable skyline.
The tight cobbled streets and strange irregular plan do not give you much room to work with. This area is also quite tall in some respects with high towers, the mass of the cathedral building and the impressive apartment blocks next door. So all in all I think the result is quite pleasing.
Stormy purple sky
Colour blind sky
As autumn closes in the weather has turned a little. Gone are the endless blue skies, sun streaked days with scorching afternoons. Instead we’ve been experiencing the odd dramatic thunder storm.
So I decided to answer the question all colour literate people ask. “What colour is the stormy sky in your world?” Well here you have it. Tell me, who’d swap all of this for a boring, old grey sky? … 🙂
Posted in landscape, Painting
Tagged art, Citta di Castello, cityscape, clouds, ink, Italy, storm, sunshine, town, Umbria, watercolor, watercolour