Being on a whirlwind trip can often mean rushing from one incredible site to another, taking photos in the hopes they’ll create the memories you didn’t pause to experience. Have you done this? I know I have, several times over the years.
But on last summer’s whirlwind 3-country trip, I vowed to stop and spend some significant time in one specific place – a place that I’ve painted from previous quickie photos and that I profess to love even though I’ve only zoomed through it on 3 previous visits!
To me, Manarola is the most picturesque of Italy’s Cinque Terre villages. I’ve photographed it in years past while hiking the seaside Blue Trail, and I’ve painted it in 2016 from one of those photos. On this last trip, even though I did need to photograph it for new paintings, I spent time down on the rocky waterfront staring up at the colourful homes on the rocky hill above. I then planted myself at a busy outdoor cafe directly across from its most famous vista and drank it in for a few more hours. The sounds, the colours, the movement of water, people and boat traffic, the smells, the sticky heat, the changing light, the approaching storm clouds and how they affected the village’s character.
And after all this lengthy observation, I came to love it more! I was excited to paint it again, but this time with a richer set of connections to the village. Last month, I drew and inked a new miniature (as the 2016 version has sold out in all formats) as well as a new 5″ x 7″. The miniature is done (see below) and the larger piece is still in progress.
It’s been a much more satisfying experience painting Manarola this time. And I can tell you now, she’s more than just a pretty face on a busy itinerary!
Original available now at my Etsy Shop, ArtWeWonderful
Check out my Upcoming Shows page for where you could see this piece and others in person!