Everywhere we went in Italy, we encountered cats who seemed to have a great deal of freedom. Some obviously had someone who they answered to, and others were definitely feral. At some point during the trip, I decided I had to do a series of paintings centered around the cats of Italy.
This first scene is appropriately named Cats of Lucca, as that is its location. Lucca is a beautiful old walled city, (the walls are very thick, with tree-lined pathways you can walk or cycle on all the way around), with many sights to see. There are towers to climb, beautiful churches to see the inside of, an oval plaza on the site of an ancient Roman amphitheater, the Piazza Napoleone (a Green Day concert was being prepared for later that day when we were there), and lots of shopping!
But this is an ordinary street scene in Lucca, with the warm Tuscan sunshine angling in and cats lounging and gazing into the distance. I hope you like it. If you’d like to see the painting in person, don’t forget our studio tour here in Otterville is next weekend, the 18 & 19 of November!
Cats of Lucca. Watercolour on paper. 15×22″. Artist Lianne Todd. $450.00
There’s a new juried show opening, at the Elm Hurst Inn in Ingersoll, ON. It’s called Spectacular Skies. The title of the show immediately made me think of the night sky: in particular, the night sky in places where light pollution hasn’t destroyed the ability to see the Milky Way in all its glory. In spite of so many nights away from cities, I’ve yet to really see the night sky in its full splendour, and I hope to do that someday. I was pondering where, in the world, might be a good place to do this, and my mind went back to this lovely and somewhat isolated cottage at Glen Coe in Scotland. While thinking about all this during a car trip, I happened to be listening to SiriusXM’s 1st Wave channel, and ‘Under the Milky Way’ by The Church came on. Complete with bagpipes mid-song. So, that settled it, I was definitely going to paint this scene. I dug out my photos of the cottage, changed the composition a little (the photos were taken from a tour bus), imagined it at night, with the Milky Way above it, and got started.
I photographed my work as it progressed, and put all the photos together in this little video. I hope you enjoy it. If you’d like to see the framed finished piece, which is a full sheet watercolour on paper (22×30″), it is hanging at the Elm Hurst until May 17.
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Tagged Art, cottage, Elm Hurst, exhibition, Glen Coe, Ingersoll, Inspiration, London, Milky Way, ON, original painting, show, Spectacular Skies, Watercolors, Watercolours, Woodstock
If you haven’t been to the Paint Ontario exhibit in other years (I hadn’t) this is really an exhibit worth driving to. Such an amazing array of really good art portraying so many aspects of Ontario life. Some really large pieces, some quite small…. mine fell somewhere in the middle, size-wise. Maybe I should paint larger more often – the large pieces have such an impact. I loved all the bright colours in many of the pieces, and some of the innovative mixed media. Very inspiring. I was also especially glad to see some watercolour pieces winning awards – and congratulations to all the award winners regardless of medium! I don’t know how a juror would be able to choose, it must have been very difficult.
Anyway, here is a little picture of me with my two pieces. I was really happy they decided to hang them together.
I recently entered the juried show Paint Ontario with two of my paintings, and to my great delight, they both were chosen for the show. I’ve certainly been painting Ontario for a long time but this was the first time I’ve entered – partly because it’s a bit of a distance from my house to the venue, and in other years there wasn’t the option of entering online via digital photo – you had to physically bring the painting.
Aside: In the olden days 😉 juried shows often had you send slides of your paintings. Remember slides? And there was special tape to crop the slides with so that only the painting showed in the projection…
Anyway, the digital age is here and I’m really glad.
The two paintings I have in the show are ‘Four Chairs’ (which I posted in ‘A Beautiful Fall’) and a new painting ‘Resting, Killarney’, which I haven’t posted anywhere yet. I think I will wait to post it. I like to have people see the real painting first, sometimes.
Opening night is March 10 (this Friday) from 4-9 pm. Admission is free for the opening night, and there is a cash bar. Here is an invitation to the exhibit itself:
I was feeling the need for some uninhibited pure creativity recently. I needed to begin with barely an idea and let the painting process direct me. This piece is the result of that.
It’s about light and dark. Without the dark, we would be unaware of the light. Without light, we would be unaware of darkness. We as humans really like it when we have the right amount of both, because then we can see colour in all its beauty. Some of us actually see more colour than others, and others just prefer more intense colour, while still others prefer muted colours or shades of grey. Either way, a perfect balance of light and dark is what we need for our best vision.
I mean all of this metaphorically as well as literally. Take this imagery, in the context of your own life, or of current events, and make of it what you will.
Radiation & Absorption. Watercolour on Paper, 22×30″. Lianne Todd.
We have been so lucky here in Otterville, as in many parts of Ontario this year, to have a beautiful fall. We’ve had such warm temperatures and pleasant sunny days to enjoy all through September, October and November, right up to this past Friday, when I was out in my shirtsleeves digging up canna lily bulbs to put away until spring. We reached a record high temperature that day – 20.7 degrees Celsius!
Well, that all ended on Saturday, as the rain came down and the temperatures dropped and the wind picked up. I woke up early Saturday morning to the sound of our smoke alarms making the tiny beeps they make when the power goes out or comes back on. In this case, it was coming back on, but that was not to last. Pretty soon it went out again, and was out until about a quarter to 10 in the morning. Back on just in time for our Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour to begin! Quickly I got the cranberry wassail heating up in the crockpot, and the lights on in the gallery.
I didn’t have a lot of hope that many people would venture out on such a morning, but they did! And many of them were new people who had never been on the tour before. From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who came out of their cozy houses and looked at what we had to offer. I hope some of you, if you are reading this, will be back soon!
For those who didn’t make it out but who follow me here, I appreciate your ongoing support, and here is a new piece of my art that I had on display this weekend. It features a portion of Otterville this beautiful fall. I truly hope whoever owns these chairs has had a chance to sit in them with a coffee or a glass of wine once in a while and enjoy the sun.
Four Chairs. Watercolour on Paper. 15×22″. Lianne Todd. $450.00
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Tagged adirondack chair, Art, autumn, dock, fall, light, muskoka chair, original painting, Otterville, studio, sunshine, tour, water, Watercolours