My Latest Oil Painting, of Positano, Italy

Jennifer Lyn King and her painting

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”- Pablo Picasso

In 2012, my family and I drove south from Prague, over the Alps, through Tuscany, past Rome and Naples, and found the most beautiful place along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. We spent a week there in a tiny town called Praiano, in a primitive apartment with a tremendous view, and fell completely in love with the place. The colors were purer than any I’d ever seen–the blue of the sky, the yellow of the lemons growing an arms-length outside the windows. I took a million photographs.

 

Positano, Italy, from the Path of the Gods
Positano, Italy, from the Path of the Gods

Halfway through the week, we set out to explore the path which led straight up the mountain behind us. We thought it might take an hour. Six hours later, drenched in sweat, more sore and hungrier than I’d been in a long time, we arrived in Positano, the next village, by way of the most stunning hike imaginable, along the Path of the Gods far above the Mediterranean Sea. The views we saw have haunted me. And so this past month, I’ve been painting…

Painting the view from the path of the gods, Italy
Painting the view from the path of the gods, Italy

Oil Painting of Positano, Italy

It started with the image in my mind and a huge blank canvas, 36″ x 36″.

the blank canvas
the blank canvas

Over the past several weeks, the canvas has evolved…

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

 

Stage 4

 

Stage 6

Jennifer Lyn King and her painting
Me, with close to the finished version (happiness!)

 

And now, it brings me right back to the Amalfi Coast, to the View from the Path of the Gods above Praiano and Positano, Italy.

 

I took oodles of time with this one, taking time to step back and evaluate, change brush sizes, mix more colors, add more shadows and highlights, add detail and layers upon layers upon layers–weeks of work, of painting and allowing time to dry, and taking up the paint brush again.

This piece, in addition to my View from the Walls of Siena paintings, is the longest, and most detailed I’ve been with a single canvas. I’m really happy with it. And now I think: Good art takes time. Good art requires patience, most of all.

Question for you: I once heard the musician John Mayer say “the greats work fast”. What do you think? What kind of work do you prefer?

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

14 thoughts on “My Latest Oil Painting, of Positano, Italy

  1. How gorgeous! And I love the quote at the top- I don’t think of painting that way but I don’t paint so it’s an interesting take. As far as speed, I tend to write quickly. I’m not very patient! But I certainly could stand to slow myself down. It’s always something to consider…

    1. Slowing down is hard, but now, I think I take more time with my writing than ever. I love books and essays that seem as if they’ve simmered for years. But, I love your writing, Stacey! Keep on writing, whatever it takes. 🙂 Thank you! xo

  2. The painting is such an enduring, precious momento of what must have been an extraordinary trip – in the best tradition of 18th and 19th C travelers.

    The best art comes from the best artists. Whether the process is a fast one or slow – it’s the finished work (whether a painting, sculpture, novel or poem) that counts.

  3. What a beautiful painting — I’m so envious; I’ve always wanted to paint! As for speed… I think it’s both ways for me. One of my novels took 7 years, but I can write a draft fairly quickly (I have done NaNo). But then either way, it takes me months to years to revise. I always think of speed and style as so very personal (not that I necessarily want to question John Mayer, haha).

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      As always, thank you so much for sharing. I love the depth and density of the colors in this painting – and appreciate that you were able to devote time and attention to getting it the way you wanted. I don’t paint, but as a writer and nature photographer I am thankful for however the inspiration flows. Slow or fast – it doesn’t matter to me. What’s important for me is the ability to get into the zone and savor being chosen as a vessel to express creativity.

  4. I’ve long been enamored with Positano. It’s on my bucket list. Something about the way the buildings are perched on the hillside and the color of the water is so breathtaking. I’ve only seen photos (and now your lovely painting) but I imagine it’s even better in person.

    I enjoyed seeing your photos of how your painting progressed to finished canvas. I find that so interesting. It’s a beautiful painting!

    1. You are right — Positano and its neighboring villages are a step out of time, and so beautiful, they are surreal. I hope you can travel there, soon, Jackie. You’ll love it. Thank you!

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