“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.
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…
Oil Painting of Positano, Italy
It started with the image in my mind and a huge blank canvas, 36″ x 36″.
Over the past several weeks, the canvas has evolved…
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?