Art-in-Amalfi – Painting 1: Positano I (viewed from the beach)
Having seen my post of photos on yesterday’s Daily Norm, and perhaps even my photos of the incredible views which we were lucky enough to enjoy for our week’s stay at the Palazzo Talamo Hotel, you will easy to understand why I was inspired to create by the town of Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Not only is the town a picture perfect dazzlement of beautiful houses clustered against a vast imposing mountain backdrop, but it is also a riot of pastel colours in an otherwise natural landscape of verdant greenery and sheer greyish purple rock. The most striking thing about Positano is the fact that the small town appears to defy nature as a small cluster of dwellings clinging, almost like limpits, to the sheer side of the otherwise inhospitable mountain sides. The effect is a stark and beautiful contrast between the man-made regularised geometric forms of buildings and the irregular looming presence of the nature-made mountains, and it was this contrast which struck me the most as I set about painting my first homage to the town.
Stretched out on the beach a day after our arrival, I started work on this piece: Positano I (viewed from the beach). Using simplified geometric forms and stripping away all of the details which otherwise characterise the houses and hotels of Positano (windows, balconies and so on), this painting purposefully reduces the buildings of Positano to their most basic cubic form in order to emphasise the contrast between rigid geometry and rugged mountain, all the while expressing the beauty of Positano’s very colourful cluster of houses. The result is a painting I love. Made in gouache on paper, for me its colours and sunshine brightness sum up the mediterranean mood, while the geometric gathering of cubes echoes the shape of this small town which makes it so unique on much publicised postcards and travel guides throughout the world.
As with all of my travel-inspired art works, this painting gave me great satisfaction to create, all the more so because it was started on the beach and completed on my balcony with a view. Now who can ask for a better art studio than that?
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