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Art-in-Amalfi – Painting 3: Positano III (cluster on the upper road)

Following hot on the heels of my photographic post on Positano’s upper mountain passages is the third of my Positano paintings it inspired. Unlike my previous two works of Positano, both of which included the sea and the beach as prominent compositional elements, this one concentrates solely on Positano’s mountainous backdrop as it focuses on a cluster of houses on the town’s upper mountain road. With its resulting rocky background and not a slice of sea or sky in sight, the group of pastel houses collected onto the mountain side is even more striking set against these dark and looming surroundings, emphasising just how striking a sight is created by a small town built upon the steep sides of huge imposing mountains.

I kept this painting as simple as possible, and even though the mountains have the appearance of craggy complexity, the brain is doing most of the work here – for in reality I have painted neither shade nor light into the purple mountain – only the impression of texture as created by the strategic placement of green detailing indicating where the mountain’s verdant plant life would be. It’s an effect which I find altogether pleasing, and a simplicity which ultimately does all of the work which a more detailed illustration would provide. Yet in this simpler form it seems altogether cleaner and more contemporary – and for that reason I love it.

Positano III (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Positano III (2014 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at

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