Sunday, July 22, 2007

Valentia Island Artist's Retreat

9"x12" oil on oil primed linen mounted on board

On the last day of our retreat, Saturday July 14th - We all took time to tweak any paintings done in the previous days - OR begin a new one! I chose to do just one more - the home of our hosts for the retreat - Barbara & Tom Mastaglio. During this week - it was not just enriching for the artistic side of me - but I found myself involved in the best story, the most beautiful setting, surrounded by interesting characters, (fellow artists as well as residents of Valentia!). I felt like I was wandering through a novel (or at least a series of great short stories) and living right in the moment! Sure it sounds corny - but a week like this opens my eyes to all the wonderful things I have at home. I find myself looking at things with a changed point of view - as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life". It's a rare vacation/holiday that can refresh your mental state like that. After painting every day, I wrote every evening. The long days (daylight from 5am til 10:30pm) really energized me - and I know that now at home again (once the laundry is done!) I'll be back to painting up a storm again!

This scene is in the afternoon. In the morning the sun hits the front of the house, but by afternoon, it comes around from behind & is backlit. This day was sunny & bright the whole day. The air was clear & it was easy to see the skelligs (10 miles out are little skellig & Skellig Michael). The shore over on the Portmagee side glows a brilliant green. The tall grass in the fields wave & rustle in the breeze and wildflowers pop through the rock walls. The cows are mooing on the hills behind me! The cloud shapes are ever changing though there is plenty of blue in the sky this day - a perfect day! Can you tell I'm already thinking about what I'd like to paint there next year?!


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