Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Contessa Stairway, Vallala, Italy

I did this painting for my beautiful niece, Kristi,
to hang in her new house in California.
I painted a study of this while in Italy. It was
one of those perfect days, standing out in the
sunshine, on the side of a hill overlooking
Sienna, almost surreal in its beauty. I was standing nearby a beautiful area of umbrella
pines on a small gravel road. On the other side
of the road was a drop off into acres of olive
groves with poppies blooming on the side.
Could it possibly get any better than that?
I painted this in oil on a heavy linen canvas, it
is a wrap around canvas and I had my framer, Mike Otteman, do a beautiful heavy black frame that floats the painting.
This painting is 24 x 20 and has the essence of
Italy. The Contessa is 94 and she came out to
see the paintings we were doing. She always had her dog Prince with her. Price was a very scary Germany Shepherd, we kept our distance! But she was very friendly and spoke great English. Her second husband, Hugh, was
Scots and she had met him when they occupied the Villa and her lands during the Second World
War. I'll bet she was a beauty, she was still pretty at 94. The lands and her 13 houses had come down from her line of the family. So, when she met Hugh, she just put her husband and her son in a different house! Guess that worked fine.

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