"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bella, Bella, Mondo

"Venetian Gondolas"
By James Swanson/ Traveler Jim M
11"x14" Oil on Canvas 

See the journey of this Painting.
 A Day of Sun Shine, 
Day One of a Special Edition.
Welcome to Day One!, of this 14 day Travel paint special edition of the Artist and the Traveler. I've come across some wonderful Travelers so far in this world painting expedition. I've met Hill and Fell Walkers in the UK and Austria, a fly fishing couple who travel around in an RV looking for the big catch, to some humanitarians in Africa doing great things. All of them have had special stories to tell me that helped inspire their paintings.

Travelers Jim and wife Cathy

This special project needs an special guest, meet our new Traveler  Jim M.!  In 2007 Jim and his wife took a 14 day trip to Northern Italy following the trail of PBS travel guide Rick Steves' Italian journey.


Traveler Jim M. did such a great job of documenting the trip on his web site that when I came across it I was floored. Which has lead me to ask to do a virtual tag along on his old trip and recreate the 14 day trip in paint. I'll be doing 14 paintings in a plein air style( as if I were right there painting), each one depicting different day of his trip. A painting a day for two weeks, lets get going!

Jim's photo that I will be working with.
Traveler Jim M. Journal Story of the tripIn September 2007, we began our highly anticipated Italian adventure.   We had never been on an organized tour in the past and started looking at this tour on the recommendation of a friend. (Thanks Renee!)  

Beginning of the painting.
Canvas is rubbed with some
 Raw Umber and Cadmium Red.
 Then the drawing is sketched in.

Although we typically travel independently, we decided on a tour so that we could leave most of the planning to someone else.  

The Palette of colors for this painting
 We chose the Village Italy itinerary for several reasons.   We wanted to experience what I call “The Real Italy” in the back door villages.  We wanted to avoid the crowds in the major cities and the primary tourist destinations.  (We can leave those for another time.)We also liked the idea of a smaller, active tour group.  And of course, we had also seen many of Rick Steves’ adventures on public television.  As you’ll see on our web site the pages that follow, the tour kept us busy (which is how we like to travel) and exceeded our expectations.  The travelogue is about our specific tour.  No two tours are exactly alike, even if they have the same tour guide and same itinerary.   

The tour guides adjust as necessary for the weather, closings, availability, and the specific tour group.  So, if you want to find out more about our tour, grab a glass of Chianti (or two) and explore.

Dark colors are painted in first.
With the darks painted in, it's time for the sky and water. These are the big areas of the painting and get the painting moving when they are done.
Sky and water are added. I'm painting these paintings in a plein air style of painting. Which means that I'm painting as if I were standing right there. Which also means I'm on the clock and paintings as fast as I can. The light is a changing.
Getting there.  With the painting blocked in it is time for some details.

It's close now, just the poles to add. At this point I was a little nervous about putting them in. But I knew it needed them.

Details of the painting.
Framed and ready to go.
"Venetian Gondolas"
By James Swanson/ Traveler Jim M
11"x14" Oil on Canvas
Alright off to a good start on this virtual trip with Traveler Jim M. On Day 2 we will be moving just a short distance on down the road.

This is day One, of this 14 day painting journey of Northern Italy, here is the link to see the next day of the journey- Padua.

Or go to The Artist and the Traveler.org to see them all, and many more places and stories. New Travelers and stories are always welcome too! Until next time, Ciao!

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.