"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.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nice is looking Nice! Nice, France that is.

"Looking Up Nice"
by James Swanson / Traveler Marco
20" x 16" oil on canvas
Sometimes you can look and look for something that inspires you to paint, and then turn around and find the perfect painting staring in the face.
Traveler Marco and his friend Pilli

Well if you turn around and look up as our new Traveler Marco did you will. Marco has been a favorite photographer of mine for a while now. I just love his compositions and the light he catches.
Nice, France from Marco's Album
Our new Italian Traveler was on a trip to Nice not long ago and that is where we meet up with him.
Traveler Marco's Story: The historical center of Nice is quite similar to that one of Genoa
(my town) in Italy, with its typical buildings so near one another
along the narrow streets.
All photos are from Marco's photo album,
In Nice’s historical center the headstones are in memory of the dead soldiers and are full of Italian surnames: those ones of the autochthonous inhabitants. Strictly speaking, however, until
Paradein front of the Royal  Palace-Monaco
1860, they were neither Italian nor French. They were Nissarts.
Subjects of the Kingdom of Savoy, they spoke a provincial language but
with considerable Ligurian influences. Today Nice speaks French. In
comparison to 1860, when it  was surrendered from Turin to Paris, it
Marco's wife Silvia and mother Argia shopping in Nice.
has more than tenfold increased its population. The thick inside
immigration from the rest of France toward Nice has made the natives a
lean minority. In the same 1860 in which Italy revived thanks to the
Expedition of the Thousand, it was so deprived of a vital piece of Liguria
(my region): just that one in which Garibaldi (the leader of the
Thousand) was born.
Lascaris Palace and it is one of the more notable historical
monuments of Nice’s historical center.
Traveler Painting: " Looking up Nice" What drew me in on Marco's photo was the way it was presented in his album.  one moment he's walking around photographing stores and alley ways and the next you see this shot of looking up and seeing the sky sandwiched in between buildings.
 Marco's photo that I'll be using for inspiration for this painting.
I wanted to capture in the painting the feeling of the moment when Marco first discovered the shot before he raised his camera.
Looking up Nice-
The initial sketch on Canvas. I wanted to keep this painting loose and very simple and to paint it fast.
Here are some of the colors that I prepared on the palette before I started. This is a great way to paint fast and get a lot of expression in your strokes.
I started with my darkest colors first. I paint them in thin and oily, so when I put another color in next to it the slide together.
Filling in the buildings. I work dark to light in most of my painting and this one fall cleanly into that category. I worked out a good transition from the red to the oranges on the palette and it really helped when I got to this stage. I used a big brush pretty much for this whole painting. I didn't want to tighten up with the small ones.

The sky is laid in. Blue to a warm yellow while without turning to green.The blue sky against the orange in the buildings is what made me want to paint Marcos photo.
Time to start adding a few details. I knew at this point if I started using smaller brushes to put in the details the painting would start to lose it's freshness. So what I used was my palette knife to do the details. One of my favorite painting tools.
Getting close now. just some color adjustments and a few details to put in.
It's getting closer, just a little touch ups to do.
Done! This one was a lot of fun to paint.

Details from the painting.
Framed and Ready to Go.
"Looking Up Nice"
by James Swanson / Traveler Marco
20" x 16" oil on canvas
I had a blast painting this one. In trying to capture the moment of discovery I found a delightful little painting. Thanks goes out to my Italian friend Marco, your photos and story were inspirational, and I look foreword to meeting up again.
And if you have been somewhere interesting and have a story to share let me hear it contact me here or at my website www.theartistandthetraveler.org
Until next time Arrivederci

1 comment:

  1. crazy cool! you brought to life the details of france that get lost in the corners of one's mind.


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.