Category Archives: Europe 2017

'Aveiro Square' 11x14 oil on wood

Aveiro Square…finished!!!

Starting the process

Early morning October 6, I finished Aveiro Square.  A painting that took a long time on purpose for various reasons.  First, I usually work fast on a piece because I want to capture the emotional force at that moment.  What I did this time was capture it through drawings, photos and oil sketches.  I worked slow because I knew of the complexity of the piece ahead of time.  This was going to include figures, something I haven’t done much.  I usually do landscapes by themselves, but I wanted to include some tourists because they were also as important to the authenticity of the scene.

And finishing the process…

The whole process took about 2 weeks.  Some days I intentionally took a break so I could think things through, to get a sense of where it was going.  Relating to music, I wanted to take a lot more time develop the composition.  I ended up including some important buildings as well as not including everything.  As an artist, you have to be selective or the whole thing becomes a runaway horse.  In the past, I have often ignored the importance of composition in hopes that my colors will save the day.  As of now, I learned that that a great composition begins with large shapes, placing the right values in the right places and then color accordingly to the first two.

It’s fun to watch the process unfold slowly and it helped me appreciate the process even more, rather than rush it through without a break.  There’s nothing I won’t try, and this painting has taught me how patience and skill can work together to create something quite special.  I also learning to control my lights and shadows more too, and how dark or light to make my shapes.

Yes, process can be fun if you enjoy and keep that curiosity.

Joshua Lance Aveiro Portugal

Aveiro Square – A work in progress

This is my latest painting “Aveiro Square” in progress. I don’t put out enough works in progress like I used to, so I’m starting anew and here we go. Sometimes you will see photos and other times videos. That’s how it will be. A surprise in the waiting is always fascinating.

I chose this scene because it’s very picturesque and quaint. Love the old buildings and the lights and shade that filter in and out. Well I know a lot of paintings enjoy this type of subject. I hope I can add my own perspective to this moment. Which is one of the many reasons I paint!

It began with a trip to Aveiro, a small city that is known for their great weather, beautiful buildings and the canals. Dubbed as the “Venice of Portugal”, it is worth seeing. And now it’ll be one of my paintings. Throwing a bit of shade before light is important to establish my values.

Every artist has their own way of doing things, and I’m no exception. I’m trying to create a heartfelt, emotional moment that complements the memory I treasure in my life. And if I succeed at it, great! I’m not afraid to make mistakes, but at least become aware of them and try to fix it when you can. I’m enjoying the process more because I’m not rushing it like I used to. I’ve been at this for about a week now but I’m not keeping tract of time. As long as the result is good, then I’ll stop and call it finished. So stay tuned!

Don’t forget to sign up for the latest art updates as well on the bottom of the page! Thank you for reading and see you next time my friends!

Amalfi Coast, Italy

My Little Italy, a travel haven (and art everywhere)

Welcome to my first virtual online art exhibition highlighting some of my best paintings on my Italian painting trip in July/August 2017. I traveled to Naples and the Amalfi coast where I brought my easel and painted outdoors among the Italian vistas and colors of the landscape. There’s a post below the images explaining further in detail of my trip. I hope you enjoy this exhibition!

Amalfi Coast, ItalyFirst travel stop in Italy…Camelot?

Welcome to my Little Italy!  Ah, Italy…a haven for artists.  Your senses will travel to another time and place.

If you were wondering where I was hanging or painting, if you remember last time I posted, I was about to leave my confines of Colorado to Italy for 3 weeks before going to Portugal. It was one big crazy trip just getting to Italy! And that was just through the airports trying to get all my luggage on board. And what’s the deal with airlines hitting you with charges for extra weight? Pretty soon, they’ll be charging for being too heavy as a person, and possibly oxygen.  This is one of the burdens of being a travel painter.

But I digress. The point is that everything feels like a burden at the airport until you get to your destination. And once I got to Naples, I started to unwind. My first stop was a cool large house called ‘Camelot’. I was there just for a few days but I had an awesome room of my own with a view. And I came up with a painting too.  ‘Scafati Hills’ was painted from my balcony at my first stop, Scafati.

Scafati Hills

‘Pompei Arch’, from my second visit



In the old ruins of Pompei












Next up, two weeks at a local hostel in Sant’Agnello, a small town on the Amalfi coast close to Sorrento. It was a nice hostel, I had a nice bed on the bottom bunk and somehow I still had my privacy.  Especially when I painted in the morning and came back to my room in the afternoon. No one was there, I was in heaven!  It’s all about using your energy the right way.  People came and went as quickly as I was producing art.  I walked everywhere, from here to Sorrento which I liked very much.  Gelato, beach and art.  Really, what more do you need?  This time was when I was quite productive.

Power of Pochade

Vacation was an afterthought, more like “a business with hints of pleasure” mindset. I know people who would live it up with partying, food and going to 10 places a day, but let me tell you. That would exhaust the crapola out of me. In my mind, one painting, and one place to visit per day was quite enough. I like to keep my goals simple otherwise I am prone to get exhausted quickly if I’m not careful. It’s a marathon, not a race.  I kept the setup simple.  My pochade box for smaller works, and my easel for larger ones, especially in Positano where I also had my works for sale too.  I turned my easel into an outdoor workstation and art gallery.

Painting in Positano

Ah Positano, one of the main reasons I made this trip here.  I wanted to paint and sell art like the famous Positano painters I’ve heard so much about.  A full set up with my easel, I lugged my easel and supplies on crowded buses to finally set up at the beach. There were some onlookers and talked to a few people.  I advertised my small paintings in a basket and put up my prices on them.  And they were in plastic.  Much of the work in the baskets were of this trip and some other landscapes mixed in from Asia.  Luckily, no one told me I needed a permit or I was intruding somewhere.  At some points during my painting there, it was hard to not be enchanted by the beautiful women and landscapes all in one.

Positano paintings

My set up in Positano

Why didn’t I paint 4 or 5 per day?  Energy management.  I want to put all my energy into 1 painting rather than spread it thinly over many.  And I wanted to paint quality works, not a bunch per day. That’s just how I am and how I work.

Pompei was especially awesom. That was quite amazing to be there. You can feel the history under the cobblestone earth. And I did two paintings there.

Painting in ancient Pompei Ampitheatre where Pink Floyd played years ago.


Onto Praiano

My final destination for the trip was in Praiano, a small town near Positano on the Amalfi Coast. It was a lot less touristy than Positano, thank God for that. I stayed mostly in town for six nights, just walking around on the long and winding roads on the Amalfi cliffs was my main transportation. I got to hang at the beaches there and ate some of the best ravioli I ever had. Lemons are the big fruit there, so they put lemons in everything, including the sauces.

One of my main highlights was painting at a local 16th century church called San Gerreno. This is a place worth the burden of any travel.  I felt this could be my great big painting there. I started it there, and brought it to Portugal (while it was still wet) and finished a few days ago. Sometimes you can’t finish it all in one shot, some paintings require more time than others. And the results were worth it.

San Gennero Church, Italy

San Gennero Church 11×14 oil


So What’s Next?

So these were the highlights of my trips, documented by the paintings I created. But you’re in luck, because I will have my very first online exhibition of “My Little Italy” with all the paintings from this year’s Italian trip, plus several from last year’s trip to Florence/Rome that I have reworked as well. You can see all of them on on September 4 – November 1. They will all be available for purchase.

In the meantime, I will have a special viewing on September 3 for my fans who subscribed to my newsletter. They will have an opportunity to see and purchase one of my Italian paintings for their own collection. I will send out a newsletter in the next few days to explain, so here’s the link to sign up.  I arrived in Sao Joao da Madiera, Portugal last week and spent most of my time reworking my Italian paintings now you know what I’ll be talking about next time.

Thank you for your time and see you soon!

Also, you can follow my wacky painting adventures on Instagram and Facebook!

Italy and its glory