Tag Archives: oil paintings

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruins

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 www.joshualance.com 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

Whatever the Wind Blows

Whatever the Wind Blows 11×14 oil on panel

Whatever the wind blows, you must be ready for it. There are only two enemies that I consider real in my life, and that’s fear and doubt. The remedy for those villains are faith and action. And thus it came time to do an epic landscape painting that is not just a Colorado painting, but contains something more universal. It’s not just a park, but my interpretation of what I want to see in my park. For when you paint something, you have to take some kind of ownership because it is interpreted from your own eyes, mind, heart and soul. It’s not just a painting though it really looks like one. I look it as a visual manifestation of all the things you have learned in your life up until this point. It may have taken a few hours, or 10 hours, but in reality it has taken many, many years to paint this version. And I always welcome change, not painting the same old thing. I’m not a factory worker. I could never duplicate the same painting twice even if I tried. Your emotions, feelings, everything changes minute by minute, no matter how big or small.

I look at nature for answers

When you see a tree, is it the exact same color every day? Does the light reflect off the leaves the same way every day? Change happens as often as the world turns. No two sunsets are ever exactly alike. This is why I cherish each day. It’s a chance to start again. When I paint, I see things like it’s the first time. I don’t paint in a paint by numbers system. I use all my mental facilities to help the painting along, to see its potential. That’s part of the magic in painting. I have no idea what the end result, but what’s so important is to focus on the process. The process is life itself. It’s the journey, and when you enjoy the journey, I have faith that it will take you to your ideal destination. So if there’s ever a reason to cherish each day, it’s knowing that it’s a blank canvas, all ready for you to create something special. Now wherever the wind blows, that’s where I will end up. I’m meant to travel and paint, but there is no final destination. And to embrace change and trust yourself will help you go a long way.

I rode my red bicycle back to Italy

‘Florence Doorway’ 14×11″ oil on panel

I took a much needed hiatus to work on my life and art. Last time I posted, I was living in Vietnam as an art teacher. The job didn’t pan out like I hoped. I had such high hopes building a quality art program at a local, private school. I did all kinds of cool projects with my students. However, the school and myself didn’t quite see on the same level about the art program. So we parted ways and I stayed in Vietnam until February. I took short trips to Hong Kong and Cambodia before deciding to go back to the USA. What really drove me back to my own country? Well, besides wanting to see my family again in person, I got an art studio in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It was full of possibilities. To be in a great working environment with other artists was truly intriguing to me. I did have a small studio, about an 8×10 space. I was painting there nearly every day. Life was good.

But things quickly went south because I didn’t account for the high cost of living.  I’m still adjusting to American life and was in sticker shock about the food and rent here.  I couldn’t afford an apartment and an art studio.  And though I tried to live in my art studio to help save up, it wasn’t going to be a long-term solution.  So I had to give up the art studio and paint in my bedroom or outdoors.  So the past few months was quite an adjustment period and I’m happily back on course again.

So I decided to revisit my Italian trip from last summer and start a series of paintings that’s long overdue.  So I proudly present the first painting of my Italian series.  I actually did rent a red bicycle and rode around Rome.  Even though this shot was from Florence.  I do love doors and there happened to be a blue bicycle parked in front.  I thought red would be a much better color and ended up working well.  Sometimes a color tweak can really improve the scene.  And most important, I didn’t just work from a photo, but the feeling of being there again.   I wanted this old world feel to it, yet have some different styles I enjoy playing with.  And I love the bricks going around the old door, yet it’s still a simple scene.   When you have a mixture of styles, I believe it makes things more dynamic and interesting.  So there you have it.  Stay tuned for the process of my next painting.  And feel free to sign up for my newsletter