Friday, December 26, 2014

When in Naples

This is another acrylic "dropper" painting, completed December 21, 2014.  I logged over 90 hours on this one, challenging myself to see how much detail I could depict with liquid paint applied with medicine droppers.  A photo does not show the particular texture of the painting, nor its pleasing sheen.  Much of the brighter architectural features are rendered in metallic colors.  I like how the dropper paintings are quite touchable and easy to clean as each color is mixed in a cup of thick gloss varnish.

In September of 2013 I enjoyed a wonderful tour of the highlights of Italy.  One of our stops was the city of Naples.  Unlike much of the rest of the country, Naples is quite a city of contrasts. The opulence of both old and modern Italy is everywhere juxtaposed against evidence of its mafia rule: its anarchist traffic, prolific graffiti and decay, and its desperate people vying for living space among the wealthy.

Our group took a fascinating tour one morning through Naples' many personalities.   While stopped at a traffic light my eye was attracted to the man in the red sweater and I quickly snapped the reference photo for the painting.  It was only on later viewing that the picture revealed to me the spirit of Naples: the breathtaking architecture housing its elitist population, either oblivious to, or peering down upon those in the margins.  It is a picture within a picture of Naples, Italy.

Click on the link to watch the painting grow from the initial pencil sketch to the completion.  Each transition is the product of several hour's work each day.

The creation of "When in Naples" slide show