Sometimes inspiration is so close we can almost miss it.
This is a second painting of rain in Venice, the sky is heavy with moisture.
Rain is once again feeling like a distant memory. I first painted this view nearly two years ago when I began my journey with palette knives.
Montecelli is the archetypal Italian settlement. Terracotta roofs peak out from behind the trees, and sunflowers fill the fields in true picture postcard fashion.
The Montecelli hilltop, isolated by a sea of sunflowers and guarded by poplars, lies on the edge of an expansive vineyard.
My little corner of Italy has many fields of sunflowers. They follow the sun in silent adoration, each head moving precisely as their god moves across the sky.
An approaching storm goes un-noticed as I crawl, pallet knife in hand, across the canvas. Each stroke made with uncertainty, without knowledge, just exploration.
The path across Monte Cecilia to Arquà Petrarca runs under my bathroom window, and on a Sunday morning takes happy walkers over the hill before the day gets too hot.
Friends are important. The sight of an elderly woman jumping up and down shouting me, me! and pointing at my neighbour Andrea's friend's tractor, is the same in any language.
Returning to an old favourite, the sunflower. Now I can see so much more in their shapes and forms.
For me, returning to sunflowers is returning to my beginning, these flowers have always been good to me, even when painted in a dreary room in Cornwall they filled my life with hope.
Judging by the number of olives this year we are having enough rain to help them grow.
Today it’s hot, not really surprising, yesterday was the solstice. A bigger surprise was having my cats as companions while I painted.
Today was a day for the olive trees. This is a small sketch in oils, 25 cm square.