Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I can't believe I've already been here ten days! The sun is out and everything looks amazing and I want to do more than I'm doing - by more I mean less fiddling, more coherence, more simplicity. The devil is in the detail, yes, and it's devilishly difficult to resist the temptation of detail. I ruin a good start as soon as I start adding more detail, out of some kind of slavish obedience. Have just ruined the picture you see on the easel, of a woman with white shawl sitting in a cafe. That  was the start and it was okay. Now I've"finished" it and it's no good. Well, there'll be others. Not much time for blogging.

Click on photos to see full size.

1. Works in progress.
2. Tourists asleep in the sun.
3. Human made up as statue (he stands on the Roman bridge almost all day).


leslee said...

Love the paintings, Natalie! I think you found an interesting approach, avoiding the quaintness of the town as you wanted to and yet capturing color and light. Sorry the one didn't turn out satisfying - I like the work in progress, too.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Thank, Leslee! By the time I leave I hope to have found a new direction. Will be posting some of the sketches in a couple of days.

marja-leena said...

Wonderful light over there! Enjoying seeing your little studio and work in progress, Natalie. Looks like you have been busy.

Jean said...

I love the painting of the woman in the shawl and it hurts to know that you're unhappy with where it went next. But I'm also thinking that it reminds me a lot of some of your paintings I've seen from earlier times in bright, light places. Perhaps this is far from self-sabotage, but the creative subconscious pushing for an extra reach towards the new direction you speak of?

Anyway, so glad to know the sun came out and you are working. It's wonderful to think of the bright light and your artist's eye seeing the strange and the beautiful all around.

Natalie said...

Marja-Leena, I am absorbed by the light and somewhat intimidated by it. Sitting by the river today in the brilliant sunshine I couldn't do anything except look.

Jean,in the end the shawl woman was okay. You're right about the subconscious pushing and reaching - I'm just trying to stop demanding so much of myself.

20th Century Woman said...

When I paint I seem to go through the same progressions of reactions: 1, It's wonderful, will be a masterpiece. @, I've ruined it. I hate it. 3. Oh, well, it might be all right. After 6 months or so if I don't look at it, I can go back and often tell whether it's good or bad.

Why not give that woman in the shawl 6 months. Then you can look at it with new eyes.

I am so glad you are having such a good time. Be easy on yourself.

wally said...

This looks like a wonderful place to paint. May your muse stop giving you a hard time.