Roman Holiday in Technicolor

Having seen many famous depictions of the Roman Forum, I have come to understand painting the Ancient world to be a kind of artistic Rite of Passage.  Add a dash of Romantic poetry, and the picture is complete-- bone-white columns, a dusty green and gray landscape, a mild, aloof blue sky tinged with Classical nostalgia. . .  

Yet "faded" and "melancholy" were not at all the words that came to mind when I walked through the Forum Romanum this year during my recent trip to Rome.  Rome is a wild tapestry of past and present, ever bustling, ever spilling over with waves of tourists from every corner of the globe hoping to experience the oft-celebrated mystique of the city.  On a late afternoon in early summer, the Forum is fragrant with the abundant chamomile and sage entwined with poppies on every hill, and the scenery is electrified by brilliant pale greens, dusty roses and vibrant pinks and oranges, alive with the voices of young and old walking along the same cobblestones as Cicero once did.  

The above painting, a 30X40 simply titled Forum Romanum, is my first completed piece directly inspired by my trip.  Trying to find the perfect balance between my angular, stylized approach, the rounded elements of columns, and intricacy to be found at every turn in Rome is an interesting challenge, as is expressing the life and modernity to be found even in the well-worn paths of the Forum these days.  Rome has surely given me many new things to ponder, and one of the lasting influences that I am beginning to see in my work as a result is a revitalized approach to color (I am sure that my painting of Adrianna and Hel also owes its color scheme to sunny Italy).

The Forum Romanum painting has already sold and is sure to look stunning in its new home (enjoy, Jerry and Jenn!), but a new Rome-inspired piece is already in the works if you, dear reader, would like one of your own, and I now have many pictures lovingly taken by me and happy memories to sort through for reference if anybody would care for a more custom piece!

On Display: Art@TAC Gallery

Last week, I dropped off two new pieces at the Arts Council Gallery in the Von Braun Center.  If you are in downtown Huntsville, be sure to have a look at Terra et Caelum [above] and Romantic Arabesques [below] as well as all of the other wonderful artworks on display and available for purchase!