I spent the summer of 2010 in Cortona, Italy. This time I decided to take a break from the landscape paintings I've been doing for almost 30 years and concentrate instead on the people in the streets, particularly the action in the two main piazze of Cortona - Piazza Repubblica and Piazza Signorelli. The entrance and departure of people, mostly tourists, but also local cittadini, in the open, public space of the piazza called to mind a stage, where small human dramas were enacted. Hence the title of the group of 21 paintings, Cortona Palcoscenico.
The paintings were done with acrylics on some very nice, small (8" x 10") linen covered panels I found in Arezzo. I'm usually not overly fond of the plastic feeling or look of acrylics, but occasionally I'm seduced by the games you can play with them because of their fast-drying nature. If a color will be dry in five minutes why not put down, as a kind of wild card, some strange and provocative color to start with and then work with it, instead of going straight for the color of the subject as I see it. Why not build to it gradually through the negotiations of layers and overlaps of transparent or opaque paint?
The complete series can be viewed by clicking the slideshow link to the right.