Studio Notes

a pair of geese flew by; outside my studio window; i’m glad elephants don’t fly

A six-week plein air painting adventure in Coriano comes to an end

On the other side of the hill is San Marino. 

On the other side of the hill is San Marino. 

My six-week painting adventure in Coriano started on 18 July, and it has officially come to a close. This is my last painting in Coriano. This one has to stay in Coriano because I did not bring along a wet paint carrier. I will miss it very much. As soon as I return to my studio, I will attempt this one from memory, but this will not be the only one because I also want to translate my other plein air paintings of Coriano into larger paintings.

Luigi and Manuela

Luigi and Manuela

My brother and his wife introduced me to their two artist friends, and we later met on Luigi and Manuela's farm to paint. Luigi is Manuela’s husband. Manuela and her friend Luca are artists, and they have never done plein air painting before. The evening before sunset was supposed to have been a plein air painting group, but I unwittingly ended up doing an impromptu demonstration. Halfway into my work, I jokingly scolded them for sitting around and chattering while I was the only one painting. They said they wanted to watch me paint. I assumed that they were taking some mental notes because they did not have any pens and notebooks. I hope I was at least a decent example for them. There a few artists in Italy that I would like for them to follow.

Photo Credit: Zachary Chow

This was a view from Luigi and Manuela's farm which will become a restaurant specialising in organic produces from their little farm and from other farms in the region.

Sunset view from Luigi and Manuela’s farm in Coriano

This is my personal favourite of all the plein air paintings that I have done while in Coriano because it feels free, sketchy, and confident, which were what I have been striving for in my Coriano paintings. This was one of the few that I feel I have accomplished what I wanted.

View of the centre of town, Coriano. Atop on its peek sits Santa Maria Assunta that was built in the 1980s. Down the hill to the right of the church is Malatestieno’s castle built some time in the 1400s. In the foreground, olive trees, plum trees, and pomegranate trees. It was on this spot, while I was painting, I was greeted by a family of excited Italians of Chinese descent. My brother used to be the only American-Chinese in town.

Coriano may be a small and sleepy town, but it has landscapes as beautiful as all the other tourist go-to places in Italy. There is more to Italy than just Milan, Venice, Florence, Sienna, or Rome. If you require tourist sites and glamour, then you would undoubtedly be bored in a town like Coriano. But if you are here to draw and paint, then you will be rewarded with beautiful landscapes, beautiful new friends, and wonderful memories and stories to share along with your paintings. The town folks simply love their artist visitors. It is a small town and the famous six degrees of separation is acute here. I have met a few strangers while painting along the road, and later meet them with other friends of my brother and his wife in Gironi's the town’s favourite pastry, ice cream, and coffee shop in the centre of town. Yup, everyone knows everyone else in this town. So for the duration of my stay, I was the occasional talk of the town. Fortunately nothing scandalous.

A drone bee on a sunflower

A drone bee on a sunflower

Promagranades

Promagranades

Plums

Plums

Portrait by Manuela of Luigi and Manuela’s daughter, Camilla,  hangs in quiteness in their future farm to table restaurant dining room.

Portrait by Manuela of Luigi and Manuela’s daughter, Camilla,  hangs in quiteness in their future farm to table restaurant dining room.

Luigi picking some cherry tomatoes. 

Luigi picking some cherry tomatoes. 

Fresh herbs from the farm. 

Fresh herbs from the farm. 

Luigi preparing samples of fresh cherry tomatoes with olive oil from their olive trees. They were sweet. 

Luigi preparing samples of fresh cherry tomatoes with olive oil from their olive trees. They were sweet.