I arrived in Cortona in March 2014 with a new piece of artistic equipment, one I had no previous experience with: a smart phone. It was the first time I had a camera that was both highly portable and capable of making high-quality pictures with little editing required.
I left my painting studio behind when I left the U.S., and did not have one in Italia. With the amazing mini camera in hand, I developed a new artistic practice:
- Walk my dog.
- Take pictures of what I see during the walk.
- Minimally edit the pictures.
- Post the pictures to Instagram.
This practice, one I share with thousands of people around the world, allowed me to create quickly and without fretting too much about it. Finding things to take pictures of in Cortona is easy, in part because the landscape is so beautiful. Its hilltop position affords me fantastic views of the Toscana skyscape, which often features dramatic cloud formations hovering over the Valdichiana, the valley between Cortona and Montepulciano.
I tell other painters that I don’t paint pictures of the Cortona landscape because an accurate painting of it would look like a stylized fake. But with photographs I can be freely truthful, and the viewer can decide if they believe me. These are a selection of landscape pictures featuring the sky above Cortona taken during 2016. I continue to make these, and you can see the latest ones in the 2017 Cortona Skies series.
Click on each picture to see it in its entirety.