Twenty Studio Stories….

I’ve painted outdoors and I’ve painted indoors… on location and in studios all over the world. People often ask me: Which do I prefer? Is one more authentic? Is the other easier? Over the years I’m thinking it is all up to the individual, what gets you stoked as a painter, what inspires your process.

MFA Studio: Oakland, CA
MFA Studio: Oakland, CA
I suppose that when it comes to art studios, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in some amazing spaces in the world. Some were corners in a room, others covered patios, basements, cantinas, spare rooms, garages and shared spaces with other artists. Some spaces I have lived and slept in, some had great surf and snowboarding right outside the door. Some studios have been the backdrop for tea parties, holiday parties, and art shows…others transformed into movie sets for numerous film projects. From the ancient olive mill in Tuscany to the the old Del Monte Cannery in San Francisco, all these spaces impart their energy into my work and inspire in their own unique ways.
In this, my 30th year as a professional artist, I’m looking back at those places with many fond recollections. The hundreds if not thousands (!) of paintings I have created over those years!

Continue reading “Twenty Studio Stories….”

Florentine Treasures

Caroline-Zimmermann-in-Florence

Since the era of the Medici and the Renaissance, Florence has been famous for its artisans, artists and crafts people who have created many of art history’s finest treasures. My numerous visits to the museums of Florence have inspired me over the years as I view the countless masterpieces of Renaissance art, and noting with little exception, the magnificence of their frames.

Zimmermann-Painting-14

It has been one of my greatest pleasures as an artist living and working in Tuscany for the last 20 years to collaborate with several frame makers in Florence that are still creating frames in the fine Florentine tradition. (These paintings will be available at the Lahaina Galleries Holiday Show from November 20 at the Newport Beach gallery.) Continue reading “Florentine Treasures”

Autumn Reflections from a Tuscan Studio

Molino, Autumn 2014

It has been a wet autumn here in Tuscany, and that following a very wet summer. Italy has been inundated by November’s storms adding to the heaviness of an already disastrous olive harvest. Makes for a slightly maudlin mood for the locals. Rainy weather means more time for me in the studio, happily working away… of course, on my newest water paintings. Continue reading “Autumn Reflections from a Tuscan Studio”

Waves of Inspiration: Sunflowers

“Sunflower Wave” 40″x40″ oil painting

Sunflowers speak to me of happy and content memories in my family’s garden in Anaheim.

As a child, I would lose myself for hours helping my mother and father with their various tasks of tending their large backyard garden.The mild weather in Southern California made for a botanical paradise for my parents. Both are originally from Europe and they would marvel at the growing conditions as all seasons of the year brought forth their bounty. Continue reading “Waves of Inspiration: Sunflowers”

Salvatore Ferragamo, Terroir and Painting Azul

October has come and gone, and with it the last of Tuscany’s balmy weather… fall colors are slowly making their appearance. Now with November’s rains here in Tuscany I am able to immerse myself in the studio.. wistful, now, however for a little sunshine!

It was a glorious sunny day when we filmed out last scenes of Terroir earlier this summer at Il Borro’s Vin Cafe, an appropriate wine tasting scene which featured Salvatore Ferragamo, his friends and Terroir actor Gaetano Guarino.

After filming, Salvatore asked me if I would paint a portrait of his favorite polo pony Azul.
I’ve painted several of the Ferragamo’s hunting dogs over the years, commissions I have done with pleasure.

We first met Azul in July, where she was a scene-stealer during our principal photography with Salvatore at the Borro.

I recently spent a happy afternoon taking photos of Azul that I will use for references. Within moments she began to reveal her character, what I truly hope to capture in her portrait.

“cheeky Azul” !

Animals, and horses in particular, were my favorite subjects when I was oil painting as a kid.

Presenting a horse portrait to my Oma, above her shoulder was the first horse I had ever painted. Age 11.

To this day, I still paint animals whenever I can. Check out the animal and still life paintings in my Flora and Fauna Gallery on my website.

Portrait completed!

….and a private vernissage with Salvatore and his artist-to-be Wanda…

Commission a painting by Caroline Zimmermann

Related:

Return to Il Borro – Part One: Terroir
Thanksgiving with the Cast and Crew of “Terroir”

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Water Paintings

I really could not wait to get started. But where to begin? I combed through my countless photos of the waters of my recent trip to the Turquoise Coast.

Mesmerized by the radiance, the glow emanating from the sea.

I have this recurring dream where I am underwater… sometimes its a pond, sometimes the lineup at Mākaha on a flat day, or sometimes simply a pool. In my dream I am always calm, floating in the water, perfect temperature… womb-like.

caroline zimmermann under water, 15-years-old
Glass Pool, Vegas, 15-years-old

The curious thing is that I look up, see the light of day above me. But I never want to leave. I am perfectly and simply happy to be amongst the rocks, the fish, plants or whatever is on the bottom. I think of Bjork’s The Anchor Song

When I was going through chemo I had recurring dreams of water… that radiant, glowing blue of the tropics… and my desire to get in. I had my shortboard, and all I wanted was to duck-dive under a wave.

Photo: Bernie Baker

Water over my head, its all I wanted… cool my body, comfort my soul.

My water paintings are countless…  they began on my first trip to Barbados and the Grenadines in 1989. I spent some days on Palm Island in the Windward Islands.

caroline_zimmermann_tropical_beach

There I felt my first enchantment with that color blue. Was it Turquoise blue or Cerulean?

No, Turquoise is truly what I saw in Turkey.

At last,  the final paintings….

“Turquoise Blues I” 40×40″
“Turquoise Blues II” 40×40″
“Turquoise Blues III” 40″x40″

View these paintings and others available for purchase on Caroline’s Virtual Gallery
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