Reflections of Venice 2016

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I first saw Venice at night. It was a chilly November eve and the city was shrouded in a silent, insulating fog. Sounds of water lapping on the canal walls echoed a melancholy that accompanies a late autumn mood in Italy. The summer sun had gone and with it the hoards of tourists; it seemed as if the life of the city was turning inward. Saint Mark’s square was empty save for the last pigeons working overtime, and in the distance someone was playing violin.

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Even in darkness the city revealed itself through shifting light… reflections mirroring empty bridges, sleeping gondolas, quiet alleys and closed cafes. All of it was so dreamlike, ephemeral and seemingly impossible to comprehend.

"Peace Laundry" oil on linen

“Peace Laundry” oil on linen

That first visit was 20 years ago and the photographs I took with my still camera inspired some of my most memorable paintings.

“The Blue Wall, Venice” oil on Linen

The November light of Venice had captured me, but the beguiling memory of that magical first visit keeps calling me back. zimmermann-venice2011

I have since returned to Venice many times and always with a sense of amazement and awe. zimmermann-venice2013This November we returned once again to that place of water and wonder, and gorgeous cold, crisp, sunny skies welcomed us back.zimmermann-venice2024

It amazes me how humans can forge an existence with such grace and elegance in such an improbable place. How decay, corrosion and erosion etch the most beautiful patinas of time on structures built in the unlikely medium of salt water. Slowly, relentlessly and like rust, never sleeping, water works to reclaim all that Man has done and return it to the briny deep.zimmermann-venice2009

 Like water, it is best to let yourself flow through the city, resist direct and clogged routes, and get lost – give it over to the spirit of discovery and the unexpected.
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It is easy to get lost in this amazing place…
zimmermann-venice2007…and losing oneself in Venice can be one of Life’s greatest pleasures.
Perfection in a cup, a morning cappuccino by the Rialto

Perfection in a cup, a morning cappuccino by the Rialto

When in Venice do as the Venetians do: Spritz Campari, please

When in Venice do as the Venetians do: Spritz
Campari, please

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That view, that cafe, that little trattoria will find you, and claim you for its own. It will be your view, your cappuccino, your place in Venice, not just for sharing with the world, but comforting your soul.

Murano sunset on a canal of glass.

Murano sunset on a canal of glass.

A trove of Venetian sea glass c:

A trove of Venetian sea glass c:

Contemplating dinner.

Contemplating dinner.

Shimmering reflections of the sea

Shimmering reflections of the sea

"Venetian Espresso" 6"x6" oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Venetian Espresso” 6″x6″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

"Reflections"

Summer 2016: Skye Larking and Stone Standing in Scotland

Throughout Scotland I’ve experienced a sense of wonder and awe for the relentless forces of nature that created such haunting beauty and continue to shape the dramatic landscape to this day.

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Low tide at Castle Eilean Donan

Nowhere in Scotland is that more evident than on the Isle of Skye. Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6049
The locals tell me the word Skye comes from the old Norse word “Sky-a” meaning “cloud island”. The clouds that enshroud the landscapes certainly do claim their dominion. Their shifting shadows and enveloping mists add to the sense of mystery as the scenery evolves with the changing light of day.
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The cool coastal air inspired us to hike many of the beautiful trails that lead to spectacular and breath-taking vistas. The most dramatic is the amazing rock formation called the “Old Man of Storr”.
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In my mind I keep thinking: how will I be able to paint any of this… and could I ever capture such dramatic beauty?
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“The View Toward Siena”

I’ve always been attracted to moody landscapes with cloud-filled skies, misty horizons and soft shadows.

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“A Path to the Sea” at Lahaina Galleries

Dappled light that shifts through the forests and trees.
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“Reflections of Lake Como I”

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“Reflections of Lake Como II”

Reflections of subdued light on calm and tranquil Italian lakes

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“Pines by the Sea”

My years in Tuscany have offered numerous occasions to paint the land and seascapes in their contrasting tones.

But the most challenging aspect of the Scottish summer landscape is the persistent presence of all that green.
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As I have stated in the past, green is the most problematic color for me to paint with. I am never quite satisfied with the shades of green as they appear on the canvas, they never look quite right. This will be my a challenge when I begin painting what I have seen in Scotland, as there is no avoiding the green here. However, I do look forward to it: As a painter I love new challenges, new subjects and new sources of inspiration.
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Our skylarking on Skye not only rewarded us with scenic landscapes, but also delicious meals of locally produced and sourced ingredients at some of the island’s fabulous restaurants.

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Locally produced cheeses from the Isle of Skye, the Skye Bar at the Flodigarry Hotel

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 And of course a sampling of Skye’s most legendary elixir: the Talisker Single Malt Whisky.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_4354
This was a Talisker 18-year-old single malt; delicious, soul warming and evocative of all the sensual elements of Skye.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6146Our days on Skye went much to quickly and other islands of the Hebrides beckoned us….

Moving on to the more remote islands of the Outer Hebrides we were struck by the enigmatic traces of ancient human habitation in the form of standing stones. Their placement and meaning eludes us to this day.

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 This is the wonder of the Callanish Standing Stones set before a dramatic backdrop of clouds of a passing summer rain storm. 
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As a painter, I am rarely preoccupied with the longevity of my work over time. I paint on fabric, and the chances that my creative expressions would last 6000 years are quite slim. It amazes me when I look at these stones that something someone shaped and manipulated with their hands so long ago can communicate to me so effectively and profoundly over the great distance of time.pictish-stone-dunfallandy
Of course I am left wondering, “what were they trying to say”? It is especially puzzling with the later standing stones – as with this Pictish Dunfallandy stone near Pitlochry. These carved symbols tease the imagination.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_0920.v1
There are many of these stone rings, or arrangements, that have been recently discovered and excavated. I can only imagine how many more lie sleeping under Scotland’s centuries of peat.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_4526
I would have loved to tour this countryside one Standing Stone group at a time, letting them guide me through this magical and wonder-filled land.
Perhaps on my next visit to Scotland, I will….Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6220

Summer 2016: Scotland… of Water Fairies and Sea Kelpies

Water is everywhere in Scotland…

Falling from the sky, flowing into the rivers, cascading from the waterfalls, then to the lochs, and returning eventually to the sea.

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The Falls of Arrochar

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Tarbet, Loch Lomond

My many travels as a surfer have taken me to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I never expected the beaches of Scotland to be some of the most impressive.
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Dunure, Ayreshire

Of course Scotland, with its many islands, inlets and bays, has infinite coastlines, all unique and different from each other, but one thing they have in common from my observation:
In summer the beaches are almost empty.
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South Beach of Ayr

What a delight to find vast stretches of sand and shores deserted, serene and quiet in the middle of summer!
The quiet calm offered me numerous occasions to partake in one of my favorite past times, beach combing.
So often in my travels I have been on coastlines of stunning surf, fabulous waves and fantastic vistas when my eye inevitably returns its gaze to the ground as I compulsively scan the beach for my own personal treasures.
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 The beaches of Scotland offered up many many fascinating objects, most of which I must return to the sea…IMG_5881…but some, really unique in their forms. After years of tumbling on the shores, broken crockery and glass are beautiful to behold and pique my curiosity.

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My beachcombing obsession proved infectious with our little crew… and at our last supper together we covered the kitchen table with our own personal discoveries…
Truly one man’s trash is another’s treasure!!!

Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_5877 Glimpses into the past: I wonder how these objects looked intact, who made them, who used them, and what for? and what caused their ultimate demise? A slip, a fall, a chip or a nick and then no longer useful, they are cast into the wastebin of history.

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This was one of my personal favorites: A piece of bone found at Shandwick beach during low tide. I picked it up and immediately felt that it could be a handle of some kind.

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Shandwick, Easter Ross, Highlands

The site of numerous battles throughout history, Shandwick is now tranquil and serene. My imagination wandered…I could not help but wonder was this a dead soldier’s cast away cutlass handle or the residue of some holiday maker’s picnic lunch???

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In any case, the bone is a keeper, as are the other small wonders: a plush toy (now washed and cleaned) for Murphy, IMG_5577_2
 
And yes, a brick! Our Mill house in Tuscany is called Piccolo Molino… Little Mill. And thanks to our Italian friends Gaetano and Fabio it was portaged to Italy, where it will live somewhere in our garden.
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All these questions, musings and images add to my creative inspiration. The deep sense of history in this land cannot be ignored. It reveals itself in the marvels of nature and in the marks of man.

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Dunure Castle, the Labyrinth

Myth and legend combine to add to the magical sense of this place of wonder and awe. Stories of Sea Kelpies, Water Fairies, Blue Men, Mermaids and Mermen… it is so easy to let the mind wander and be driven to flights of fancy…
Murphy's first sea ferry.. to the Outer Hebrides

Murphy’s first sea ferry.. to the Outer Hebrides

Our travels have now led us to the Outer Hebrides – on the isles of Lewis and Harris, the location for John’s latest film project.

At Latitude 57, it is the furthest north I have ever been. The islands are sparse in vegetation and dominated by the stretches of peat which cover the land.

Luskentyre Beach

Luskentyre Beach

But the beaches here were what lured me… as did the Seonaidh
or Shoney… the water spirits of ancient Hebredian lore.
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It was Luskentyre beach that enchanted us most… and with it, the legend of the Fairy Hound, whose large paw prints can be seen on the beach and then mysteriously disappear.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_0109
Certainly one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. IMG_6192_2 IMG_6189_2 Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6194Miles of  pristine, white and pink sand perfection, and spans of emerald green turquoise water.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_0178_2
And like most Scottish beaches, dog friendly.
Murphy was in his element, our own little Fairy Hound!
My Shoney.. Johnny the Blue Man and Little Fairy Hound Murphy

My Shoney.. on location with Johnny the Blue Man and Little Fairy Hound Murphy

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The light here changes from moment to moment, as the Isles are so exposed to the open waters of the Atlantic.  Clouds and weather come and go, making for countless wonderful compositions for me to paint.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_1057

I could have stayed on Harris for an entire summer… but my photographs will remind me of the wonder and majesty of these shorelines. Zimmermann-Luskentyre-2 I will revisit them with joy as I paint.

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Scarista Beach, Harris

 
 Such a perfect place for me,Zimmermann-Luskentyre

the Crab, as I must always return to the the Sea.

"Tropical Cloud Sky" 30"x30" at Lahaina Galleries

“Tropical Cloud Sky” 30″x30″ at Lahaina Galleries

“Western Isle Beach”
at Graham Fine Art

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!
Click on any of the images below to view the slideshow.. and please check back to read more blog posts about each location, what kind of inspiration it brought to me and how it affected my work.
The studio, that space with all the energy it brings to me is a silent collaborator in my creative process, looking back at these images there is no doubt in my mind about that. My special thanks to the best studio mates ever: John Charles Jopson, Sandra Jones Campbell, Ratso, Renzo, Murphy…and of course, the first of my many Muses, Bird.

Caroline Zimmermann: Lahaina Galleries Solo Show

Caroline Zimmermann’s Lahaina Galleries Solo Exhibition, February 27, 2016

Information and enquiries:

Lahaina Galleries At Fashion Island
1173 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
800.788.5008/949.721.9117
www.lahainagalleries.com   lgi@maui.net

Click on any image to enlarge:

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Lahaina Galleries 39th Anniversary Show

Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2187This last weekend I had the honour of exhibiting my work at Lahaina’s 39th Anniversary Show. Along with seven other master artists, we celebrated with some of Lahaina Galleries’ patrons and collectors at a private unveiling the evening before.

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All of the works were carefully hung and veiled to provide maximum excitement and anticipation…

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After a wonderful introduction from the Lahaina Team, I spoke briefly about my newest creation…

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My “Blue Mediterranean” Triptych was then unveiled.

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Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2201 “Blue Mediterranean” made a long journey to be included in this unveiling. I began working on the painting in my studio in Tuscany and continued to work on it throughout the summer in my pop-up studio in Oxford.

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“Blue Mediterranean Triptych” 39” X 60” Available at Lahaina Galleries

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“Kihei Beach Driftwood” 32” X 47”

“Kihei Beach Driftwood” 32” X 47” Available at Lahaina Galleries

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This is truly why I do what I do: Pure Joy. I was thrilled to be able to meet the new owners of my “Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths” and “Mediterranean Blues Beach”. Both pieces are going to an excellent home.

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“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths” 47” x 36” Lahaina Galleries

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”
47” x 36” Lahaina Galleries

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“Mediterranean Blues Beach” 32″ x 47″

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“Hanalei Sunset Dream” 12″ x 12″ Available at Lahaina Galleries

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“Tahitian Still Life” 11″ x 24″  Available at Lahaina Galleries

Caroline-Zimmermann_2226Celebrating a great turnout and fantastic sales with LGI consultant Kasey Solesbee. Well Done Kasey!

“Sunset at Turtle Bay” 28” X 47”

“Sunset at Turtle Bay” 28” X 47” Available at Lahaina Galleries

Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2249Lovely shot of artist Dario Campanile and his fiancee’ Patricia. Mahalos!

Caroline-Zimmermann-Lahaina_2240Many compliments to Jim and Nancy Killett for their 39th year of beautifying the world with Lahaina Galleries. I’ll do my best to help them with their efforts for many many more!

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Live from London, It’s Caroline Zimmermann

Caroline-Zimmermann-Painting_1441London, calling once again!

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For the second summer in a row I’ve had the pleasure and honour of painting “live” at the Graham Fine Art gallery in London’s Crouch End.

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Live demonstrations are a wonderful opportunity to get to know the gallery’s clients and for them to see my process.

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“Summer’s First Sunflowers I and II” 75cm x 61cm ea.  Sold seperately or as a pair at Graham Fine Art

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It’s also a nice change for me to leave the seclusion of my Tuscany studio and soak up the vibrance and energy of London and the Crouch End neighbourhood. My live-painting sessions at Graham Fine Art bookend my pop-up studio time in Oxford this summer.

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Caroline Zimmermann avocado painting

“Avocado Quartet” 4″ x 12″ Available at Graham Fine Art

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This year my painting process has been delightfully documented with a series of short videos, created and produced by talented gallery assistant Carolina Maggio and Team GFA.

Rose Arbour painting by Caroline Zimmermann

“The Rose Arbour” 100cm x 80cm    Oil on Canvas    Available at Graham Fine Art

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GFA’s own Graham Powell and Carolina are attentive to all details of running and managing a gallery… and of course keeping things exceedingly fun & lively.

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In the “Mallorca” video, I am actually creating a painting from the very beginning of my process. This is the second half of the “Mallorca” diptych which took approximately three weeks to complete…

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“Mallorca Blues I and II” 100cm x 100cm ea. Sold separately or as a pair at Graham Fine Art

Caroline Zimmermann Maldives water painting

“The Maldives” 8″ x 16″ Available at Graham Fine Art

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In the gallery, inspiration abounds… as a result I’ve created numerous smaller works as well.

Caroline Zimmermann Sunflower painting

“Sunflower Portrait” 12″ x 12″ Available at Graham Fine Art

Caroline Zimmermann eggplant artichoke onion still life painting

“Aubergine, Artichoke and Onion” 12″ x 12″ Available at Graham Fine Art

Caroline Zimmermann Citrus painting

“Citrus Still Life” 4″ x 12″ Available at Graham Fine Art

“Tuscan Violet Artichokes” 4″x1 2″ Available at Graham Fine Art

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The end of this year’s summer painting sojourn was celebrated with an evening soiree with some good friends in attendance.

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Caroline Zimmermann Lavender Field painting

“Lavender En Plein Air” 80cm x 100cm Available at Graham Fine Art

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We so enjoyed our summer as Crouch End locals…. Loving every minute and looking forward to returning again next year.  Many many thanks to Graham and Carolina and all at Graham Fine Art for a fabulous summer!

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Reflections of Oxford

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July of 2015 has found us fortunate enough to be spending some weeks in the university town of Oxford.

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My latest ‘pop up’ studio here has been a quiet contrast to the buzz and excitement of painting in London at Graham Fine Art.

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As with London, the River Thames is the foundation of Oxford and its meanderings has shaped and molded its identity over the centuries. The University of Oxford Botanic Gardens which I visited last week run along the banks of River Cherwell.

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I put down my paintbrushes for a few hours to take up a boating invite with local Oxford jewelry artist Tess Blenkinsop, painter Francesca Shakespeare and her husband Christopher who expertly piloted our little punt.

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The Thames as it courses through Oxford is called the River Isis, referring to the Latin name for the river: Tamesis.

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Clearly on evenings like this the river is suitable for a Goddess…. gorgeous light and shadows which make for amazing reflections.

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It was brief cruise through the long and rich history of Oxford.  We were immersed in a lush combination of ancient trees, vegetation and countless species of birds on this tributary of the River Isis, the River Cherwell.

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Inspiration abounds as we cruise along at a duck’s eye view, each round of a bend revealing magical compositions.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1952 - Version 2Recollections of my previous paintings of the river Arno as it meanders through the Vald’arno near our home in Tuscany.

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Some unexpected delights as well, and the infrequent encounter with a punting traffic jam.

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Christopher navigates with skill and perfection as he dodges other punters, deftly avoiding a collision that would have crushed a duck and her goslings.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_2010Murphy and I look on with grave concern.

All fine, we continue and pause for a picnic on the shores of the River Cherwell.

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The highlight of the evening was a spontaneous visit to the Magdalen College and its cloisters…

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…walking the grounds I could just imagine how inspirational it was for Magdalen alums such as Oscar Wilde.

 

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“The Illumination” 2004 by Caroline Zimmermann

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“In the summer term Oxford teaches the exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach, and possibly as the first-fruits of the dreaming in grey cloister and silent garden, which either makes or mars a man …”

Oscar Wilde, review of Primavera in the Pall Mall Gazette, 24 May 1890

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“Reflections of Tuscany” Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 38” X 40” Oil on Canvas Lahaina Galleries

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My time in Oxford has been productive and full of inspiration… all feeding into my latest water, cloud and sky paintings. Truly its as Yeats states in this quote:

“I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking.” William Butler Yeats, in a letter to to Katharine Tynan

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The Isles of Gold and Mediterranean Blues

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Over 20 years ago, during my first visit to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, I saw a painting that has inspired me ever since.
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“Les Iles d’ Or” or “The Islands of Gold”, created by Henri-Edmond Cross in 1892 as he was living on the Cote d’ Azur of Southern France.
This pointillist work continues to resonate with me after all these years with its scintillating dots of colors and light.
It is a painting that evokes my fascination with water; the myriad shades of blue, the dance of light and shadow on the sea floor, and the play of reflections on the water’s surface.

Mallorca seascape painting by Caroline Zimmermann

“Mallorca Blues” by Caroline Zimmermann    100cm x 100cm Graham Fine Art

Earlier this May we spent a week on the Cote d’Azur that so influenced Cross and many other Impressionist painters…

Zimmermann-water-paintings-19Stopping along the many beaches and harbors, taking in the views and the occasional aperitif of a good Bandol rose…

Caroline Zimmermann in Sanary sur Mer, France

Sanary su Mer and its delightful harbor. Future paintings waiting to happen!

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"Mediterranean Reflections" painting by Caroline Zimmermann, showing at Lahaina Galleries

“Mediterranean Reflections II” by Caroline Zimmermann    38″x40″ at Lahaina Galleries

Zimmermann-water-paintings-23Living in Tuscany is bliss, but every so often I need to return to the sea.

Zimmermann-water-paintings-22 Zimmermann-water-paintings-17 Zimmermann-water-paintings-12Collecting sea glass is one of my many forms of meditation and there were so many treasures to be found.

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We then discovered the island of Porquerolles, with its beautiful beaches and sheltered coves.

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“Mediterranean Blues V” painting by Caroline Zimmermann, available at Lahaina Galleries

“Mediterranean Blues V” by Caroline Zimmermann
34”x 48” Lahaina Galleries

Then the Henri-Edmond Cross painting came to life:

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Truly where Art meets Life! Over a hundred years after the painting was created, I could visualize what Cross saw as he painted.

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Murohy von Mülheim on Porquerolles Island, France

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I have always lived by the sea. caroline-zimmermann-boat

My many years spent chasing waves kept me constantly in and around salt water.Of course I had to take a swim.

Caroline-Zimmermann-swimming-the-MedAlthough the water of the Med in May is chilly, it felt great to be in such beautiful clear water. It was much like the waters off the coast of Turkey with the amazing shades of blue.

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”  47” x 36”  Lahaina Galleries

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”
47” x 36” Lahaina Galleries

The Little Crab always returns to the sea… It was good to be back. 
Caroline Zimmermann on Porquerolles Island

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Fresh Paintings at Graham Fine Art, London

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London in April. A visit to Crouch End and Graham Fine Art.
I consider myself very fortunate to do business in one of the greatest cities on Earth, and delivering paintings to Graham Fine Art is an excellent excuse to spend a week there.

zimmermann-bird-and-davisFirst stop was to deliver my paintings to be stretched at Bird and Davis, one of the UK’s oldest and leading art stretcher manufactures.

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“Asparagus Standing” Oil on Board 15cm x 15cm at Graham Fine Art

On this visit I’ve brought some fresh produce paintings, springtime florals and summer sunflowers.

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“Mallorca Blues I” oil on canvas 100cm x 100cm at Graham Fine Art

I have also brought the latest in my series of Water Paintings, this large piece is entitled “Mallorca Blues I”.

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Curator and proprietor Graham Powell has kindly made a comfortable space for me to paint right in the gallery, and meet and greet those who visit.
It’s great fun and I so enjoy meeting the locals of Crouch End and receiving response from my work.
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“White Daffodils” oil on panel 25cm x 25cm

 

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“Tuscan Violet Artichokes” oil on panel 10cm x 30cm

 

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“Produce Provencal” 10″x 10″ oil painting at Graham Fine Art

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“Summer’s First Sunflowers” Oil on Linen 75cm x 61cm

The highlight of the weekend was presenting a commissioned painting to clients who live in London, but requested a California seascape.
They selected a sunrise view of Bulito Beach of the Hollister Ranch.

“Tara’s Morning Tide” at Graham Fine Art

“Tara’s Morning Tide” is a wedding present from a thoughtful fiance’ to a very lucky bride. Congratulations to Tara and Ricardo!

“Poppy Portrait I ” Oil on Board
15cm x 15cm at Graham Fine Art

“Poppy Portrait II”
15cm x 15cm at Graham Fine Art

“Poppy Portrait III”
15cm x 15cm at Graham Fine Art

“Bundle of Asparagus” Oil on Board 14cm x 20cm at Graham Fine Art

“Cut Citrus” Oil on Board 15cm x 15cm at Graham Fine Art

 

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If you are interested in any of these paintings please don’t hesitate to contact Graham at Graham Fine Art.

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New Paintings at Lahaina Galleries

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“Mediterranean Reflections” 38” x 40” Oil on Canvas

An exhibition of new works by Caroline Zimmermann at the Lahaina Galleries in Newport Beach, California from March 7, 2015.

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“Cloud Sky II” Maldives  – Oil on Canvas 30″ X 30″

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“Chianti Harvest Colors” 30”x40” Oil on Canvas

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“Vintage Crystal Cove” Laguna Beach  30″ X 40”  Oil on Canvas

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“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”  47” x 36”  Oil on Canvas

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths”
47” x 36” Oil on Canvas

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“Beyond Crystal Cove” Laguna Beach  20”x 59” Oil on Canvas

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“North Shore Blue Wave” 36″ X 48″ Limited Edition Print

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“Reflections of Tuscany” Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 38” X 40” Oil on Canvas

"Return to Wood's Cove" 17” X 40” Oil on Canvas

“Return to Wood’s Cove”
17” X 40” Oil on Canvas

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“Poppies and Grain” 30”x40” Oil on Canvas

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“Sunflowers in a Summer Breeze” 24”x40” Oil on Canvas

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“The Conversation” 40”x40”  Oil on Canvas

“The Conversation”
40”x40” Oil on Canvas

“Little Drake”  20”x16” Oil on Canvas

“Little Drake”
20”x16” Oil on Canvas

To enquire about any of these paintings please don’t hesitate to email Lahaina Galleries or call (800) 228-2006.

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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.

Our house was originally constructed 500 years ago as a mill, but not to grind flour. Instead the river Ciuffenna’s water was harnessed to turn machinery that somehow processed wool for felt. That medieval machine worked away hundreds of years ago in a large space under our bedroom, in the oldest part of our house. It is in this room that I work on my paintings now.

Murphy takes a taste

The Ciuffenna cascades down a series of three man-made waterfalls located in a ravine next to our home. The normally pleasant sound of the river coursing turns to a roar when there is a big rain, a thrilling energy to have nearby. In this house, you can imagine, I have many and marvelous dreams of water.

October ended with some fabulous autumn days, but that was to be short-lived. We did manage a day hike into the Pratomagno Mountains where we had a tranquil picnic by one of Ciufenna’s tributaries. All the while my mind was in the waters, becoming nostalgic for blue water horizons…

My father’s parents from Germany visit us for the first time. Laguna Beach, 1968. I’m the little one, and having the most fun…?

Being a So Cal girl, I’ve always been close to the sea. My parents enjoyed taking us for picnics no matter what time of year. It was there in Laguna Beach at an early age where I began my communion with the sea….

More fun at the beach.. Me, my father, and my sister. I’m sure my father sent numerous copies of this pic to my relatives in Germany, gloating over the November sun in California…

November sun is eluding us here in Tuscany, so I’ve conjured it up with color in my studio. Welcome to my World….

“Cleopatra’s Baths” being completed in the Studio

“Mediterranean Blues: Cleopatra’s Baths” Lahaina Galleries 47″x36″

Blue water Bliss: Cleopatra’s Baths on the Turquoise Coast

Blue water Bliss indeed. My weeks spent on the Turquoise Coast two years ago have inspired numerous paintings and an infinite opportunity to explore variations of blue in a painting.

Oh to be back in the water! It’s days like this when skies are gray that I yearn to be immersed and refreshed. Those days will come again, I am sure, but for now I am painting away in the gray….

“Lake Como Contemplation I ” Lahaina Galleries

The quiet calm of Lake Como’s waters provides a wonder of reflections. Ancient Roman villas on tranquil waters with graceful gardens that beckon contemplation.

“Lake Como Contemplation II” Lahaina Galleries

Bella Toscana does have its brilliant blue skies, and that is reflected in my “Autumn Reflections, Bagno Vignoni”. Gorgeous light on a gorgeous location south of Siena, the ancient baths still produce their healing waters.

“Autumn Reflections, Bagno Vignoni” Lahaina Galleries

How many shades of blue: the search continues… with a joy and delight of communing with that most fundamental of the elements.

Mediterranean Reflections 24″ x 12″ Lahaina Galleries

"Vintage Crystal Cove" oil painting 30"x40" Lahaina Galleries

“Vintage Crystal Cove” oil painting 30″ x 40″ Lahaina Galleries

The Sea continues to inspire new paintings from my earliest memories. Crystal Cove and a sunset by the Pacific. Water has always called to me, and to water I will always return.

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Hollister Ranch Hoedown 2014

Summer’s End at the Hollister Ranch. The Hollister Hoedown Fundraiser returns. Ranch locals come from near and far to carry on a tradition. Once again, I am honored to be included.

Hollister-Ranch-HoedownThis years event began with clear, glassy conditions. Soaring summer temperatures with no sign of June Gloom.  The heat was on!

My work hangs for sale with 40 other local artists. Proceeds from all sales benefit the Hollister Ranch Fire Department.

As in previous years, Jackson Browne was in attendance and in fantastic form.

“Low Tide Ranch Painting” sold to Jackson Browne and Dianna Cohen

Jackson’s sound check was fabulous and he is sounding better than ever. But the notorious Ranch winds kicked up at 4, and due to the powerful winds, the events had to be cut short.

“Summer Set Wave, Hollister Ranch” Lahaina Galleries

It was Murphy’s first visit to the Ranch, he fully embraced the endless stretches of beach.

“Solstice Morning Swell” SOLD

“Morning Tide, San Augustine” SOLD

Truly exposed and at the mercy of Nature, its what makes the Ranch a unique place on earth.

“West of the Gate, Hollister Ranch” this painting has SOLD

The Ranch continues to draw me back. I am endlessly inspired by the shape of the land, the quality of the light, and, of course the surf.

“View from the Canyon” Hollister Ranch

Looking forward to the next occasion!

Many thanks to Bev and Kit Cossart!

Kit sells one his paintings to Jackson…

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Caroline Zimmermann at Lahaina Galleries

The End of Summer 2013’s most welcome news is my being taken on by Lahaina Galleries for representation. 

Callie Wray and her fantastic team at their Fashion Island gallery have made me feel most welcome.
My work has never been more beautifully displayed, I am honored to be included with such a great group of talented artists.

“Summer Evening Tide, Hollister Ranch” 16″x39″

I look forward to working with the Lahaina Ohana and greatly anticipate their upcoming events.
Click here to view my work at the gallery.
An introductory show on the 7th of December… check back for further details!

Return to the Festival of Arts

I’ve often thought of Life as flowing in a spiral current, even more so now as this summer I’ve found myself back in the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. The decision to return was made on April 1st, and since that day I have been greatly anticipating exhibiting here once again.

I was honored to be given booth #3, one of the first exhibit spaces in the front of the show. This will be my 24th year as a Festival of Arts exhibitor, half of my summers have been spent here. This year, most notable was the change in my exhibit’s presentation:  An All Water Wall.

“Tahiti Cloud Sky” 11″x11″ tropical seascape oil painting

For the last 17 years I have been presenting my works from Tuscany. Many people  were stunned by the paintings, my most recent pieces from my travels in Bali, Tahiti, Maldives and Turkey.

It was great to see old friends, clients and acquaintances. I was sure to include some of my smaller works, those with antique frames and Tuscan landscapes.

The evening was as beautiful as it gets in Laguna Beach, the crowd lively  and dancing to the music. 

Of course my exhibit would not be complete without the presence of a Rooster….

“Turquoise Farm Rooster” 15″x15″ oil painting

New smaller tropical seascapes that comfort the soul and cool the mind.

“Water’s Edge” 7″x13″ tropical seascape oil painting

One of my “Coffee” trio found a good home that eve… but the two remaining are fabulous little pieces….

“Coffee” oil painting 9″x9″

If you are in the Laguna Beach area this summer, do stop by. The Festival runs from the 30th of June to the 3oth of August. The Pageant of the Masters is a must see as an 85 year Southern California tradition. For more information please see Festival of Arts, Pageant of the Masters. See you there!

Festival of Arts Facade 2011 Artwork by Caroline Zimmermann and Marlo Bartels
Photo: Tom Lamb

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Waves of Inspiration: Hawaii

It was December, 1988. My board and bag were packed, and I had just won a $500 award from the City of Laguna Beach’s public arts competition. I was ready: it was my first trip to Hawaii and I was going by myself.

Off the plane: CZ’s first visit to Hawaii 1988

Not only did adventure await, but the course of my Life would be changed forever.

It was my first encounter with the South Pacific and the power of the Hawaiian swells. I’ll never forget seeing winter waves on the North Shore of Oahu for the first time. The sheer magnitude, mass and size of the waves are awesome sights… and definitely a Force to be reckoned with.

“North Shore Blue Wave” 36″x48″

All these years later I’m finally painting waves. It has taken so long, as Life brings me around to this subject, it’s not full circle, but more like a spiral. Last year I found myself painting water, just tranquil scenes of water. In a continuation of the theme, I’m challenging myself with moving water. But it’s not simply about water in movement, in these paintings I’m making waves.

On the other side of the world a breath of wind conspired with the sea to create this wave. A wave of energy that traveled through the waters, across many thousands of miles to arrive on the North Shore of Hawaii. And there, its energy dissipated, but its beauty and majesty was captured, by my friend and North Shore Photographer Bernie Baker.

“Wall of Water” Ke-Iki Beach, Oahu

Bernie has sent me numerous photos over the years that have tantalized my creative imagination. How many times had I seen these waves, surfing Sunset Beach, Mākaha, Bali, Tahiti.. how many times had I dreamed of them. With his photographs Bernie marks their passage in time.
In these paintings I’m not wanting to copy Bernie’s gifted and talented eye, or recreate his master photography with paint. Bernie has kindly let me use his images  as stepping stones of inspiration, and it’s been a fun and wonder-filled collaboration.

Queen’s

With these paintings I am able to reflect on my time spent in Hawaii….

Secret Spot, Lanai

The countless trips in Search of Surf…

“Yellow Hibiscus” 11″x14″

The precious times spent on the West Side with the people of Mākaha.

Yvon Chouinard, Rell Sunn, Sam George, Caroline Zimmermann
Mākaha, 1992

My incredible fortune to have befriended their “Queen”, Rell Sunn.

“Mākaha Red Hibiscus” 11″x14″

The Westside was magical, and drew me back time and time again.

“Mākaha Palm” oil painting 1995

Not just for the fabulous waves and beautiful views, but to spend time in the company of Rell.

CZ with Mākaha Royalty

Rell truly was Mākaha royalty, but in true Hawaiian Style, she held court in the most generous and big hearted way. She welcomed us, haole and outsiders, with open arms and open house.

Rell Sunn and the Westside Wahine
1994

Surfing Mākaha with the Wahine….the girls. I’d never surfed a spot where women made up 50% of the lineup, and at a serious break like Mākaha, the waves were not for the faint at heart. Somehow, with time and Rell’s benevolent graces, I was accepted.

photo: Bernie Baker

Over the course of four years I surfed some of the best waves of my Life, there at Mākaha.

“Mākaha” oil painting 1994

Truly, one of the greatest gifts my Life has given me was the time I spent with Rell.

CZ & Rell Sunn, Lanai

Rell’s death in 1998 from cancer left a huge gaping hole in all our lives. With the passing years I’ve been able to fill that emptiness with all the goodness and beauty in Surfing and the Sea.

“Plumeria for Rell” 1998

Every plumeria I paint, every hibiscus, and now every wave is an homage to Rell…

“Little Hula Heaven” oil painting 1998

Ka-polioka’ehukai: Heart of the Sea.

photo Dennis Oda
1983 Star-Bulletin photo of Rell Sunn.

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