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"

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.

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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[portfolio_slideshow id=3379]

Harvest of Lavender in Tuscany and Provence

Caroline Zimmermann, Provence 2011

June at the Molino is a glorious time in the garden with long sunny days that, this year, have brought our lavender into an early bloom.

I rarely get to harvest our own lavender as typically we leave in June for the summer months to return to California. This time, however, because of the warm spring, most of the blooms were ready for cutting… and little Renzo was eager to help….

The next day we were off to Provence… and first time to Valensole….. the lavender fields absolutely stunning…

Lumiere du Lavande ”24”x36”

(“Lumiere du Lavande” is available at Graham Fine Art in London)

“Late June Lavender & Grain” Provence 16”x24”

Click here to continue reading this post on my old blog. To see more of my lavender paintings pleased visit my Provence page.