Aloha Big Island

Back in my studio and in front of my gray computer, I’m thinking back to my last week in Hawaii….

….recalling the distantly familiar, aching feeling of leaving a place of such profound beauty and inspiration….

Oh, how I wish I was there! 

It was my first visit to the Big Island, and I was enticed to stay for three days with a show at Lahaina Galleries’ beautiful Mauna Lani venue.

I felt wholeheartedly embraced by gallery Director Chris Cornis and sales consultants Kim Norman and Stephanie Ansley.
The spacious gallery is situated in the Shops at Mauna Lani and beautifully presents Lahaina Galleries’ many talented artists.

Mahalo to Chris, Kim and Stephanie for an exciting and successful first visit to the gallery!

Chris Cornis, Lahaina Galleries Mauna Lani Director

The Island of Hawaii impressed me with its wide open vistas and immense natural diversity.

It is the third largest island in Polynesia, and with the lava flows of Mauna Loa and Kilauea, it continues to grow larger every year. 

I am awestruck by the vast history of this planet and how the dynamic forces of nature conspire to create life. Last summer in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides I touched some of the oldest rock formations on the planet.

Now I was walking amongst lava flows just a few years old, and fresh coral beaches in the making.

And Life seizes at the opportunity to establish a foothold….

with time and the elements forming the splendid beaches, forests and grassy hillsides of all but four of the planet’s climate zones.

Sun lounging sea turtle on Puako’s beach

Hawaiian sea turtles grazing on the reefs of Puako

Although my first visit was only three days, I was able to get a glimpse of the amazing beauty of this island and feel a profound sense of human and natural history.

It is easy to see how the original inhabitants of this island found all they needed to survive, and thrive to further settle the rest of the Hawaiian islands. 

The view was as splendid then as it is now…..

The ancient fish ponds of Mauna Lani, still in use to this day.

Aloha Island of Hawai’i…

My first visit was too short but abundantly sweet.

Sunset in Hawi town

You are indeed the Big Island with enormous natural diversity, a deep culture and big hearted people, all of which I encountered, and left me so beautifully inspired.

Mahalo, I’ll be back c:

“Hawaiiana Red Ginger II” 28″x16″ oil on canvas at Lahaina Galleries

“Hawaiiana Red Ginger I” 28″x16″ oil on canvas at Lahaina Galleries

Hawaiian Sunset Bliss 12″x4″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Hula Heaven Hibiscus” 20″x20″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Kona Coffee” 10″x10″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Trade Wind Palm” 16″x8″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

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"

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.

"Asparagus Standing"  Oil on Board  15cm x 15cm

“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

sunflower-field-painting

“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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Homage to a Wisteria

This time of year the wisteria is a phenomenon here in Tuscany. It is a breathtaking spectacle seen throughout the region as the carefully maintained blooms adorn grand villas and bring their elegant grace to the most rustic of farm houses.

Molino 2012

Molino’s ancient wisteria is ill.  It should be in full glorious bloom, but this year it seems the excessive rains have rotted its grand old roots. Its blossoms are few and wan, desperate bees attempting to pollinate are confused, as are we.

Molino 2008

It saddens me deeply to see what was such a vigorous plant over the years now look weak and sickly.
The highlight of spring has always been its prodigious blooming over our loggia with heady fragrance and spectacular color. John spends many hours trimming back the vines during the course of year as it has always been such and active plant, and now it seems so quiet and still.
Over the years, our wisteria’s blossoms inspired my many paintings with its sensuous textures, beguiling shapes and fascinating patterns.

“Lilac and Wisteria Symphony” oil painting 24″x 28″

“Wisteria Doorway” 24″x 30″ oil painting

Somehow, our garden here at Molino always teaches us lessons which are relevant to the grander scheme of our lives.
Deep inside this Ciuffenna river valley is a little microcosm of Nature, and in this place over 500 years ago man interjected his will to live. Someone chose this spot to build our house, using only the native stone, sand and wood that they found in the vicinity.
Nature is constantly trying to reclaim Molino, the animals and plants surrounding us eager to fill in the little vacuum of order we attempt to maintain.
It makes me think of my high school physics lessons where I learned of entropy.
Simply put, it’s that law of thermodynamics and how the universe works to constantly bring disorder out of order. Yet, observing disorder is a matter of perspective, someone’s disorder is another’s order.
So why am I constantly fighting this urge to make my human order out of an overwhelmingly powerful Nature, who has ideas of what she considers order?

Ratso and Johnny’s water sculpture 2005

It may be a bad year for our wisteria due to the wet winter, but it is by far the most glorious year for our lilacs. The cherry trees are exploding with blossoms. The wildflowers spectacular.
I find such satisfaction in this as I gather lilacs for my next still-life paintings, and a silent prayer of healing for our wisteria.
The wisdom of our little garden speaks, sometimes so softly, I’ve only to listen.

Renzo, 2012

“Settignano Wisteria” 24″x28″ oil painting

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Autumn’s Glory and Halloween in Tuscany!

Caroline Zimmermann, Firenze, Autumn 2011

Enchanted October! The Sun continues to shine and spectacular days unfold as autumn colors here in Tuscany are the best they’ve been in years. The fabulous weather continues to draw us outside.. filming for John’s independent film Terroir
and a pleasant distraction from my work: a return visit from our dear friend Mike Dunn from Santa Barbara.
Time spent with Mike is consumed with re-tracing old wine tasting routes through Chianti,
visiting friends and of course the practice of Il Dolce di Far Niente… the sweetness of doing nothing, save occupying ourselves with the tasting of some very fine wines.

Click here to view the full post. (It’s on my previous blog space!)