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Italy

Oil painting of archway in Pienza, Tuscany, Italy by Michelle Arnold Paine

Pienza Arch Painting

By Architecture, Commissions, Italy

Pienza is a hilltop town, and past this doorway the ground drops steeply into stairs. To me this painting represents how we look at the future in this moment. We see something beautiful, but hazy right now. Because of the pandemic, it is difficult to discern how far off that landscape may actually be and how we might arrive there.

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oil painting of basilica of saint francis of assisi from uphill

New Painting of Assisi Basilica of Saint Francis

By Italy, Architecture, Art and Faith, Commissions, Painting

In a similar way, I returned to the shapes and images from my time in Assisi many times. I felt a sense of mystery in the images of rhythms of dark and light. Through drawing and painting I explored the arches of an alleyway multiple times. For me it was not simple documentation of medieval architecture. To me these passageways were like my pilgrimages themselves -a path to something beyond what was visible.

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Architectural Paintings Sacred Spaces Presence

Sacred Architecture Paintings: Building Inspiration

By Painting, Exhibits and Events, Architecture, Italy, Art and Faith

The exteriors of local churches shape the landscape of daily life-about-town, but their interiors have helped shape spiritual lives for centuries. In Europe, cavernous sacred spaces were built for throngs of religious activity, but now hold only shadows of those presences. The shapes of archways reaching towards heaven, the rhythm of dark and light passing through complex spaces inspire a sense of quiet awe and shadowy mystery.

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Orvieto and the Feast of Corpus Domini: Incarnation and the Arts

By Art and Faith, Italy

Orvieto was the birthplace for the feast of the Eucharist, called Corpus Domini, and one of the major feasts of the Catholic church. The Cathedral of Orvieto holds a treasure – a number of them, really, including frescos by Luca Signorelli, Gentile di Fabriano, and Fra Angelico. But its spiritual treasure is a relic from the Miracle of Bolsena, the miracle which was the final impetus in the church’s decision to institute the festival of Corpus Domini: “Body of the Lord”. This feast is a reminder to artists and non-artists alike that Art and Beauty can model the Incarnation in the world.

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Orvieto – Destination of the Heart

By Art and Faith, Italy

There are some experiences in life that stay with us far, far deeper and longer than measurable space and time would warrant. In my early 20s I spent three years working for the Gordon-in-Orvieto program in Orvieto, Italy. The experiences and the people continue to live so vividly within me that the distance of time and space does not seem possible.

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Annunciation after Duccio, Oil on Canvas, 6x6, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

Annunciation after Duccio

By Italy, Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin MaryNo Comments

What is the purpose of “copying” a work of art? Franklin Enspruch phrases it like this in a review of Wendy Artin’s series of watercolors of the Elgin Marbles: “She is at once paying the sculptures due homage, studying them for artistic clues, and using them to reach upward in ambition and scale.”

Somehow, in entering in to someone else’s creation, one often emerges at the other end with a clearer, renewed sense of voice and direction.

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Collaborative Student Master Studies

By Teaching, DrawingNo Comments

The compositions of frescoes by Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli (to name only a few), are so complicated they can be overwhelming for a viewer — and even more overwhelming for a student of drawing. I have found that working on a team and looking for simple moments of overlap and intersection can allow an entry point into serious investigation of some of these masterpieces.

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