After I’ve completed a series or finished a project, I take time to begin researching and experimenting with new subjects, styles, and color palettes. If I’m lucky I happen upon something right away and am able to develop my next series of paintings. Other times, I pick up from a one-off creation that I completed in the middle of a different series and didn’t continue. I let that painting speak to me and tell me a story. Then I let that story guide me through a new body of work.
I wasn’t as lucky when I started Remnants. I had just completed a series and I was looking for where to go next. While in my studio looking for pictures that I could take inspiration from, I settled on one I had taken while hiking in Washington State. The mist over the mountains felt so relaxing that I thought it would be a great way to start a new project. After putting down a bit of grey and white clouds on a blue background, I wasn’t convinced that this was the direction I wanted to go. An artist friend suggested that I needed to add more layers. Even though I knew she was right, I also knew that it would no longer look like mist. I wasn’t ready to continue. I was afraid to continue. So I left it alone and moved onto another series. I wouldn’t revisit it again for a long time.
In July 2018 I traveled to Virginia. The environment was very different from what I was accustomed to. In my many attempts to search for new subjects to paint, I settled on something magical - the clouds. Clouds in Virginia were large and full, they felt so close I thought I could touch them, and they had beautiful rays of color shining through. Before approaching my large 40x40 inch canvas, I did two small studies on 4x4 inch canvases. I didn’t want a repeat of my Remnants failure. To my surprise, I was happy with what I created and I had the confidence to tackle the large painting. I waved my brush across the canvas, creating colorful, rolling clouds. I could feel that Sun in the Storm would be the start of a new series.
I took advantage of my momentum to create my next cloud painting on a 30x30 inch canvas. Clouds move quickly, so I had to start my painting from yet another picture. This one was from a road trip between New Jersey and Virginia. Each cloud became heavenly as I painted them full and weightless. An image came to me and so I added strong blue brush strokes around the clouds creating a wind-like atmosphere. Wind and Clouds became the next painting in my Clouds and Landscapes series.
After that I was finally ready to approach Remnants once again. I needed to be true to my style of painting and the grey mist was too dull. Instead, I added layers upon colorful layers, creating fluffy orange and peach-colored clouds, each fitting like a puzzle piece into the next.
I chose to hang these paintings at the Hanover Township Town Hall for my winter 2019 solo exhibition, “Nature Reimagined: A solo exhibition of select paintings by Francesca Bandino.” Alongside them you’ll also find select paintings from Clouds and Landscapes, Apples and Temptation, and Flowers in the Garden. For each of these paintings I spotted a colorful reflection, a hidden light, or a generally muted color and intensified it to match the feelings of the day. I consider it a brighter way to view the world. After all, colors can be found in the most unlikely of places if we’re willing to see them.