Apples off the tree Blair Pessemier Acrylic/linen 12 x 20" 30 x 50 cm
Red Apples Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 11 x 16" 27 x 41 cm
Geranium plant Blair Pessemier Acrylic/linen 16 x 11" 41 x 27 cm
Rose in a Covered Glass Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 14 x 11" 35 x 27cm
Grape Vines Laurie Fox Pessemier 12 x 12" 30 x 30cm
Trees in the Big Forest Laurie Fox Pessmeier Acrylic/linen 27.5 x 39.5 70 x 100cm
Black Chicken seeking Seeds Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 9.5 x 13 24 x 33cm
Artnotes; Don't Fence me in
On a recent foray to Vergato, to stock up on second-hand winter clothes* (we were too early – the store still in the throes of late summer and back to school), we passed by the town of Tolé. Well, we nearly passed by, but it was such a charming little town we’d thought we would have a look around for painting sites. We parked and walked around the church, the hotel – there were many B&Bs.
Blair noticed a large painting on the side of one building, of a religious ilk, that resembled El Greco. As we approached the car, I saw one on a fence, then, as I walked along, instead of finding painting subjects, we found PAINTINGS. In addition to paintings were sculptures and many bas-relief sculptures in terra-cotta, some painted. There was a relief of a car repair shop above the garage door; ladies getting their hair done outside the parrucheria, paintings of the trials of Pinocchio outside the school; and entire courtyard full of cats (sculpted, painted). We walked up to the wash house and sure, enough, an ice wintry scene in there.
It is easy to pass by the little places in favor of the broad landscape, rocks as tall as the Eiffel Tower, the sky at a full 180 degrees.
On most days, Blair and I venture out to paint. We hem and haw, like dogs finding the right place to pee, and often end up turning the car toward home, where we paint the apples, the roses… it is amazing for two Parisiens to have a yard with apples, pears, figs, walnuts, peaches and plums. Harika has taken to sitting in the car in the yard, like it is a dog house. All of us are overwhelmed.
We went to the Country Fest last weekend here in Rocca Malatina, where the locals put on a true Spaghetti Western. There was a mechanical bull, games like “how many beans are in the jar”, and music by the “Wanted” Band. We danced to Sweet Home Alabama. Everything is so good spirited, you can’t go wrong. We met folks we invited for dinner on Wednesday night.
Our life is full of many small events set in a big landscape. We are getting ready to put on our own Rocca Malatina artshow in October (10,11,12) and are printing up painting workshop brochures to distribute at Bologna and Modena hotels (come and paint with us for a day in the country). Will we ever adjust to being here? Maybe. Or not.
*Finally, why do we want second hand clothes, you ask? We are painters, and every piece of clothing we own has an errant patch of color. And one never knows when inspiration may strike – regardless of whether you are wearing your party skirt or paint-spattered khakis. I’ve taken to painting decorations on my better clothes which have been christened with paint – a silhouette of M. Hulot on my white silk pants, a garden of flowers on my raincoat.