Sunday, April 17, 2016

Artnotes: Sundial

View with Cypress   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 19"  30 x 50cm

​A multitude of vintage cinquecentos (Fiat 500s) from some 40 years ago made their way by our house and up to Zocca today.  I remember hitchhiking in 1976  in Italy, and having to get out of the car so it could make it up the hill, driver only.  The new models seem like they are on steroids, at least twice the original size.

We spent a lot of time this week organizing our show for the Maserati unveiling in Tabiano, Parma, Italy.   I love driving around in Italy (wouldn’t mind doing it in a Maserati, either):  we find so many interesting things to see/do.  When we head back up to pick up any unsold images, we will “take the waters” – the salty, thermal baths in that area of Salsamaggiore.

Countryside in Springtime   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 16"  30 x 40 cm

Even the 70 minute sit-still-traffic-jam on the highway we experienced on Thursday was surprising:  everyone got out of their cars and visited with one another.   Complete strangers, laughing, joking, smoking, and then poof! Back into their cars and 130 kilometers an hour in 60 seconds.  Actually a man in our lane fell asleep.

I am so impressed with communication in Italy.  Everyone TALKS – maybe even to excess, but it is utterly enjoyable from our standpoint.  Sure, there are plenty of cell phones, but you are much more likely to see people on a corner talking, loudly, with their hands, and ample laughing.  I would describe Italy in a word:  communication. 

​Communication at the Cafe   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/panel   10 x 12"  25 x 35 cm

I have been dreaming and waking up thinking in Italian.  Blair and I always revert to English at home, which hampers us. Italian conversation with Antonella takes back up on Monday, so we will be in the progress mode again.  I am further along here than I was in French after one year.  That old wives’ tale about how much harder it is to learn languages the older you get is hogwash.

We’ve been walking in the Parco Sassi di Rocca Malatina, the big woods, near our house.  I like to get views “in” before the trees get all of their leaves and one can only see green.  Right now, purple flowers are in bloom, from violets (finishing) to grape hyacinths, wisteria and lilacs.  There are houses built right up to the giant rocks in the park, and dirt roads for miles.  We’ve been planting herbs and cosmos, marigolds and nasturtiums.

Trees up the Hill   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/wood   11.5 x 23"  29 x 59cm   

Ludovico and Fabio, in jerseys and caps, were working around the yard, fitting cuttings from the lower trees (suckers, we called them) into their belts.  The sticks looked like arrows, and they resembled Robin Hood.  “For tying grapevines”, Ludovico announced.   Nothing is wasted, all is used one way or another.  The giant haystack grows in the yard.    The two have such a romantic look around the grounds, snipping and pruning.  Today they are dressed in bee suits, corralling a swarm from the plum tree.   Although the bees are not aggressive, I wait inside.   They show Blair the swarm, in a plastic bag, destined for a new hive.

It is windy and very beautiful at the moment.  We take our lunch outdoors, but wear slippers on the still cool tile floors.   Sometimes I want to slow down the time we have here in the sunshine.  I’d like a dial to speed up time at the dentist and slow down the luxurious lunch in the sun, but my flowers might never come up.

Trees and Rock  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 12 x 12   30 x 30 cm

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