Sunday, April 10, 2016

Artnotes: A year in Rocca Malatina

Flowering cherries from Window Above  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   12 x 12"  30 x 30cm
Brightening up the landscape   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   16 x 12"  40 x 30cm
 Montecorone with Cherries   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/wood 11.5 x 23    29 x 59cm
Monte Coronne Light and Shade  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/wood   18 x 23"  45 x 59cm
 At the Sassi   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10 x 14"  25 x 35cm
 Montalbano from Verocchio   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  18 x 15  46 x 38cm
Trees together   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   12 x 16 inches   30 x 40 cm
Spring at the Sassi  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   12 x 12"  30 x 30cm
Cherry Blossoms Garafalo   Laurie Fox Pessemier   acrylic/linen   11 x 14  27 x 35cm
 Through the Trees at Verocchio  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  16 x 12"    40 x 30cm
 New cherry  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  16 x 13   41 x 33cm
 House at the Sassi   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   16 x 12"  40 x 30cm
By the road in Garafalo   Blair Pessemier   acrylic/wood 8 x 16   20 x 40cm
Cherry Blossoms on Turquoise  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen 13 x 9  33 x 22cm

A Year in Rocca Malatina

It was just one year ago we signed the lease for this wonderful house in Rocca Malatina, Italy.  We looked at it and fell in love at once – when that happens it is hard to see things any other way.   I was sitting out on the grass with Harika today, thinking WOW, this is my yard!

This week we had a painting workshop with just one painter.  She was the perfect companion – we painted beneath both grey  and sunny skies, drank wine and dined at our table, and visited a couple of inspirational places.

It is always with mixed feelings we open our home.  It’s one thing to have a painting workshop, another to host someone.  We’ve had some doozies at Rocca Malatina in the one year we have been here.

We started out strong, painting the enormous rock outcroppings up at the Sassi di Roccamalatina.   Even I find it a daunting subject – rocks are, well, HARD.  But we powered through, and came home for lunch and a nap.  That set the precedent for the next two days of painting.

We painted trees and skies, towns and landscapes.  Mornings and late afternoons.  When it gets a little warmer, I look forward to night paintings. 

After three days behind the easel, we needed a break, and went to the castle at Vignola.  It is a masterpiece of decorative wall painting – even in the “women’s prison” tower.  Estes’ colors abound: red white and green.   You can sense the door opening to the Renaissance there.    Someone let us in to see a stairway being restored – the first round stairwell built without a central support – it was a predecessor to a grander one at the Vatican.  

We felt inspired enough to paint from the tower in our house that afternoon, looking out at trees and houses below.

The next day we went out to Salsomaggiore – and saw the positively BEST art nouveau building I have ever seen!  Salsomaggiore was a spa resort frequented in the first half of the twentieth century.  The Berziere Spa was a feast for the eyes, with hand painted walls, jewel encrusted pillars, and outstanding art nouveau brass details.   We didn’t take the waters, but may go back for that soon. We are having a show in Tabiano starting the end of this week,  for a local car company.  Tabiano is also a site for healing thermal waters.

The sun is shining this afternoon, and we look forward to more sunny days in the garden.

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