Artnotes Italy Daily

Monday, August 15, 2016


Oleander on the patio   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 16"  30 x 40cm

 Plums Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 16"  30 x 40cm
Keeping cool in the shade  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 20"  30 x 25cm

 It’s been a rocky landy here in Italy.   We had to drive ourselves from Milan to Rocca Malatina (3.5 hours after our overnight flight (9 hours)) in our un-airconditioned car on Tuesday, and the house, while intact, was not the way we left it.   I actually had to use the anger-management app on the Internet to settle myself down.  A healthy dose of scotch whiskey didn’t hurt, either.

It’s the weekend of Ferragosto, a big Italian holiday – last year we met new friends on this day, and are forever thankful.  This year, we’ve dragged all of our paintings onto the front lawn (how many people do you know with 16 easels?) and have hung our ArT flag.  We have met artists from Naples and Rome, a sculptress from just 5 miles away, and a few other curious souls.   I love doing this – do you remember Hitchcock’s “The Trouble with Harry” (Shirley McClaine’s first role)   We’re about to be discovered.

Last evening we went to a picnic at our Italian teacher’s house, with all our fellow students.  We’re the boring ones – they come from places like Mali and Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Morocco… they played drums and danced, and I felt like I was far, far away.

There will be fireworks tonight.  I wonder if they will be the new silent kind, meant to not disturb animals?  My animal doesn’t care for them, but is not as traumatized as some.  Our Jack Russell, 30 years ago, required sedatives.  

We had a new dog over here yesterday, Blanca.  She’s a white German shepherd, a “Swiss” shepherd from Serbia.  I think she weighs about 30 pounds.  Our friend dropped her into my arms, and she had that soft puppy feel and smell. I am happy to be part of her early life – we’ll always be friends now.

Harika remembers everyone from her early pack.  On our trip to the USA this year, we visited K and L, who were the first people Harika met in America.  She’s crazy about them, and we are too.  We were only in the DC area  for a day, but saw:  the new Immanuel Chapel in Alexandria, Virginia (fabulous! No expense spared, down to the candle holders); the National Cathedral in Washington, DC; and the Phillips collection, where, incidentally, the directors wore pinstripe suits.  

Each of those experiences deserves a full paragraph, at least.   At the Phillips Collection, we sat before Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party”, feeling like we were there.   There is a Milton Avery room at this lovely little museum, an absolute delight.   Marjorie Phillips’ evening baseball scene (the Washington Senators) hangs in the stairwell.   A woman interviewed us, wondering if we would like to have a special “app” to better understand the museum:  NO NO NO we told her – nothing could improve the spark that Renoir left for us.

We have one foot in the USA and the other here in Italy, but we’re leaning into this side.   Benissimo!

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