Orchids from the Gypsy Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 10 x 12" 25 x 30cm
The Metal Bridge Blair Pessemier Acrylic/linen 18 x 24" 40 x 60cm
Blossoms in the Yard Blair Pessemier Acrylic/linen 12 x 12" 30 x 30cm
Crabapple in a big blue Vase Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 10 x 19" 25 x 50cm
The Green Metal Bridge Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/linen 12 x 10.5" 30 X 50cm
At the bottom of the big hills leading to Modena, there is a pull-off by the side of the road. It was here I stopped to await further instruction as to Blair’s whereabouts. The phone connection was feeble while he was on the train, and I didn’t know if he would be in Bologna or Parma. He was on his way home from the USA, training from Milan.
I rolled down all of the windows; it’s been pretty warm. Then I heard the most peculiar sound; actually many sounds. It sounded like New Year’s Eve noise-makers. Harika wasn’t flinching, so I knew it wasn’t dangerous. Frogs. It was frogs, at the side of the Panaro river. I spent some time there, listening, to the frogs and for the telephone ring.
It brought me back to the days we would paint at Giverny in April and May. The frogs would create a cacophony so distracting, it was hard to keep one’s mind on painting. They would be in Monet’s waterlily pond. And exactly at the moment the sun would drop below the horizon, they would all stop croaking.
It was the same with Cicadas in the South of France: their trigger was temperature. The din would be intolerable – it didn’t surprise me Van Gogh had a breakdown there. I couldn’t stand it myself. But, like the frogs, the sound would disappear in a flash, when the temperature fell below a certain degree, right about dark.
Finally, an email came through on my phone: Bologna. Harika and I fired up the cream puff and drove off, lickety split to retrieve our fearless leader.
We are going to try to go to Monet’s garden to paint once again: we’ll be keeping Harika’s friend, Atlas, company in Paris in early May.