Artnotes Italy Daily

Sunday, November 05, 2017

The State of Food

  Capricorn  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10.5 x 18"  27 x 46cm  
 Goats  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10.5 x 18"  27 x 46cm  
  Hills near Florence  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10.5 x 18"  27 x 46cm  
 Brunelleschi  Laurie Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  8 x 19.5"   20 x 50cm  

On Wednesday we painted a picture of our friends’ goats.  Five of them:  Willow, Freckle, Geraldine, Myrtle and ? (maybe it’s better I don’t name them).   I am a Capricorn, myself, and relate to the passive yet strong character. At least three were expecting kids, and were a trifle misshapen on this account.  I love the sideways pupils in their golden eyes, the beards, their horns: and they smelled really good to me, like young nanny goats, not stinky billies.

Apparently, the wolf felt the same way, and he murdered the most pregnant one and stole her baby that night.  My friend contacted me in the morning, very sad and upset.  It upset me, too.  I lived in the city of Paris for twenty years, and honestly, this sort of thing is out of my realm.  We all like to act like how wonderful nature is, but in fact it is brutal.  I was happy that the late Geraldine, the dark one, was so prominent in both of our paintings.

Thursday found us at the Florence airport as we watched two boys and their mother sort waste from their snack at the triage can.  There was heavy discussion about the aluminum foil that their sandwiches were wrapped in.  One put it in “mixed” and the other in “metal” before the family shuffled off to the panoramic lounge.  Their Dad’s flight was delayed, as was our friend’s.  The cleaning crew came along, and emptied the three sorted garbage bags all into the same bin.  

We have a friend visiting from Fairbanks, Alaska, which happens to be the sister city to Fanano, a town right nearby Rocca Malatina.  The cities are related because a miner from Fanano struck gold in Fairbanks in the early 1900s.   I like to think he brought the gold to be worked in Florence, a city famous for its gold-working.

We went to Florence a bit early, to get a painting in.  We are always drawn to the Piazza Michelangelo where we overlook the Arno and the city.  I often paint the same thing, because Brunelleschi’s dome is so incredibly beautiful.  We are hoping to stop in Florence on Monday or Tuesday.  I plan to see Michelangelo’s Dawn and Dusk that I missed the last time.  Each time I see Florence I like it more and more.  Being there off-season is essential.

We’re cooking and eating marvelous food this week (quail with preserved pears; duck with cherries)– our friend comes to us as a former restaurant design client.   We see her every few years to talk about the state of food.

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