Sunday, February 04, 2018


Olive on th​e Embankment   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   13 x 18 "  33 x 46cm  275.00

​Olive tree mural  Laurie Fox Pessemier  84 x 138"   214cm x 350cm


    ​Olive trees on Paper  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm  90 each or 3 for 200.00

I have finally got into the swing of 2018, and have been working on my goals.  One challenge is to finish my Art of Slow Travel book. I really don’t like doing that, and my 10 pages or 20 minute a day goal isn’t much of a motivation. 
The thing about projects that I don’t want to do, is that I can find incredibly interesting other activities. 
This week I latched onto a serious “olive tree” kick.  We live in the Sabina region, famous for its olives, its wine and its beautiful women.   There are large fields planted with new olive trees on our way to the grocery store.  It’s the time of year that the trees are being pruned, so you can really see their marvelous trunks.   All of the other trees are without leaves, so there is a clear view of the oliviers.
​So, I started painting olive trees.  They are not so easy.  After my first three attempts, I ran across a photo of a dining room painted with trees all around, and thought, “perfect for our bedroom:  olive trees”. 
I jumped right into this crazy idea, rubbing a sort of coral colored paint mix into the white plaster wall.  I wanted it to look like a fresco, a little old, rustic.   Blair convinced me that a conventional paint might do – I could still rub it in, not roller it, and have that plastered background look.  He was right.
If you’ve ever seen olive trees, you know they are extraordinarily gnarly.  The old ones (there are a few in this region over 1,000 years old) have impossible-looking, great, large bases – I skipped that bit, but let loose with the branches that take off in every which way, twisting, turning.  I was encouraged.  I painted until I got a backache. 
Today, I finished putting on the olives.  Black: a mixture of turquoise and red.  The actual olives are an almost blue-ish black, and the flesh runs deep red.   If there were to be any olives remaining on the trees now, they would be black olives.   The image itself starts about three feet off the ground.  I’ll make it dark below.
It’s been raining here for a couple of days.  We had four hours of thunder Friday night, and Harika was still trembling on Saturday afternoon.  The river is rising.  That gives me another idea.

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