Saturday, June 02, 2018

Something to Talk About

 Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/newspaper  17 x 24"   41 x 63cm

 Bottle toppers in Terra Cotta  Laurie Fox Pessemier   app.  2 x 2"  5 x 5cm

Because I used to speak to my father every day, I made a point of finding and remember little odd bits of experience I would have, to add to conversation.   Some of that would end up here in Artnotes, but some was too trivial, or too personal, to put into writing.

Nonetheless, this week was chock-a-block with those sorts of things.  First, we went to a fabulous lecture by a Princeton professor at Blair’s alma mater, Notre Dame, in Rome.  He spoke, like a living book, about the “Winged Vision” of the architect/antiquarian Alberti.  I love Alberti’s Maltesta Temple in Rimini – one of my favorite pieces of early Renaissance architecture.   Alberti specialized in adaptive reuse of buildings, and he adored the OLD church, and past celebrations:  the soulful, rather than the ornate pageantry.

When we came out at 7:30, the city of Rome was bathed in that southern Italian golden light exclusive to the area.   Churches and buildings, formerly overlooked, were spotlighted in the light of precious metal.  I hoped for a traffic jam (we drove a rental car, as the cream puff is in for serious repairs).  It was all breathtaking, the light, the buildings (under the aqueduct adjacent to the Coliseum), the driving itself.

Later in the week, I arranged an escapade to the river, where I hope to launch my painting boat.  Blair’s idea of renting a painting boat is gaining ground – no responsibility.  We pulled the Fiat Panda in along the Tevere (Tiber) river at Nazzano, near Farfa, about 20 minutes from our house.  We were the only people driving along the dirt road giving way to boat launches and picnic areas.  Lush greenery hung out over the river.  The boats only give tours on weekends, but it was great to see. 

We stopped at an Agroturismo restaurant, not open on Tuesday, but saw a couple of juvenile boar, still with their striped coats, milling about the restaurant.  The idea of Agrotourism is that all the food comes from less than a kilometer away, and these wild fellows might have been marked.  They were outrageously adorable, and thankfully Harika slept through the experience.

Blair painted room names on the doors of a local B+B this week:  Deluxe, King, Gold.  I drew more pictures of locals in the streets.  Because it is so hot in Stimigliano, everyone sits outside most of the afternoon and evening.  Harika and I sat in a café with Mario, our neighbor; he practiced his presentation on the the Rolling Stones and music from the sixties on us.  It’s quite a thing to see, this gathering of humanity, maybe 75 people of all ages clustered around the piazza, the old folks visiting on shaded benches, the kids playing in the sun.   Cliff swallows screech overhead, pigeons coo, and like the people on the benches, the crows cluster on the bastions of our castello, some chattering.

I still talk to my father when I am alone in the car or my room and I tell him the extra things I don’t mention here.  It gives the mosquitoes something to talk about.

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