Monday, June 15, 2020

Artnotes: Crab Attached

Across the Canal   Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas 13 x 16"  33 x 41cm   495.00
We spent three celebratory days in Venice last weekend:  TERRIFIC.   We rented a divine little apartment, directly on the Grand Canal, in Cannaregio, not far from the Rialto Bridge.  With a long arm, you might have touched the water outside our three (double-paned) windows.  It was decorated completely in antiques which had been in the house since its purchase by our host’s family after WWI (the palazzo itself, 17th century).  There were real Venetian glass chandeliers in every room: artwork suitable for a museum. I enjoyed reading from his huge collections of art books, spending some of the time inside, as the weather was slightly uncooperative.
Single hydrangea  Laurie Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  14 x 10" 42 x 33 cm   475.00
We could see everything, for the first time ever in Venice.  We could stand before the Doges’ Palace and look across the water.  We slowly trod streets we’d never been on, admiring Byzantine windows and boat doors; doorbells and grillwork.  We painted, we took photos.  Gondolas were minimal; we took the traghetto, the bus-gondola, across the canal, twice. There were no red-flag led tour groups, or annoying touts selling plastic gondolas.   And yes, I missed all that, just a little.

Yellow Villa Venice Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  16 x 12"  40 x 30 cm  490.00
We are really city people, and were it not for my asthma and our lack of funds, we’d live in the heart of Paris, or Rome, or even Venice.  Of course,  I am enjoying my pots of flowers and vegetables, and have very nice friends here in the country, but when I spy the street sweeper stealing a kiss with the young girl on the step in front of her house, I realize how intimate, how surprising and just how lovely the city really is.
Red House on the Rio   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas   12x12"  30 x 30cm  425.00
I had gone to Venice with the intention of buying a Selfie-Stick.  Can you believe that?  It’s true. We are having a zoom opening/art evening with our new Gallery, SOZO, in Charlotte, North Carolina, later this month and I thought the selfie stick could be helpful for the event, which meanders through our house.   Would you believe, there was NOT A SELFIE STICK to be had in this city of perpetual tourists?  
Rialto Market  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  10.5 x 18"  27 x 45cm  450.00
San Marco was completely deserted.  There were about 12 people in the square, lined up, getting their temperatures scanned in order to enter the San Marco museums.  The historic Florian, Italy’s oldest café,  was shuttered, as it had been for 3 months (I read it re-opened on 12 June, just yesterday!).  There was not a single vendor in the square, not a single PIGEON!
San Stae  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  20 x 8"  50 x 20cm  450.00
It took a little work to find a good restaurant which was open.  Although we have had some fair meals in Venice, it is not a city I associate with exceptional food.   In fact, very close to our apartment, we found the Al Cantinon, where I ate delicious ricotta gnocchi and octopus; Blair had a tiptop squid ink pasta. Venice has very fresh, wonderful Adriatic seafood.  We could see some of it in the canals, they were so sparklingly clean. While painting, I dipped my paintbrush into the canal, and I noticed as I picked it up, it was quite heavy:  a crab was attached.
Red Flowers on a Rainy Day  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  20 x 12"  50 x 30cm  450.00

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