Sunday, May 07, 2023

Artnotes: Retirement


Spring (inspired by Botticelli)   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/oil pastel/canvas   36 x 23.5"   92 x 60 cm  695.00
I alternate between thinking I will ace this upcoming Italian language test and imagining dismal failure. I can carry on a fairly lengthy conversation and then I don't understand the simplest question.  When I came to Italy, I only imagined speaking Italian -- not writing, or conjugating all 21 tenses of the verbs.   In December, 2021, a law was passed requiring foreign residents to pass a language test to renew their visa for more than one year.

So, every free moment this busy week was spent studying.  How can our week be that busy?  Well, we painted our new gallery, finished up a few new art pieces and hung a show:  Exhibit for a King.   Blair remastered his Norman farmer into King Charles, and painted the crown.   I abandoned the animals in favor a “Primavera” a la Botticelli.  No one in Italy had seen the results of our French Art Residency, so we hung that work on our walls.  We had three walk-ins the first afternoon who were clearly and pleasantly surprised.
Crowned!   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  39.5 x  25.5"   100 x 65 cm  695.00     Crown 12 x 12"  30 x 30cm  350.00
I am talking up a storm in Italian, in preparation for the big testing event next Saturday morning at 7:30 AM in Modena (we’ll need to leave before 6:30).  Most Italians I talk to feel they couldn’t necessarily pass the test – if one if over 50 years old, the thought of taking any test of knowledge seems daunting.  We both passed a higher level French test associated with citizenship, but that was a good ten years ago – the little grey cells were fresher.  I will have to buy #2 pencils, a couple of sharpeners and erasers.   
The New Gallery:  959 via d'Azeglio in Rocca Malatina
Blair has two new art commissions, very fun ones, he is working on.  We hope the gallery results in more portrait commissions for him.   We zoomed with a young relative of ours this week who is thinking of taking up art as a profession.   “Our only regret is not starting sooner,” Blair announced, when we talked about what we might have done differently.    Both of us feel like we are really ahead of the trend for people trying to find meaning in their work.  For us, our art is like oxygen. 
Happy Birthday Card (inspired by Sicilian King candelabra) to Blair
The pharmacist tells me I am speaking Italian better than I used to, and we agree that is a good result of studying.  “Gosh,” she goes on as she looks at my file,” you and your husband should be enjoying your retirement."
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