Sunday, May 19, 2024

Artnotes: Permanent Change

 


 Pea Blossoms  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00
 

We drove to Stimigliano this week, and took up residence at our Roman house.  We always get a warm reception by the locals, wishing us “Bentornato”: welcome back.   It makes me smile.   Coming back to Stimigliano is like tuning in a regular TV show, and we arrive to find bits of news.

 Red Edged Begonia   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00

Isabel has painted her door the same color green as my studio’s; the jasmine are in bloom on via Dante (it smells like Tunisia); there are birthday and anniversary cards in our mailbox (bills, too). One of the dogs in the borgo died, and his mother and I embrace.  Berlino, who wasn’t always nice to her, looks on, almost fondly.  Mario Bagordo’s futurist art chapel got a new door – we were hoping for glass, but just to have a new, solid enclosure is positive.    One day the chapel will be recognized as the gem that it is.

We know more people in this tiny village than up North.  People are warmer, happier, more “Italian” down here. We might stay here all the time someday, if the health care situation improves, and we find a yard for Berlino.  With any luck, life will be long and we’ll get to spend more time here in Berlino’s old age (he’s just 3 or 4).  I found a nearby dog training center and vacation kennel we’ll visit this week.  Blair and I would both like to make a trip to Seattle, together.
Red Rose  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas 15 x 18"   38 x 45cm  450.00  

There are more and more “stranieri” in Stimigliano.  When we first bought our apartment, Margherita, from Chile, and us were the only non-Italian born residents living in the borgo.    I face this globalization with mixed feelings.  I like being in an old, idyllic Italian town.   

Of course, the opportunity to speak occasional English is nice -- and it’s not only English, there are Germans and South Americans, Dutch, Koreans, Indians and Africans. We remain the only Americans. We are all bunched together in our foreign-ness.  There is a big push now to make this town grow, to cash in on the charm. It’s like holding a bubble: to capture it is to break it.  

Orchid   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00
Meanwhile, I cling to the “Salve” and “Ciao Berlino”-s uttered by residents as old as ourselves.   As Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher said some 2500 years ago: “There is nothing permanent except change”.
Peppers  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper 20 x 17"   50 x 43cm  275.00
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Pessemier's Sunday Salon
Weekly on Sunday  No Reservation Necessary
 

How it works: Bring a piece of your ART: that could be visual, like painting or printmaking; or literary, as in poetry or prose; or crafts, like metalwork or knitting; or food, or music.  Something you made, or feel particularly inspired by.  You have about 5 minutes to present, and we'll ooh, ahh, or answer questions you have.  You can also come and see how we work before diving in.  Just show up on Zoom at a minute or two before the hour.   
No selling, no networking until after everyone has presented.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88093708954?pwd=M04zNHB4dFZkREp3bThweUd1YnVDZz09

Meeting ID: 880 9370 8954 Passcode: 886402

Rome 8PM; NY 2 PM; LosAngeles 11AM 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Artnotes: Heaven is a Place on Earth

 


 Dog Rose   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00

 

The other morning I woke up and tried to look at the weather report.   When I illuminated my screen, the phone burst into “heaven is a place on earth”, accompanied by a film of a German shorthaired pointer (Berlino’s closest breed relative) dashing about a field in Eastern Washington.  It was ever so much better than seeing the weather report.

 Red Roses in a Vase   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00

Berlino wakes every day in a state of joy.   He gets up, shakes his giant jowls (it’s like a round of applause), and jumps off the bed, waiting to be let out.   I, on the other hand, wake up worrying about completely useless things like renewing my driver’s license; did I pay the gas bill; should I adopt Berlino’s brother Denver.  Honesty, I wish I woke up like my dog.   Blue heaven is a place on earth.

Long Eggplant  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00  

Blair turned 72 this week.  We went out for a delicious Chinese lunch and bought him the new briefcase he wanted.   At the same thrift store, we got THE best ever tabletop easel covered in shells, that seemed like it had been sitting in Neptune’s living room for at least 72 years.  It will be harder for Blair to renew his driver’s license these days.  There’s nothing like thwarting old folks.

Fork/Object   Blair Pessemier  Wood  10"  25cm
My best friend from high school turns 70 this month.  Her goal is to be the youngest looking 70 year old in the world.  My thoughts immediately turn to turtles, one of whom I saw on the Instagram just turned 140.  He didn’t look a day over 25, near as I could tell.
The best news I got this week was that Berlino’s brother, Denver, who’s been in the klink for almost 4 years, got the call, and went to live in a “forever” (god willing) home.  It gave me a tremendous relief.  And I wrote a poem about it.
After nearly four years
Denver got the call.

A beautiful woman
inside and out,
Rescued him from
his cage

Does it matter
who we love?
Man, dog, child,
Mother Nature

We all need
LOVE
Blue Heaven is
a place on Earth
Berlino hoping the rain stops...

to see his brother Denver's "rescue" click here.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Artnotes: Progress

4 May 2024  Roccamalatina, MO  ITALIA
 Iris  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00
 

We drove to the beach on Friday – not one of those perfect turquoise-water places, but the closeby, rainbow light, dog-beach at Porto Garibaldi on the Adriatic.   One drives to Bologna, on to Ferrara, and voila – the sea is out there.  Crossing the Po Delta, we saw lots of flamingoes, in and around the risotto ponds.  There are actually 6 species of flamingoes, and these near Ravenna are migrating up from Africa, stopping in Italy.       Berlino was duly impressed with the beach (we didn’t stop to show our bird dog the flamingoes) and he dragged us a good kilometer, with his goofy smiling face leading the way.   He finally dug a hole and laid down. 

 Tuna Can  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  SOLD

There were a few people, like us, embracing the sunshine after a week of rain.   I have never seen so much rain here before this year.  The garden is jung le-y.  And it’s fairly cool outside.  I am not complaining as we sit on the brink of a hotter than ever summer.   We are fighting an ant invasion as they leave their flooded homes; we use salt and laurel leaves, which actually look kind of pretty surrounding the windows.  Next we will paint our window casings “no fly” blue. 

 Blossoming Iris   Blair  Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  16 x  12 "   40 x 30cm  450.00   

I am reading Homer’s Odyssey at the moment.  I hadn’t read it for fifty years, and this translation is ever so much better.   Dawn is no longer “rosy-fingered”, but places her rosy fingers on the earth, which sounds better.  Pallas Athena seems sexy.  Little is actually known about Homer, a one-named writer.  I tell myself there were fewer people alive then, so maybe you only needed one name, like having a four digit phone number in the 1950s.

Eglise Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh Village/Paris Collection)  Blair PESSEMIER  Acrylic/inen   18 x 10.5"  45 x 27cm   450.00
Progress has been made on selling our Paris paintings (although I did almost get scammed this week on Instagram, and had to change all passwords).  We sent about 20 paintings to a reseller at the flea market at Porte de Vanves.  He’ll be there today with our work.  Jean-Jacques is his name, and his wife Claudine.  They are near the center of the market, and sold a lot of our things in the past; we bought a lot from them for our Paris apartment, too.  People go to the flea market to buy, as opposed to just being Olympic game fans – that sounds right to me.
We are also selling a painting each with a group in California called Smack-Happy, which includes artwork on websites.  Read about it here:
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Weekly on Sunday  No Reservation Necessary
 

How it works: Bring a piece of your ART: that could be visual, like painting or printmaking; or literary, as in poetry or prose; or crafts, like metalwork or knitting; or food, or music.  Something you made, or feel particularly inspired by.  You have about 5 minutes to present, and we'll ooh, ahh, or answer questions you have.  You can also come and see how we work before diving in.  Just show up on Zoom at a minute or two before the hour.   
No selling, no networking until after everyone has presented.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88093708954?pwd=M04zNHB4dFZkREp3bThweUd1YnVDZz09

Meeting ID: 880 9370 8954 Passcode: 886402

Rome 8PM; NY 2 PM; LosAngeles 11AM 

 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Artnotes: An Old Friend

 

The Blue Horse    Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  17 x 23.5"   43 x 60cm  275.00

I have been writing poems lately.   It feels more comfortable than painting right now.  Painting can make me feel exhausted.  It’s not holding the brush, but the feeling of moving what I am seeing from my brain onto the paper or canvas. Is it good enough?   With the poetry, it flows, and as it does, more flows.  It’s not good enough, but I don’t care.

On the way to Bologna today, I explained this all to Blair, who is a much more fluid person than me, and does what comes naturally.   I think this is the difference between type A and type B people.  I am compelled to paint or write poetry or cook food for 14 people like a madwoman.   I am not abandoning painting, just rethinking it until I can see through.

at the museum Raccolte di Cardinale Giacopo Lercaro

At 9AM, we were on our way to the “Raccolte di Cardinale Giacomo Lecaro”, an art museum attached to an art residence.  When we got there, the woman at the desk told us Cardinal Lercaro (d. 1976 at 84 years) was a most unusual man, and she hoped we would enjoy the museum.  We did.    There were many unusual items from fossils, to work by Picasso, to Renaissance madonnas, and very contemporary sculpture.  We were the only visitors, and the museum was free (donations accepted).

Of course, when I got home I had to look up Lercaro, and he was a very unusual man.  He was nearly elected pope, and would have been a pope very much like the current Francesco.  Lercaro’s motto, which he had inscribed upon the altar of the Cathedral of San Pietro in Bologna, was, “If we share the bread of heaven, how can we not share our bread here on earth?”   He had 70 underprivileged students living with him, and he was an outspoken liberal, a bit like Bernie Sanders.  His undoing was his opposition to the Vietnam War, when he was asked to step down by the pope.  You can just imagine how good it felt to know about all this, and visit the museum, and think you found an old friend.  

Wildflowers   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  17 x 23.5"   43 x 60cm  275.00

I wished hard for
something to do
not just today
but always 

A river of words
started to build
Filling with ideas,
expressions

Until it spilled
over the edge
And splashed
Into this great pool of Poetry

  The Pool    Laurie Pessemier  acrylic/canvas16 x 18"  40 x 46cm    550.00
 
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How it works: Bring a piece of your ART: that could be visual, like painting or printmaking; or literary, as in poetry or prose; or crafts, like metalwork or knitting; or food, or music.  Something you made, or feel particularly inspired by.  You have about 5 minutes to present, and we'll ooh, ahh, or answer questions you have.  You can also come and see how we work before diving in.  Just show up on Zoom at a minute or two before the hour.   
No selling, no networking until after everyone has presented.

Join Zoom Meeting
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Rome 8PM; NY 2 PM; LosAngeles 11AM 


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Artnotes: Miracle

 

Yelow Flower in Spa Bottle  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/cardboard  14 x 10"   35 x 25cm  190.00


Miracle of miracles, after 30+ years of living in the European Union, Blair and I finally got a 10 year visa. We are good to stay until 2033, God willing we are still alive.  It’s ironic, no?  In any case, it is cause to  celebrate, or at least to breathe a long sigh of relief.

It’s a funny feeling, and our first impression is:  do we really want to be here?  We have a permit of long stay for the European Union.    Italy? France?  or someplace else?

I thought at once of a Polish/French friend from Paris, whose family would clandestinely visit Poland, under cover, to see family.  As soon as the iron curtain was lifted, they never visited again.

Shadrak, Meshak and Abednego   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acyrlic/cardboard   17.5 x 21"  44 x 53cm
in my pizza oven

 

I can’t really imagine my life will be so different, although there is a certain peace of mind knowing one can’t be thrown out of Italy without good reason; that I can invest in being able to stay here, or elsewhere in Europe.

Tree Woman   

Today at the Questura, Blair and I were very much the odd men out.  People stared at us, and I realized for the first time, maybe we were the only white people wanting to live in Italy; or maybe the only old people.  I stared back at them, amazed at how interesting we all were to one another.   Black skin, yellow skin, chattering, silent, all of us dressed in Italian clothes, with telephones.  The man ahead of me in line turned and spoke to me in English.  I wanted to take a picture of us, all from someplace else hoping for the same positive outcome.

Blalr's Carved Spoon 10"  25cm long
Times change.  Our best friends in Paris, Thierry and Quentin, have both passed; my girlfriend/illustrator Y, who I painted with almost daily, has moved to the countryside.   A friend we made here in Modena invited us to her house to celebrate.  At 9:30 this morning we were drinking champagne.  Viva Italia!

Life goes on, and new friends and ideas flood our lives.    We take long walks with our Italian dog, Berlino, and eat pasta daily.    Blair is carving wood, I am writing poems.  We’ve made friends from America, online, who have already visited with us in Bologna.   The flowers are blooming and we’re getting ready to barbecue in our yard. 
Is it Dinnertime?  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  17 x 23.5"   43 x 60cm  275.00
My dog rolls in the grass
Smells like the outdoors
He scratchs in the night 
I dream of the woods
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INVITING All Artists to present their Work:   Paint, Literature, Crafts, Food....


Pessemier's Sunday Salon
Weekly on Sunday  No Reservation Necessary
 

How it works: Bring a piece of your ART: that could be visual, like painting or printmaking; or literary, as in poetry or prose; or crafts, like metalwork or knitting; or food, or music.  Something you made, or feel particularly inspired by.  You have about 5 minutes to present, and we'll ooh, ahh, or answer questions you have.  You can also come and see how we work before diving in.  Just show up on Zoom at a minute or two before the hour.   
No selling, no networking until after everyone has presented.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88093708954?pwd=M04zNHB4dFZkREp3bThweUd1YnVDZz09

Meeting ID: 880 9370 8954 Passcode: 886402

Rome 8PM; NY 2 PM; LosAngeles 11AM 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Artnotes: How Broad Life is

 Tulip   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/paper  23.5 x 17"   60 x 43cm  275.00
 

It’s hard to eclipse the ECLiPSE for news this week.  It was a non-event in Europe, where we didn’t have as much as a blink, but as my heart is often in the USA, I paid attention.

The eclipse has always been a major event in my life.  I experienced a total solar eclipse with friends, Yo and Del, in Eastern Washington state in 1979.  It was a moment of big change in my life:  I had just moved to Seattle, and my serious adult life had just started.  A couple of months later I met Blair and my life was changed forever.   Blair and I experienced our next solar eclipse together in Paris, France in 1994.  It was May, and the eclipse could be seen through the arch of the Arc de Triomphe.  To view the eclipse, I had built a box camera, the only one on the street, it seemed, and a photographer took my picture for the newspaper.  We joined another hundred-some thousand people on the Champs Elysees, and while it wasn’t a total eclipse it was enough to catapult our lives into Europe.   Our most recent (partial) eclipse viewing was in 2017, while we were vacationing at Hemlock Lodge in Winsted, Connecticut.  It marked the last summer we visited with my Dad.  I watched the progress of the eclipse through the shadow of the leaves on the tree near the porch.

Cherry Tree    Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 12"  40 x 30 cm  450.00

While I know all of these events are the result of science and mathematics, there is a certain mysticism about them, too.  Maybe it just draws our attention, and in the words of Ram Dass, make us “Be Here Now”. It preserves the experience in amber.  

 Blossoming  Laurie Fox  Pessemier   Acrylic/cardboard  20 x  27.5 "   50 x 70cm  375.00   

Right now, I am shifting my focus slightly from painting to writing.  I have been making poems that I hope to put into book form this summer.  I am finding so much inspiration in nature, from wild flowers to my dog; experiences with people and memory.  I continue to be astonished at how broad life is, and the turns it can take. 

Lilacs   Laurie Fox  Pessemier   Acrylic/paper 17 x 23.5"   43 x 60cm  275.00