Saturday, September 03, 2016

Artnotes: Touched to the Heart

 Montepulciano   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   8 x 20"  2 x 50cm
 Montepulciano in the distance   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   12 x 20    30 x 50cm
 Cortona Italia   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  18 x 14    45 x 35cm
Lucky Gypsy Plants   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/antique ship log   8 x 14  20 x 35cm
 Harika in the Yard    Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/wood   7 x 9.5"   18 x 24cm
Sunrise with Ludovico's house   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   14 x 18"  35 x 45cm

Artnotes:   Touched to the Heart

As we pulled up to park at our Italian lessons on Friday, there was a horse on the sidewalk adjacent.  She was a beautiful white horse, with a whiskery chin and delicate spots.  She had  three or four extra long eyelashes around her eyes.  The man, who looked like he had been with her a long time, stroked her head, reassuring her.  He kissed her on the nose.   I sat in the car while Blair made a run up the street to the Centro di Frutta, to buy juice.

The rider told me he never used a car.  “I am horse” he told me, in an oddly accented English.  I asked if she were an appaloosa.  My friend in Montecorone has appaloosas and I imagined she could be related.  “No” he answered, “she is part Romanian and part Andalusian.  I leave her free on my land.”  We chatted a bit about the area, animals.     I felt the luckiness of the horse and the man, and could faintly smell her grassi-ness.   He started singing a song to her about a “cavallo” (horse, in Italian).

Blair returned and I wished them Buona Sera, proceeding into the community center at Zocca for the lesson.   It was too hot to use the conference room so we sat in the entry way, with an assortment of tables and chairs.  Students trickled in.

Kone arrived and handed me a plastic bag.  Kone is a tailor, looking for work, living in Zocca, hoping someday to bring his wife from Mali.   We copy off one another's’ papers from time to time.   He speaks and understands Italian better than I do, but I am a better writer.

I looked into the bag.  He made me a shirt/dress!   It was of green flowered fabric with a deep purple-red striped lining.  I held it up.  It fit!  Thank you, thank you I told him: a million times thank you.  It was such a surprise, and I was touched to the heart with his kindness.  I honestly don’t know when anyone ever made me such a nice present.

Sometimes, at school, I have the impression these young people think of us as parents.   I am so honored by their respect and friendliness.   I think we all go to class as much to see each other as to learn Italian.

We missed class on Monday, when we drove to Cortona (south of Florence) to talk to someone about tutoring a painting workshop.  It was a wonderful trip, and made me sure we would be teaching painting workshops once again, here or there, or a variety of places in Italy.   Our video and a link to our painting workshop site follow. 

This morning after coffee we ran into Piero, one of our early friends here.  “Do you think you’ll stay much longer?” he asks.  At least seven more years, we tell him.

Pessemier Workshops - ITALY

Laurie and Blair Pessemier

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