Sunday, January 15, 2017

​​Artnotes: Right on the Edge

Uniform, Palazzo Mirto Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  12 x 8"   30 x 20cm  195.00

We’re living on via Tavolo Tondo.   Ours is an historic building with a grand pink marble staircase, and deep green painted doors, which we duck to fit through.  Our street is cobbled, and about two doors away lives a family, behind another short door.  The glass is broken from their window and they have a red patterned curtain in its place.  I never see inside, but hear riotous laughter, or bloodcurdling shouting and screaming, from what seems to be at least three children.   Across the narrow street are hooks where they keep their groceries and hang their laundry.  In the evening or early morning I’ve been startled by the father of the family leaning out through the curtain, smoking.  The doorway dips in just enough I can’t see when I am coming up on him, but I can actually feel his warmth and smell his smokiness as I pass by.  It seems too close to speak to him, and I try to allow him, them, some privacy to lead their lives. Palermo is this, right on the edge.

​​Fountain  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  12 x 8"  30 x 20cm 175.00

I am glad to be here when there are still Sicilians living here.  I say that because Palermo’s old town has been designated a UNESCO site.  I fear buildings, like ours, which is still pretty funky, but somewhat cleaned up, will all become the dread Airbnb buildings.  Right now, I can still see people’s wash on the clothes line, and men (my age) garnishing a euro for watching someone’s car.  Young people hang out in cafes before school.   There are markets on the street, selling fresh fish and vegetables, but nearly as many selling selfie sticks and iphone covers.  None of them sell long underwear and raincoats, which I REALLY want.  It’s never cold or rainy HERE.

​From the window of the Capella  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  24 x 17"   60 x 40 cm  275.00

We’re having a wonderful time.  It hasn’t been ideal weather, but that’s ok.  We are painting from windows as needed, and use an occasional photo.   When we ducked into an archeological museum, the guards let us bring Harika in.  After she chummed up to them, they let her visit the museum, if we carried her in our arms.   I like being forced inside to listen to one man’s idea of how this chapel, featuring both muqarnas and norman vaulting, was used.  You remember Berlusconi?  he asks me.  Here, sit in this chair and take a picture, it’s perfect.  The Arabo-Normanno roots of Sicily are fascinating.  The smoking man in the doorway has blue eyes.

Beach at Mondello   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  12 x 21"   30 x 55cm   275.00

​If you’d like to know more about here, and our trip, visit my blog. I give a day-by-day travelogue of what’s doing.

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