Sunday, January 07, 2018


 Harika  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm  

Harika with a bird's nest on her back  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm  

Gardens, Villa Farnese  Blair Pessemier Acrylic/canvas panel  8 x 12"  20 x 30cm 

 Cherub sculpture, Villa Farnese  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm  

 Venice: a Revelation   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm 
Sea Monster  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm

A fresco of Sea Travel at the Villa Farnese, Caprarola

Epiphany:  a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

Today (6 January) is the feast of the Epiphany, celebrated to the ultimate here in Italy.  Of course, we’re not celebrating the word epiphany, but rather the arrival of the Magi at Bethlehem.  To bring it down yet another peg, the Befana, a good witch, will disperse gifts to children today in towns all over Italy.  I have never gotten into the “witchiness” or ugliness of things – I even had a hard time with that movie “Nanny McPhee”. Santa Claus used to scare me to tears.

Somehow, I’ve always liked the pageantry of the “kings”.  I have a wardrobe of sparkly dress-up clothes that I hardly ever wear, sometimes on holidays.  For my curry dinner I wore my “Dolly Parton goes Bollywood” sparkle jacket.  I didn’t have any revelations like the Magi, but hey, today is the day:  anything can happen.

I have had epiphanies in past.  They have come in the form of “wake up calls” to do with health, or when the spirit has spoken to me at the beach, or in an especially quiet moment, or a stressful moment.   I have learned through these to celebrate life as much as I can: birthdays, holidays, or just this day is call for a “festa”.  I’ve changed paths.   And I have learned to have faith.

I have been plagued this last week by sea monsters:  When I visit with American friends, there is always big talk of having enough [money] for retirement.  People (who are well intentioned, worry about us) ask if we’re “OK”, etc.  It lets worry enter my picture, and it’s heck to get it out.

I feel we are probably as well off as anyone else.  In fact, I have always been able to find a way to make a living.   But sea monsters, like worries, are never easily reasoned with.  One has to trick one’s way out and swim clear.

We went to the Villa Farnese at Caprarola this week.  It was a country home built by the Farnese family in the mid 1500s.  It started out at the beginning of that century as a fort, but in the 1550 or so, was turned into a home.   It had incredible mannerist style murals throughout, and a map room which included all the continents, amazingly accurate.   There was a tribute to Amerigo Vespucci.

The gardens themselves were a fabulous treat.  There were sea monsters and grottos, and giants.   The layout of the land was ideal for seeing vistas, and I plan a painting foray there “en plein air”.  Some of today’s pictures were memories aided by photos. 

It’s hard to have an epiphany in the house.  I need to cross a desert to find my next bright idea. The Befana will be in Stimigliano’s square this afternoon, I might venture a look.

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