Saturday, October 20, 2018

Artnotes: The Dog and Pony Show

Red Vines   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   8 x 20″  20 x 50cm

Across the Panaro   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  15 x 12″  38 x 30cm

Golden Shadows  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  14 x 10.5″    35 x 25cm

Panaro winding through Fall  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10.5 x 14″  25 x 35cm

Landscape near Villa Bianca  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas panel 13 x 16″  33 x 41cm

Famous Chef   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/newsprint   23 x 17″   63 x 41cm

Tomorrow we’re bringing our dog and ponies over to the Piazza in Rocca Malatina for the Castagna Festival.  Our stand will be under our orange umbrella, right next to our friend Piero, who is selling his honey.  Of course, we’re not selling ponies, but our artwork of the Modena/Bologna area.  

We dropped our last guest of the fall season off at the train station in Modena on Monday.  We had to go to the Questura to get our visa:  the jury is still out, but we’re looking good.  We needed to get a “denunciation” from the police next door because we lost our original receipt.  It’s the place one goes to cancel a credit card or report a theft or loss.  We were number five in that line, and were able to get through this phase of the experience in just 4 hours.
Our guest had a wonderful time, amazed at Italy and how many people interacted with each other.  The prior guest had a similar impression.   Although we have our fair share of “devices” here, Italians still prefer to speak belly-to-belly.
When I did marketing for our company, Pessemier’s Commercial Interior Design, in Seattle, last century, it was critical to talk to the decision maker, and meet them face to face, five times, in order to get the job.  I wonder how that works now?
We are part of the conversant fabric of our towns:  we visit with everyone.  People stop us and say, “was that you painting at the side of the road?”  Of course, we are the only people here who are painting at the side of the road.  “Let’s have a coffee.”
Color has been limited this fall – or maybe it’s just late shading the landscape.  The temperatures haven’t been cold enough:  no frost so far.  So the yellow have gone instead to rusty green.  The reds are getting stronger in the grape vines.
Truffles have been wormy this year, and the pasta store across the street has decided to forgo their usual super delicious truffle crespelli.  “Vermicelli,” he tells Blair, which in fact, is what the thin spaghetti was named for.  
We did get porcini mushroom crespelli at the Acqua Solferosa:  they were terrific.  It is a rather shockingly local restaurant where we bring visitors seeking a true Italian experience, a la Woody Allen.  Reactions range from enthusiasm to discomfort.  Wild game is served, caught by local hunters.  Tables with families of 20 line the walls; kids holler, men sing, women sit at the other end of the table.  The family, who lives upstairs waits on you.  There are just three small tables for us orphans.  It always costs 25 euros each for 5 courses and wine.
We had coffee at V + T’s house this week.  They are a couple slightly older than us, and we feed their dog treats every morning on our walk.  The give us tomatoes they grow.  The tomatoes are so sweet, it’s incredible.  We talk about the news, about the dogs, about the ever so minor changes around town.
It’s the time the benches are removed from the sidewalks for the winter.   Harika likes to sit by one up on the corner and keep her eye peeled for an arch enemy.  We sit there and someone stops by:  “who runs this show, anyway, the dog?”  We nod.

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