Sunday, May 23, 2021

Artnotes: Good or Bad?


Marta on Lake Bolsena   Blair Pessemier  acrylic/canvas  13 x 18  "  33 x 46 cm  450.00
Guests this week stayed at a local B&B and we visited lots of iconic places:  Bagnoregio, a historic hill town near Viterbo; then Lake Bolsena, where we did drawings and paintings.  We went to the Farnese Palazzo (one of my favorite building interiors) in Caprarola, followed by the extraordinary gardens at Villa Lante outside of Viterbo.  We went to Farfa the next day, by which time I was so exhausted I had to take break.
Lake Bolsena  Tree by the Water; Peninsula   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Journal page approx. 13 x 8"    90 each/pair 150.00
I can’t look at too many things consecutively.  Since I was a young person, I have never been able to “do things” three days in a row.  I try to limit my adventures to one a day.  I need to take time to digest what I see and file it in my cabinet.   I have to reflect on historic details; recall who else was there (nobody); read the brochure; and organize what took place.
At Vescovio  Tree; Little Girl   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Journal page approx. 13 x 8"    90 each/pair 150.00
We have new painting ideas here in the Fox Pessemier household.  We are thinking of painting portraits of iconic figures.  It’s kind of like when I had the “leaders” idea, and painted Napoleon and Garibaldi… Blair painted (and sold) a Modena art collector; Massimo Bottura (the chef), and Jean Bart (the French corsair).   The idea of iconic figures leaves lot of leeway:  were they good or bad?  I can’t imagine painting bad guys.   And who is good or bad?  After visiting the sumptuous Farnese palace this week, a friend asked, is that just too much opulence?  The Farnesi were a major Italian family, of popes and businessmen, cardinals and leaders.  I am just thankful they built something so beautiful to inspire future generations.
Caprarola: City View; Tree   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Journal page approx. 13 x 8"    90 each/pair 150.00
Today I painted an Irish poet.  I have several of his books in my library, and the one with his picture leapt off the shelf.  My paintings only suggest the person they depict – kind of recognizable, but more of the lady with the green stripe by Matisse.
Irish Poet   Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/canvas  13 x 9.5''  33 x 24cm  350.00
I am looking forward to returning to the Gardens at Villa Lante, where I was too tired to absorb any more information.  This sensory overload is one reason Blair and I spend years in a place: so we can get the full lay of the land.  With Paris, it took us 20 years.  Here in Italy, we are just beginning.  
Stimigliano:  Via Garibaldi  and Flowers near Comune  90 each/pair 150.00
I enjoy trips by car, because we can all visit over things on our way.  We talk about the future of art: so many museums and historic places we’ve been to are utterly devoid of patrons.   Are younger people still interested in painting?  What about selling art, will there be a new generation of buyers?  Is Instagram the way to go?   I pack all of this into my bean at bedtime, and hope to wake up in the morning knowing the answer. 
And that seems to work, for whatever it is worth.  I dream of old patrons who advise me, and wake up with new ideas.  Iconic figures, Instagram, new media:  it’s really very exciting, bright and fresh and choppy, like the waters of Lake Bolsena.
Sketches over Coffee at Farfa:  Fountain; Courtyard    Laurie Fox Pessemier  Journal page approx. 13 x 8"    90 each/pair 150.00

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