31 July 2009

cooler climes

Rest, luxury, and cooler climes... I am taking time out from the work (it is mid-summer holiday, Italy goes to the beach or into the cooler mountains for a few weeks).

I hope that Zacchi and Pickle understand French, as their Swiss minders who happily slide between three or four languages speak French among themselves.

Today I am grateful for gentle people.

29 July 2009

hot, hot, hot

Going out to work up on the scaffolding there is no escaping. 39 degrees today; who knows what it was up under my vaulted ceiling. Tomorrow is the last day of work for a while, the building will be closed, locked, bolted, secure for the summer break.

Tonight I went to discuss a long long painting I need to do... fortunately there is no hurry for it, as it requires lots of minute detail. I think it will be a winter project, painted by the fire!

Two portraits have to be squeezed in before October, and the other project work is ongoing.

Tonight we have a luna rossa, a red moon. Zacchi is barking furiously. It must be his first one; I have been lucky enough to see four or five now.

Today I am grateful for work piling up ahead of me.

28 July 2009

progress

 
The fresco is now jumping off the surface and needs to be set back into some context. What looked like some fairly simple lines turned out to be a complicated 8 level structure and I have no idea which parts were "raised" and which were in shadow. This is also going to be a bigger job than it first seemed...

Very interesting for me, though, is that the more I study it the more sure I am that the original fresco (damaged in what I will call earthquake one) was repaired by the artist whose work I have been playing with after earthquake two. My hand is more like that of the original artist, way back in 1511. Do you think I might have worked in this building before?

Today I am grateful for a vivid imagination...
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old new old work - part two...

You'll have to forgive me for being camera happy, but it was such a huge relief to see how delicate the finish product looked! Unfortunately it doesn't photograph at all well, but it's enough to say that I will sleep well tonight!
 

 

 

 
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I think that these corner photos give the closest impression of what it is like.

excitement is...

seeing 140 hours of work without the scaffolding and paint pots for the very first time!
 

 

 

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video

new old work

 

 

 

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video

27 July 2009

summer is one long festa

Tonight after a cuppa with friends I wandered back through the village at around 10.30. Laughter floated up from the piazza. A party? No, just a typical hot summer evening. Approximately 30 people sat, lounged, lazed around the piazza, just chatting and laughing, enjoying the cooler temperatures (today was not so bad, apparently, only 37°. Yesterday we made 38°. I stay inside where I am cool).

I took the long way home, (across the piazza and doubling back along the road) stopping to chat on my way. The couple I had said goodnight to half an hour before assured my new clients that I wouldn't need a translator to help when we discuss their painting tomorrow.

As my grasp of the language improves I think I fit well enough into life in this village, but in other ways I don't blend in at all. Tonight I was wearing my "American dress", purchased when I was without luggage in Alabama. I like it, but I feel so terribly conspicuous in it here. I couldn't look less Italian if I tried! I seem to be developing separate wardrobes for my overlapping lives. A slinky evening top purchased in Italy needs to be lifted a couple of inches to be acceptable in Scotland where much less flesh is exposed! Tight-fitting tops are left in Italy when I go to New Zealand. Trousers and jeans sold in Italy simply don't fit the Antipodean figure, Australia, NZ and America cut the cloth more to our shape.

I stubbornly fail every time in the footwear department. Yes, I confess to owning several pairs of beautiful Italian shoes... but do I wear them? Hardly ever! It's good old comfortable flats purchased in New Zealand (with cobblestones in mind) for this practical fashion rebel!

Today I am grateful for laughter.

26 July 2009

b b b bobbing along...

B is for

beautiful
bubbles
butterflies
and
bouncing balls


A? for adventure
C? is for cioccolato, of course!

Today I am grateful for things that bounce back.

25 July 2009

assemblage

Frustrated that I can't paint, yet still seem to be able to clean and clear for the guests arriving tonight, I have decided that thinking time is really painting time.

So, as I tidy and clean, every scrap of paper with notes to myself is going into the project box so that I can then assemble the ideas and make a list. And, as I do that, I am thinking, painting in my head. I used to do that as I drove between my schools, painted whole exhibitions in my head when I was an RTLB. The problem was, once they were so thoroughly painted and explored, I didn't ever need to bring them to fruition. Lost forever to the world...seen only by me. Sigh! Oh they were good... a bit like the fish that got away?

Lists, as you know, keep me going. When the boat I am floating in starts to take in water, I make a list. Metaphorically, it goes a little like this:
1. Stop the leak.
2. Bale out the water.
3. Wring out all the soggy towels.
4. Sit in the sun to dry wings.
5. Breathe deeply.
6. Look at the beauty in nature.
7. Smile.
8. Stand up.
9. Test the wings, gently.
10.Fly lightly, brightly, in glorious colour.

Now, at the end of the morning, all my scraps of paper with budding, bursting, exciting ideas will be in a box, never to escape again until unleashed in colour on 300gsm paper. In my Kiwi life they were all on notice boards, pinned around the bright, light studio along with samples, swatches, trial pieces, finished pieces... not gathering dust in bundles on ledges and shelves and in dusty plastic bags as the ancient walls breathe, watch, wait.

New List: Find cork tiles, buy them, make a cork board.
Order a custom-made art supply cupboard. (specifications known almost by heart).
Get working on own projects... VERY SOON (as in yesterday?)

Today I am grateful for scrappy pieces of paper reminding me of fun things I have yet to do.

24 July 2009

clean slate

Take my temperature, somebody, please!

I have stopped drinking wine, started washing my floors and cleaning my house, and am -yes really- getting a buzz out of things being sparkling clean and smelling good.

Yet as the mop moves back and forth (with the inevitable murky grey water - ancient walls breathe 500 years of dust) my thoughts escape to brilliant new paper waiting for me in Sarah's studio...

I have unfinished business with poppies, sunflowers, Italian landscapes, quaint old doors, 500 year old walls, lined old faces, gently rounded children...

I want to PAINT PAINT PAINT! (watercolour, of course! Watch those pigments flow...)

Today I am grateful for renewed passion about life.


(Do you think it was all the dark chocolate I ate last night? Healthy is as healthy does...)

23 July 2009

remembering New Zealand soldiers

Many visitors quietly pass by the monument to New Zealand soldiers killed in Italy, the monument being at the Cassino railway station, where the Maori Battalion fought so fiercely in the Battle of Cassino.

***

This morning I pulled some weeds in the rapidly disappearing garden. I hadn't got back to Cassino with my weed spray in time. Today (weed killer is frowned upon here) I furtively sprayed the tenacious and stringy weeds that I couldn't pull from near the monument.

As I pulled longer weeds in the garden near the platform side I dislodged a stone, smooth, flat. I love stones, so it was a pleasure to pick it up. To my surprise it was extra special, with a design and paua pieces on it. Designed, perhaps, by someone who had links with the Maori Battalion, maybe placed in memory of a relative killed in the battle for the railway station?

The stone had become wedged in the bark that I had hoped would keep the weeds down. I hope that the person who left it there came when the weeds were not so bad. I wonder why it was where it was. Perhaps they didn't enter the garden, but reached over and placed the stone quietly from the platform. Or did somebody start to remove it, then think better of taking it away from the monumental garden?

I wonder, did the stone with the lovely Maori design and paua glued to it come all the way from New Zealand? I think it probably did.

If you were the person who left this special momento in the garden I would like you to know that it is not lost, but has been carefully placed on the monument in the central garden.
.

another tomorrow

or Procrastination under any other name.

I have become very good at putting things off until tomorrow... I wonder, at what point does this become a problem?

It's time to make a list, put on some music, make some progress.

But first

I think

I'll rest a while

and listen to

David Whyte's

soothing

CD

again.

Midlife and the Great Unknown.



Today I am grateful for time to do as I please.

22 July 2009

Chris will walk again

This morning an American artist blog I subscribe to appeals for help for a young family after a terrible accident.

The website about the family in need and Chris's progress is on Mike's blog.

a date with tomorrow

(It's Wednesday morning here).

It is fashionable, and indeed perhaps desirable, to talk about living in the now. Today, this present moment, is all we have (or all we have in this physical life). But are we sometimes too pedantic about it? Too preachy and moralistic?

Yesterday I was very tired, a bit sad and indulging in a little loneliness. I spoke with a good friend from long ago who advised me to find a better emotion and hang on to it, to swing out of where I was. While I don't disagree with the advice, these days I choose to work through the feelings rather than bury them, run from them, or force them by me unresolved. It works for me.

Yesterday I woke up 120 years old. This morning I am back to somewhere closer to my physical age. Tomorrow I'll even look in the mirror, and see what that woman has to say. She usually finds a smile, and gives me some good advice. Perhaps I'll brave her scrutiny later this morning, but breakfast comes first!

As my day improved I got younger, felt stronger, and caught up with friends in person and via the internet. I talked with one friend about enjoying all of his tomorrows. This morning I wonder about tomorrows. I think anticipation is part of the pleasure, just as the journey is often more important than the destination.

Today will be good, but there is nothing wrong with having a date with the fun that is waiting in tomorrow.

Today I am grateful for friends.

21 July 2009

zzzzzzzzz

I am remembering that "should" and "ought" are no longer in my vocabulary. Whew!

I didn't make it to work today; I woke tired and hot, tolerance level at about zilch with barking dogs.

Today may I sleep, in peace.

The most faithful thing in the world is housework; no matter what you do, it always waits for you.

Today I am grateful for efficient cleaning products.

20 July 2009

much needed

I need to sleeeeep.... The good news is that, subject to approval from the owner, the big project is FINISHED! I am not quite brave enough to put my brushes away, but I will certainly clean them extra well today.

Photos when the scaffolding comes down.

The next project is to do some colour matching on the fresco dated 1511 and the repairs to surfaces in the entrance hall.

But first, to sleep a little... for tomorrow I hope to start anew and early! The weather forecast for later in the week is for hotter weather (scroll down to the little maps).

Today I am grateful for comfortable furniture.

19 July 2009

cookies in any language

Sometimes I try to clear up my aging and slowing computer. In Italian. Yesterday was one of those days.

Today I will be re-setting all my passwords, having lost all that I had saved when I cleared up the cookies...

Biscuits, cookies... you can have too many of them, I think!

***

Today's art-blog wandering took me here. I think it is a blog well worth reading. This is what J W Jung says about talent. I also enjoyed the earlier entries and will return to contemplate them more.

But now... I'm taking Sunday off, and there will be more than cookies at pranzo, I am sure!

Today I am grateful for articulate writers.

18 July 2009

happy news

Happy news is always best. I have given up reading the official news pages, they are too depressing. I prefer to have my head in the sand.

For a dose of happy news, go here.

Food for thought: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach - "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

Today I am grateful for positive and cheerful people.

17 July 2009

it's hot... fa caldo

Old folks sit on the stone steps, catching any tiny breeze that might stir.

They don't talk, except to sigh "fa caldo" as I pass.

The village is still, sleeping.

My jandals flip flop on the cobblestones. It sounds wrong. I would love to go barefoot, but one doesn't. At least not in public. And certainly not on hot cobblestones.

Today I am grateful for beautiful old cobblestone streets where every stone has a story to tell.

16 July 2009

absolutely beautiful

Ennio Morricone's Gabriel's Oboe.

I can't decide which version I prefer, the orchestra or with a singer.

This version is conducted by Morricone himself.

I think I prefer the first one of the three links above.

***

I've been dreaming again. Drooling over the programme for the opera season in Verona. One day, one day I'll go...
.

new word for the day

Today's new word arrived on my daily weather forecast email. The word is
SUPERCALDO.
The pulsating suns on the weather map have gone from yellow to orange, really hammering home the point. Actually, I think it is only 37 degrees, but much hotter amongst the stone walls and in the piazzas. That's super hot enough for me!

Today I am grateful for a cool house and siesta time.

15 July 2009

i reckon

that some things in the art world are absolutely ridiculous...

take these prices, for example!

Big sigh. When will the world wake up to real beauty? An autumn leaf, a rippling stream, a perfect shell, the ripples in the sand made by the water and the wind?

I want to capture moments, feelings, ideas. But how, when nature does it so much better?

Back to the drawing board...

How do you paint a fragrance, the touch of the sun on your skin, the wind lifting your hair? How do you capture the essence of life, if you are too busy indulging in the excesses of "civilisation"?

Sometimes a memory has to be enough.

I have a dream. My dream is a studio, with lots of light. In it I create, endlessly. I can picture it. Will it be mine? I can see the paintings. Why have I not started on them already?
.

through other eyes

Housekeeping was never my forte. There always seems to be something more important to do. Here though, it is high on the priority list... for other people. I constantly fall short, and hear friends explain to others when they visit that "Kay is an artist," as though I can't be expected to be creative AND clean and tidy.

I think I am going to have to live with that.

Today I am grateful for the phrase "life's too short to stuff a mushroom".

bits and pieces

Talking to myself this morning...

The weeds are growing far too much for this time of the year. It must be all the thunderstorms we had, with unseasonal down-pours. Time to get the grass cut again! I'm no longer scared of them but I still have a healthy respect for snakes.

Today is market day, and this time I will go.

Sunday our rained-out concert will be on again, so all the paintings will go upstairs for a mini exhibition at the same time. Maybe. Or maybe not. Shall I just go and enjoy the concert?

And thinking of concerts, here is a link to a local artist, Benedetto Vecchio, performing his new song Cassino 1944. If you listen carefully you will hear "neozelandese" in there as the troops are mentioned.

Their official and very interesting website is here, but I can't seem to get to the English version at the moment. And, if you want to explore further, check out the links to the local culture in this Wikipedia entry for MBL and Benedetto Vecchio.

Today I grateful for musicians and their music.

old friend

Today as I trimmed Zacchi's long wirey hair, chewed into dreadlocks by Pickle, I thought about my old dog in New Zealand. Tonight I learned that she died, suddenly but at a grand old age, last Sunday. Bonnie was the friendliest dog, the greatest escape artist, the diggingest dog. Chasing rabbits was her passion; she always returned filthy, wet, and happy!

She was gentle and beautiful. She had a habit of leaning into people's legs, waiting for the pat that always followed. She knew that when I gardened she would get real hugs, more than when I was clean and in my school clothes. She became an inside dog (thanks Ben and Kayne!) when young house sitters were in charge, and as she was so good natured, trusting and appealing, I couldn't throw her out again. Zacchi, that's why YOU are allowed inside.

Bonnie before the last haircut, early NZ summer 2008: And after.
Old, deaf, lacking a little spacial sense, but still the loveliest dog. Spoilt rotten by my Dad in her "retirement" to Tauranga, she became younger, not older, with her regular exercise and fit companion.

Lately she had been sleeping a lot, and sometimes bumped into things. She still smiled.
One of a long line of dogs to become part of the family, probably the oldest, and one of the best.

14 July 2009

you know it is hot when

You know it is hot when...
you think about going for a swim before breakfast,

two little dogs watch you hang the washing out but don't bother to join you,

the cantina is the best place in the house,

at lunch water is more tempting than wine,

a gelato in the evening looks like a four-course meal.

...

Today I am grateful for strong hands giving a shoulder massage.

13 July 2009

coming right

Manipulation, massage, ointments and a brace. I'm coming right.

Funniest thing I heard today:

Zacchi and Pickle escaped yesterday (or was it the day before?)

I'm told that Pickle was very nervous, and didn't want to leave home. She stopped and whimpered every time Zacchi got 10 metres ahead of her. He came back, soothed her, and encouraged her to follow him out into the big wide world. Apparently it was really lovely to see. Hmmmmm....

Today Pickle escaped willingly, and didn't return when I called. The gate will not be left open again! Two pathetic little woofers were waiting on the wrong side of the gate wondering if they were going to be allowed home when I was teaching English this evening...

Zacchi seems to be losing his favourite beds... or is he merely being a gentleman?
Maybe he likes the cool tiles and is needing a haircut before the heat wave which is due to hit us on Wednesday or Thursday.

Today I am grateful for returned woofers.

12 July 2009

lazy sunday

It's good to sleep at siesta time... another of the things the Italians have got right!

Today I am grateful for singing cicadas.

11 July 2009

OOS RSI or just really sore?

Typing is worse than painting for the arm. My "days off" have merely added an extra area of pain.

Rats! Darn! Bother! Blast! (Why didn't I learn to swear?)

Today I am grateful that Pickle is becoming quite good civilised company.

10 July 2009

permesso di soggiorno

Safely tucked into my bag for another two years.

Happiness is.

Today I am grateful for permission to live here.

9 July 2009

in defence of treni

I often hear tourists speak disparagingly of the Italian train service. Yes, occasionally there is the odd hiccup. But mostly, and I mean mostly, when I think of how many trains there are and how many people use them, I have to defend the service.

Today I needed to go to Frosinone, a 40 minute drive away. There are many speed cameras. It is hot, parking is a problem, and I don't like driving in Frosinone because I don't know it at all well.

However, for a whole 2 euros and 50 cents I can take a train at 1.38pm, get there at 2.09pm, not have to worry about parking, do what I need to do, have a cup of coffee, chat to a friend, catch the 3.56pm train home and be back to my car in the free parking near the station in a very efficient time.

Today I am grateful for a cheap and efficient train service.

8 July 2009

five days off and short blog posts

I was trying to get the work completed this week - it is tantalisingly close to finished subject only to changes the owner might request - but my wrist and arm have other ideas. It will be a few days of enforced rest! I guess I can't even clean and scrub my house.

Perhaps these days have been given to me to get my paperwork sorted?

Today I am grateful for time to do other things.

7 July 2009

nearly there...

Two months agoOne month agoOne week agoThis afternoon

dancing in the rain

I think this is beautiful...

Learning to Dance in the Rain a 3 minute movie about gratitude by BJ Gallagher and Mac Anderson.

Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Vivian Greene


Today I am grateful for shared inspirational writing.

6 July 2009

after the storm

Hard to believe, but a few hours after the storm battered us, brought down trees, flooded roads, tossed rocks down from the mountainside and swept a torrent of water through the village, this was the scene... video
Today I am grateful for
the resilience of the people here.

photo catch-up

The festa programme.This is a religious festival, with many masses and rituals. The statue of Archangel St Michael is taken up into the church in the cave, and bought back down a few days later. This is no mean feat!

The Madonna is brought out of the church and the two statues are carried through the village, with all able-bodied men taking turns with their shoulders under the heavy weight. As this involves going up and down a steep mountainside, sometimes on cobblestones, one has to admire that the ritual has survived to this day!

I didn't photograph any of the religious ceremonies this year. It didn't feel right to do so.

***

Watercolour exhibition.
The exhibition actually looked quite nice, it just doesn't photograph at all well. When I hung the banner saying "Mostra" I felt a little like an artisan putting up his shingle. The entrance hall has lovely arches and the easels were at a good viewing height although they look too "leggy" here.


Partying the night away (if you are so inclined).

When you want a party you simply close the road, fill it with market stalls and food vendors, put up a stage and hire a very talented pop star from a few years ago. Orietta Berti was performing at a free concert outdoors 500 metres from my door. Not too bad! I didn't manage to get a full song on video as I was mainly listening from my "mostra", so here is youtube link. The selection was more "bright and breezy" last night.



And today I began teasing out the design from the mould in the centre of the vaulted ceiling.

the best i've ever experienced

If big is best then yesterday's thunderstorm which wiped out internet until this evening is the most impressive, longest-lasting and exciting one I have ever experienced in my life!

Outside my kitchen looked like a tip with up-turned garden furniture and added rubbish - Pickle had done her best to make it look pretty terrible, bringing home everyone else's rubbish to chew, but the storm really tipped it over the edge!

After surviving the storm (shut in the cantina in a very wetting dash for me) the dogs stayed relatively calm and relaxed outdoors through the second round of fireworks, some of which were landing on the house.

I didn't have the camera for the fireworks last night. They were so close that we were actually "inside" the display. It made the Saturday show look small. A friend said that in this village we might struggle to have enough to buy food but there is always enough for fireworks... we like things that sparkle and make a lot of noise.

We certainly do!

Today I am grateful for a clean garden area.

5 July 2009

especially for Ben

who saw the fireworks here once before. video

My favourite one, overlapping showers of delicate golden rain, didn't reproduce at all well.

The round white object that came and went really was the moon. A smallish moon tonight, as we head for a full moon in three days time.

I missed the start of the display because it started earlier than advertised and I had to dash down to put two traumatised little scruffs into the cantina (cellar).

At the end of every display are three loud bangs to let everyone know, wherever in the valley they might be watching from, that the show is over and they wont miss anything if they head for bed!

I suspect that tonight two little dogs are grateful for stone walls that are one metre thick!

festa

Zacchi training Pickle - how to be good at an exhibition venue.And outside... lovely at dusk,
but most beautiful after dark.

Tonight I am grateful for the art of celebrating life.

3 July 2009

some people never learn...

Of course my scaffolding hasn't been lifted up a level. What was I thinking?

And bless 'em, gotta love 'em, my co-workers seem to be stalling a few things to spin my job out a bit longer. What they don't know is that during today or tomorrow (depending on how long this break is!) I will hit the total hours I quoted for, and after that I am working for my pride and job satisfaction only!

I am home for a quick break (OK, an Italian break) and to collect some bleach to treat the last of the mould. Crazy I know, but in one part I kill real mould and on another I paint fake aging mould...

I thought I was on target to finish the work early next week, but in true construction style I think I will extend the finish date until next Friday.

My co-workers seem to enjoy the oddity of having a woman on site when they remember me, with lots of jesting about which one is a good "catch" for me, but when they forget about me and I have to walk past their out-door loo with the door wide open it is definitely "eyes down" on my part!

Today they are back on my side of the site and one of tne men was singing happily; I guess it is Friday!

PS later in the day: a very safe and secure platform has been built for me. All is set for more progress.

Today I am grateful for unspoken kindnesses.

2 July 2009

for Sarah

This is where the work is at... and tomorrow the scaffolding goes up a notch so I can reach the centre piece.
video
I worked a little more on the background after I made this video. Every time I move around the scaffolding I see something else I want to change, to add to, to balance, but there has to be a point where you say "Stop". This is almost 120 hours of work, with the centre still to go (Looking at it I find that hard to believe, but the surface preparation took a long time). With the help of another worker I will put a transparent glaze over the completed project. I hope that this will unify the various parts of the repaired surfaces. The "real thing" looks much better than the photos or video as my camera seems to pick up the under-surfaces very well, not what I want on this occasion! Some are also in shadow, or damp from my sponge. There are three layers of background, with me dabbing more on every day as it dries to a warm smokey grey over a brown, black, red and yellow based tint.

It has been a challenging and at times very frustrating project. Very little was completed in the way I had expected. Certainly not getting the background done until very late in the project (was that because of the weather, I wonder? Perhaps the repairs had to be really dry before I was allowed to work on that) gave me all sorts of problems. Damp and cold and now heat added to the actual physical demands of the job. The different surfaces have been a major challenge as some absorb and others don't, and some simply don't hold many of the mediums I tried so I give them a light coat of stucco before painting on them. I have worn at least three brushes down to one third of their former thickness on the coarser stucco.

My preference would have been to copy and complete all the designs, to repaint the background from scratch, and make all of it "old" from completely new rather than have a mix of old and new with incomplete images on a wide range of different surfaces. It is very difficult for me to leave pieces floating, and to allow the repairs to show through. I see myself as a technician more than an artist in this work.

When I look back at the "before" photos I do accept that relatively speaking it doesn't look too bad now. I imagine that getting the walls and flooring done, the windows and doors in, and then some furniture to change the focus will help it all come into place to create an interesting room.

Today I am grateful for Franca's smile when she saw the work.

arty stuff

Thursday morning before-work rambling.

I have been enjoying dipping back into art blogs as I settle into some kind of routine again. This morning I posted a comment on one, and realised how much I miss the discussions with other artists.

I went to an exhibition in Ceprano recently. It was a one day, open air, no cost, brass band, lots of people kind of affair. I didn't take my work as it was rather short notice to put together something cohesive. I was glad that I had taken the conservative option instead of trying to oblige and throw together a mis-match to make up numbers. It left me free to mingle, to reflect, and to chat with other artists, and with two in particular I managed some reasonably fluent conversation about their work. I am acutely aware that there is a whole new range of vocabulary I must learn if I am to take these new friendships to a more meaningful level in our art discussions.

Writing the reply to another artist this morning (the subject was brush strokes in oil paintings) I dipped into my own website to illustrate what I was saying. (1980s guys, don't be too hard on me!) I was amazed at how the New Zealand colours and contrasts jumped out at me!

When I was painting many moons ago the late Bill Hoffmeister, artist and musician, was frustrated at my inability to see all the soft mauves and violets in the shadows. I saw only the dark contrast and bright blues and greens. Now that I live amongst warm coloured buildings and poluted but beautiful air I see all the colours that I still maintain we don't have in New Zealand. I am happy to disagree with you Bill, but I suggest that your Perugia-trained eye was seeing what existed in Italy and made pleasing paintings, not what I was seeing in the North Island of New Zealand.

Today I am grateful for artists who blog about art!

1 July 2009

exquisite

Life's treasures! Looking at little things in isolation can bring new dimensions of pleasure.

After too many gelati (yes, it is possible) and too much pizza (not so easily achieved) it was an absolute taste delight to savour the juicy, aromatic, luscious, perfectly ripe peach that I had for lunch today. I served it on a white plate, throwing the rich colours into high contrast.

One delicious peach and a cup of ice-cold coffee. One sharp knife to cut tasty morsels, one serviette to catch any remaining juice after I had licked my fingers.

I dawdled over every slice, every drop of juice. Wonderful. Better still, I have another of a different variety for tomorrow. I can't wait!

Today I am grateful for fresh fruit and flavour.