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Archive for October, 2012

La Giara – Sersale

October 11th, 2012 No comments


This is a scene from a large house in Sersale that appears to be abandoned. Two years ago, my cousin Peppino Talarico told me that the Talarico family owned this house many years ago. During my latest visit, my tour guides let me peek inside. How lucky could I get? There was this amazing jar standing on the landing.
Many years ago, these jars were used to store water. Now the few that are left are collector’s items, bringing great prices on Italy’s ebay. Since I couldn’t take it home with me, I painted it.

This painting measures 10 1/2″ x 12″ and it is for sale for $200. All proceeds of this sale go to conservation charities, dedicated to preserving endangered species.

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Piazza Carmela Borelli – Sersale

October 10th, 2012 3 comments

When a town is over 500 years old, I guess it makes sense for them to be inordinately proud of their uniqueness. Sersale is so proud of this tree, they put it on their coat of arms.
During the summer, this tree casts a great deep shadow which cools almost half the piazza. The tree is a Milicurcio or hackberry. The little fruits are edible, but I don’t know that anyone actually does anything with them. Anyone from Sersale will recognize their town from this painting, both from the tree and the bell tower of the church of Saint Pasquale on the right side of the painting.

This painting measures 11″ x 15″ and is an original watercolor. It is already sold

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September in Italy

October 2nd, 2012 2 comments


For me, Italy is a wonderland full of beautiful landscapes, friends, relatives, and good food. Add to that a serious amount of culture; as in 1000 year old churches and glittering museums on every street corner, well, almost. I found a little bit of all of this on my last visit. I have almost filled the journal I started in 2010, and added quite a bit to it this time, as you will see.

My first stop was Elena V’s house, near Milano and I pulled out my journal when she and Enzo were gleaning the last of the tomatoes from the garden. Elena adorably separated all the different colors of tomatoes into different bowls. As the afternoon light filtered into the kitchen, I could not help but want to paint it.

The next day, I went into Milano with Elena, she went to work and I ran all over the city. On the advice of cousin Margy; I found the strangely named museum; Poldi Pezzoli, which was actually the house of a seriously obsessed rich collector. I loved what he collected, watches, jewelry, compasses, paintings. I took lots of photos, some are on facebook. I walked into one dark little room full of stuff and found this guy looking at me. The painting looked like it was of someone who had just walked into the room, not some dead white guy. Francesco Hayez, who died in 1882, painted this little self portrait. He also sketched in his friends in the background, but they did not interest me. Instead, I was just captivated with his modern, fresh face. In the spirit of being an artist in a museum, I decided to copy it. I am delighted at how well it turned out.


My next stop was Sersale, where I pulled out my sketchbook a bit, this time to entertain the cousins. Everyone wanted to see everything I had done. That was interesting, while all I really wanted to show them were the portraits I’d done of Donald; but each cousin carefully looked at each page. I sketched two portraits in pencil, this is Franca Mancuso. Her husband is known as Tommaso stonato. Tommaso is my father’s 1st cousin. I also drew Adriana (another 1st cousin), and they both enjoyed the experience and attention. It was interesting how differently both behaved as models. One never moved a muscle, the other was nervous and giggly and never did settle down.

My last stop was in Monselice where I visited Elena G. Elena is a school teacher in a trade school there. While she taught, I went to the mercato that lined many of the streets in the center of town. When I got tired of that, I sat where I could sketch. First I tried the park but there were too many mosquitoes, so I went back and sat near the school where I could sketch this pleasant view. I am not happy with the colors. That first house was just glowing. Mi dispiace!

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