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Day 10 – nonna on the 3rd floor – Napoli

January 10th, 2014 1 comment

nonna3rdfloor
In the amazing city of Naples, people watching is a fine art. Everyone is looking at everyone. Some older people pass their day watching… everything. This old woman lived opposite from our friend’s apartment. I found her to be more entertaining than the people she was watching.

This painting is on sale, it is bargain priced during this 30 day challenge at $45.00. Except for postage and sales tax, all of the price goes to help endangered species. please use the paypal button below to buy:





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Day 8 – It’s not in the bag! (1st of the Naples series)

January 8th, 2014 3 comments

itsnotinthebag
In 2006, my husband and I spent two weeks in one of the most colorful cities in the world… Naples..
We rented a furnished apartment and every day we did a commute which included taking the subway and walking through the most amazing crowds of people.

My husband spent his days attending an Italian immersion class, and I did research in the Archives, but the most fun we had was on the streets of Napoli. We were particularly in love with a street called “Spaccanapoli” which means it splits Naples in half. We took hundreds of photos, of people, of architecture, of dogs, food dishes. We were there for the entire experience. This couple was having a little argument about something that she was sure they bought and he was equally sure they had not.

This painting is on sale, it is bargain priced during this 30 day challenge at $45.00. Except for postage and sales tax, all of the price goes to help endangered species. please use the paypal button below to buy:





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Zio Totò a most memorable person

December 31st, 2013 1 comment

Zio Toto Giardino
In 1989, with the proceeds of my husband’s $800 bonus check, I went with my mother to Italy. We stayed in Rome for a week, and then we took a quick trip to Sersale, a small town in Calabria where my grandfather was born, and we stayed there just 24 hours.

The trip to Calabria was a whirlwind to me, a sleepless 8 hour overnight train ride from Rome to Catanzaro (where four of us laid down together, my cousin Patrizia, my mother, myself and with his feet in my face, a young Calabrian man who actually slept). Upon arriving in Catanzaro, we sat outside for 2 hours waiting for a bus in predawn chill, and then finally arriving, the opportunity of a lifetime, I met relatives who had not been seen face to face for over 70 years.

My grandfather was the oldest of six children, and the only one to emigrate to the USA. When I visited his home town that day in 1989, shortly after he died, I was able to meet two of his siblings; his sister, Angelina, who was his best buddy in youth, and Antonio, affectionately known as Zio Totò, the second to the youngest.

My day in Sersale was a blur. I knew very little Italian, so little, in fact that I did not realize that my cousins weren’t speaking Italian, they were speaking dialect. My teenaged cousin Patrizia, acted as interpreter. This is not an easy job for anyone, so lots was lost as she was also trying to catch up with her favorite cousins that lived there.

As we sat in Antonio’s house, it was explained to me that his father, Francesco Torchia, my great grandfather, had built it. It was the “Casa Torchia” and there was an implication that I, too, had some sort of ownership of it, being a Torchia myself. As I ate from a giant bowl of delicious pasta, I noticed that Antonio had twinkling green eyes. They were the exact color that my sister’s were. He was the first person I’d met in the family with that eye color. And then he laughed; which made me cry. He laughed just like my grandfather! Mind you, he had not seen my grandfather since he was 3 years old, over 75 years before. It was stunning, I still marvel at how they could possibly both have that same silly laugh.
ziototohands
He took us to his garden, which was just starting as it was early spring. He led us to a hut which he proudly proclaimed was his own design. He had built the little house there by himself. Inside were seeds that he had conserved, and tools. And this is how I like to remember him.

Zio toto era la persona che mi ha colpito di più nel mio primo viaggio in Italia. Era buono e gentile e si assomigliava mio nonno molto. I suoi occhi brillavano, e la sua risata era quella di una persona senza rimpianti. Era orgoglioso della capanna che ha fatto nel suo giardino pieno di vita che ci ha mostrato. Non lo scordero’ mai piu.

This painting is not for sale.

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Vicino al mare – near the sea

October 10th, 2013 1 comment

vicinoalmare

After winning a ribbon for one of my Italian themed paintings last week AND selling it, I decided I would have to paint a few more. Goodness knows I have hundreds of photos, great reference material, many taken by my late husband who was a talented photographer from our many trips to Italy.
This painting is of a street in Sicily, you could see the sea right at the end of the street. This painting only measures 8″ x 10″. These kinds of city scapes are more fun to paint big, but then the big ones are harder to sell. So this is a little gem for someone’s study wall.

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Juried into an art show, no, TWO art shows

September 30th, 2013 2 comments

columbiacitygallery

We never really think much about how those paintings hanging on walls in art galleries got there. What is it all about?
This summer I responded to two different invitations to juried art shows. A juried show is one where someone decides whose paintings will appear in the show. Then they are judged, and winners are chosen. One of the shows was at the Columbia City Gallery, it was their 8th annual juried show. This year there were almost 200 artists that submitted art works, but there were only 20 who got in! I did not win any prizes at this show, but it was indeed an honor to have my painting hanging there, for all the world to see. And maybe someone will buy it.
The other show is at one of my favorite venues, Festa Italiana, an annual fair that presents all things Italian. They sell Italian made jewelry, Italian food, Italian travel, Italian scooters, Italian music and lots of pasta. They always have a photography show, and this was the first year they opened it to paintings as well, so for sure, I was ready with a couple of mine!
To my surprise, I not only sold one of the paintings, but it won 3rd place in the show! For that I got a red ribbon.
IMAG0018 If you’d like to see the painting that sold and read the blog post about it, go here
Lucky me, I only had to carry one painting home.

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