Ten days flew by. I struggled with rendering the strange shapes of olive trees. The chenille-bedspread texture of distant groves tickled my vision, teasing me. Acrylic paint's tendency to dry quickly and its jelly-like consistency (compared to oil paint) just about drove me crazy. But I learned so much by letting go of expectations and simply experiencing. And now I'm sure that these old olive trees will remain in my heart and my brain, perhaps taking on new life in my studio at home.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Yes, the name of this tiny hillside town just rolls off your tongue. Monteleone Sabino is guarded by a stone lion on a pedestal, so old that its teeth are rounded, its tail embedded in the curved flank. There is a one-room grocery tucked into a steep street, a butcher, a post office, a school and two "bars" where the cappuccino is savory and strong. A couple of kilometers away, down a steep road and up a bluff, sits the stone cottage that became our art studio and home. La Torretta's walls are thick and peppered with remnants of Roman ruins. It sits on the foundation of an ancient bath and the grounds have dug-up pieces of pillars and capitals scattered about that provide seating. Olive groves with century-old trees surround the property and several yellow-ochre buildings across the valley reflect the sunrise each day, blue mountains behind.