Tuscany was wonderful . . . and
I can still hear my sister’s question reverberating in my head.
“Are you going to come home a new woman again?”
I took her picture without a second thought.
Then returning home, I discovered a big beautiful colored woman had been in my studio.
Visiting Capabilo (on the southern coast of Tuscany), I photographed Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculpture of the woman towering above the city wall. Then returning home, I discovered a big beautiful colored woman had been in my studio.
Paintings left unfinished on my easels appeared more colorful than I remembered. I felt as though I had come home into someone else’s world. Better than I remembered; more vivid, peaceful, focused ~ yet unequivocally recognizable as me!
How could I have known who this woman would look like? Or that I was even looking for her?
This ‘new’ person is recognizable, yet why is it I’ve never seen her before?
Now I’m painting two new series that synthesize 45 years.
1. Clouds, Skies, Sunsets & Dreams
It happened quite unexpectedly one day while I was having lunch. I’d taken my sandwich and drink out onto the veranda. I looked up at the brilliant turquoise sky and saw a single cloud.
The important part here is that I wasn’t doing anything. I wasn’t looking for anything. I was simply being there enjoying the warm sun, resting.
In a flash I saw the painting. I finished my lunch and brought my drink back to the easel and started painting.
The colors mixed on the gesso like pastels. So excited, I painted two more. Returning to Virginia, I am painting five at once! The series will be my winter studio show January ~ March.
These colorful abstract paintings synthesize my passion for fiber, texture, and vibrant color. While rooted in pastels from my early years, and even more recent oil paintings ~ something indescribable in words is happening in this series.
The first shifts started on small linen canvases while in Italy. Street scenes and landscapes became more abstract. No longer feeling constrained to painting one or the other, organic and man-made subjects fused in compositions woven together with color and texture.
Somehow all those things that filled my life and kept me ‘busy’are gone. Permission to do only those things I am most passionate about, granted. I didn’t even know what they were ~ until my retreat in Tuscany.