Friday, December 6, 2013

Italy: Those Wonderful Doors and Windows .....

I went a little crazy.  I was so taken with the uniqueness of the doors and windows along those narrow streets in the towns and villages.  There are no single family dwellings; residents live in apartments behind these very tall and very old walls.  Sometimes, behind these walls, are large courtyards. I wish I could have seen one. The doors literally open right on the street (as you can see in the last photograph).   Here are only a  few examples . I am thinking about perhaps painting some of them.  It occurred to me that even our very old homes are so much newer than these buildings and our windows and doors are now  quite standardized (ie; Anderson Doors and Windows).  I did not see any two windows or doors the same.  I am guessing there are not a lot of government regulations regarding the safety of decorative ironwork.
  How glorious are these !

Monday, December 2, 2013

Italy: Under My Feet ......

One of the first things I noticed about Italy was the walking surfaces.  Aside from the big highways between towns, the city streets and sidewalks were anything but large slabs of concrete.Virtually all the streets were constructed of small squares of granite with designs in white marble. I hope I didn't miss something extraordinary while I was walking around looking down!
Many of the designs below are from either Pompeii or Herculaneum.  When looking at just a small segment, it is confusing.  But, you get the idea, all ancient, all recovered, all really cool!
 ancient mosaic floor
 ancient floor
 ancient floor mosaic ! the pieces were so tiny!
 ancient mosaic floor with such a contemporary design
 a street in Pompeii, a very, very large ancient city.
 This is the surface we walked on almost exclusively.  All the streets, all the sidewalks, all the piazzas were paved with these small pieces, arranged in gentle arch-like designs.  It was very easy to walk on.
 Steps are everywhere as the villages are quite hilly, in fact most of them were built on the top of hills.  This was to provide protection and gave resident soldiers  an advantage.
 the use of this brick material was not as evident as the small granite squares.
 Here you can see a private courtyard in Sorrento, behind an iron gate, showing the ever present curved design with the white marble accents..  Very beautiful and very old.
 an ancient floor in one of the ruins. It would seem that the streets in Italy adapted their design from this!
 an intricate mosaic design in one of the ruins
a random walking area in the ruins

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Italy: the people; the fashion

The people and the fashion of Italy.  They are inseparable! Fashion is just a part of their life that  they seem to come to naturally.  I observed, in the piazza in Rome last Sunday, families out walking.  Entire families dressed beautifully, presumably coming from Mass.  The little children, at a very early age, seem to wear a fashion sense with ease.  Every one of them could have been a cover model for VOGUE children's issue.  They wear tiny and very stylish leather boots.  Not the kind to keep snow and mud at bay, but fashion footwear.  They are wearing wonderfully patterned leggings or perfectly fitting skinny jeans.  The little girls top these with a skirt, often antique lace ones and a long tunic sweater covered with a vest or short fitted jacket.  Then, the ensemble is completed with the ever present neck scarf and a beret hat.  The little boys wear long sleeved form fitting knit shirts, with a vest, or jacket (or both) and are also wearing the neck scarf and a hat. It is no surprise these children grow into fabulous fashion quite naturally as they grow up!
 It may have been the time of year, but the colors they wear are neutral, black, navy, beige, medium blue, off white, tan.  All of these are effortlessly mixed to create wonderful outfits.
The neck scarf is a "must wear" for all ages, and with anything, casual or not.   As I watched the people, it was so easy to differentiate the Italians from the tourists.  Across the board, Italian men and women are slim and fit.  I think one reason is they walk everywhere!  In so many places, tiny villages to larger cities, the streets are very narrow so driving is difficult.  Add to this the price of gasoline, which is in excess of $8 per gallon and you have a walking population.  There are cars, small ones, but daily activities include much walking. 
I must report that I did not see a single person wearing camouflage clothing.  This made me so happy!  That stuff is ugly, has no style, and represents activities of discomfort for me, the killing of people and animals. ( OK,short rant over.)
This store in Sorrento sells only linen pieces, all made locally. Roy and I each bought a shirt and neck scarf here! 
This is a random shot of Italian people on the street, talking and laughing.  I am sure the lady on the left is American....

And this is Roy, who just went all Italian!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Travel Journal ......

Journal cover ....
fabric embellishment glued to book cover

inside front cover

teaching myself to draw.....

...and having fun with  it! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

" The Night Explodes" ...

The Night Explodes
42" X 48"
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas



Monday, September 30, 2013

And they continue to dance .....

The Moment You Must
21" X 25" - matted and framed to this size
acrylic and paper collage

The Moment You Must - detail

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Continuing the theme of women dancing.....

" Danse Folklorique"
11" X 14" paper and pastel collage
matted and framed to 19" X 22" finished size

Saturday, September 21, 2013

" Women Who Dance" ...

This is a  new collage piece I just completed.  Sometimes I return to the "paper" artforms as a break from those large and intense abstracts.  This one uses hand decorated papers, stencils, acrylics and pastel pencils.  I hope you  enjoy it!

" Women Who Dance"
matted and framed to 22" X 26"
Paper collage, acrylic, pastel pencil.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

" Drifting Traveler" ...

" Drifting Traveler"
36" X 54" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

"Drifting Traveler"