Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It is snowing here in New England and I understand that there is snow in Rome, the first snowfall since 2005. In the book, Four Seasons in Rome, the author Anthony Doerr hopes for snow so that he can stand in the Pantheon as snow falls through the oculus. James and I watched, mesmerized, as a feather floated down from the oculus, snow would be incredible!
Going through sketches today in the studio, I came upon a few that were done in Italy . James and I spend a great deal of time looking at art during our trips there. We both carry sketchbooks, and in doing so, we really "see" Italy. Taking time to stop, look, record and interpret all with a pencil and a sketchbook . The landscape, including gardens and architecture all become subjects. On a winter day here in New England it is interesting to consider the sight of snow in Rome.
The sketches I have out today are of Tuscany and Umbria, drawn in the spring. When we are out for a day viewing art or drawing, lunch is always a serious pause in the day, as it should be in Italy. The location for lunch and sketching on this occasion was La Chiusa in Montefollonico. We sat at a table beneath the flowering chestnut trees, looking out across a valley, that the owner referred to as "Val d' Paradiso", a name of endearment he created for this beautiful place. We spoke of our fondness for pecorino cheese, as we watched sheep grazing in a distant field.( All this time we were sipping local wine.) "Subito!", a very fresh and young pecorino was immediately removed from the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature.
(We have not come up with an Italian translation equivilant for the term "room temperature")The pecorino was a devine finish to our meal.
This may have been the best dining experience we have had. After a glorious three hour lunch, we knew we would return here sometime to eat, draw and perhaps spend a night.
Hurry Spring!

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