Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trip Highlights

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Ten days on the road. It was a whirlwind trip, fitting visits into short time frames with family and old friends that I had not seen in years. I also met many new friends. Here are some of the highlights since I last wrote:

1) This is an image of the oil painting I created for Amber and Alex Babcock’s wedding portrait. My sister Amber’s favorite artist is Alphonse Mucha, so I painted an 18” x 24” composition in a style similar to Mucha’s. They exhibited the portrait during their wedding reception this month. I hope that you enjoy it as much as they did.

2) In the midst of the wedding festivities, I was elated to receive an e-mail that my pastel painting ”Il Mimo - Firenze, Italia” became a finalist an the online competition for paintings. See all of the FineArtViews Painting Competition Winners (September 2009)

3) After Florida, I went to North Carolina and was totally charmed by my new friends in Raleigh. The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild and long-time Internet friend and artist Jeanne Rhea invited me to speak about my life as a madonnari (Italian street painter) and do they all know how to make an artist feel welcome! I toured the gallery at Artspace, enjoying a variety of styles and media, and even recognizing one artist, Linda Ruth Dickinson, whose paintings I had first seen from my visit to a gallery in Houston, Texas, a couple of years ago. Here is an image taken with the audience that remained after my talk for a bit of mingling and munching. After my presentation, Penny (the tall woman in the center) gave me a lovely gift bag full of exotic chocolates. How yummy is that?

4) Jeanne and her husband Vince offered their home for the night, which was great. I want to share images of her studio with you. Seriously, this is THE most organized studio I have ever seen. No way that this was a “clean up for guests” kind of organized. I am still impressed. Jeanne said that she works with too many materials to NOT be organized. I must admit that I was a bit envious of her antique drawers. I have been hoping to find something like this for my Italian drawing papers. This would be much safer and cleaner than keeping the papers on the futon in my office!

Another image here depicts Jeanne while she showed me some test samples of her latest experiments with pigments. Visit her Web site or blog for updates - Jeanne is always exploring. The colors in her artworks are so much richer than anything you will see in photographs. Enjoy. Next time, I report on Florence, Italy . . .

October is National Arts and Humanities Month

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