Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 10 Spoletto

After breakfast we traveled to Spoletto, about an hour away. It is a beautiful ancient town which still has nice remnants of the Roman civilization and influence such as an amazing viaduct that we walked over and an ampitheater as well as other columns,etc.  The rest of the area still looks medieval. Walking around the old city was very comfortable to see the natives on their everyday activities. We visited two attractions, the museum of modern art and the cathedral of Santa Maria Assanta from the 12th and 13th centuries. This was the most beautiful church and I have many photos. Afterwards we stopped at a mall and went to a large grocerie store.  Tonight we had fish for dinner for the first time and the first course was ravioli with a light cream sauce with nuts in it and a foamy lemon drink for dessert.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 9 Painting, cooking & winery

I painted for an hour before breakfast then we had a lesson from the Nona on how to make two pastas, ones was for ravioli and the other for stringelli.  She used many egg yokes in the ravioli pasta so it cane out an ochre color and the regular pasta she put into the pasta machine to get a large flat sheet then rolled it over a contraption that had wires across it like the strings of a guitar, but lots more. This cut it into long strings. (When it was cooked it magically had a hole through the string.)  Francisco made the stuffing for the ravioli of ricotta, spinach, nutmeg, then they portioned it into squares and folded it to make hoods.  Then Carol and I went up town after and went to the local museum, then strolled around Montefalco and had a drink and a snack in the piazza. We returned in time to be off to the winery Bocale with the group. It was the wine tasting where they bring out many courses of food.  They grow marvelous tomatoes here abouts and excellent olive oil. The bruschetta is from heaven! This winery makes totally organic red wines, three varieties of grapes, 2 wines, 1 dessert wine, and 1 grappa.  They make the best sagrantino in the region. So now that we've had breakfast, lunch, winery snacks and are waiting for dinner, I'm showering and writing this blog. My cold BTW is totally gone.
Regarding my painting, I finished the 11x14 I started a couple of days ago. I started it late, near sunset, didn't like the lighting effects. I liked the spot and saw it originally early in the morning on my walk but later in the day it had a different effect so going back early allowed me to redo it with a more pleasing color scheme.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 8-Gubbio

Breakfast then bus trip to Gubbio. Gubbio is a good-sized hill town from probably over 2 thousand years ago.  It is so steep that they have a couple of elevators to take people up to different stages. 
Tablets were discovered here that were only recently transcribed that were created in about 2 BC  and describe the way people worshiped in these regions before that time. There is a park there where 41 people were lined up and shot during WWII. It was market day and we enjoyed roaming through the stalls. I had my pork sandwich for 2.50 Euro. They have a roasted whole pig-still warm-and shave off the meat. We visited two museums and we saw a few more churches, one was total simplicity (beautiful)-see photo (probably when I get home). They have a 2-person basket that takes you to the top-like a ski lift-but it was starting to rain and closed when we got there. We have become like billy goats and don't mind climbing anymore.

Day 7-Assisi

Early breakfast then bus trip to Assisi.  We spent about 5 hrs exploring the old city and the churches, saw the tombs of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claire. Also saw the Santa Maria degli Angelina basilica. Got back to hotel in time to rest before dinner.  The weather has been perfect, cool to warm, and all the food here is excellent.  I bought a small bottle of walnut liquor to try it.  
Rome arrangements: Carol and I were able to finalize our connection from this trip to the next one today. Our hotel found a driver for us. This is wonderful because it saves us a lot of time and effort-we would have had to drag our big heavy luggage on two trains and a couple of busses and stay over another night in Rome and have our bags held at the hotel-this way costs the same but it's much easier and no bag lugging on trains, etc. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 6- 2nd Painting Day

Breakfast, walk, lunch, started painting at 3, didn't have turp, didn't do well, worked on a 6x6 then an 11x14 until 6:30. The later one was done with bad light, I was blinded by the light and eaten by Mosquitos. Showered and went to dinner, went to bed early, took more cold pills.  My throat has been fine as long as I take losengers and cold pills.  The cold pills are probably sapping my energy and dulling my mind.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 5-Perugia & Deruta +parade

We left early after breakfast (I'm feeling a lot better) for Perugia.  This ancient hill town has the most excellent views you will ever see, and we visited the National Museum, strolled the ancient streets, visited their church, and rode up to this town in an automated mini tram (like a ski lift almost).  I don't know how anyone would get up there in olden days. Afterwards we visited Deruta, famous the world over for their ceramics. We'll have dinner shortly, then go to an annual festival parade where they will be wearing medieval garb.
The parade was great, crowds and crowds of people milling around walking up and down the parade route until it started. It was an annual celebration festival of the towns history.  All the participants wear thoroughly researched clothing of spectacular design and construction probably worn by their families (royalty) dating to the Middle Ages--drummers, horn players, outfits were more beautiful than I could have imagined and everyone played their part with hair, beards, horses, dogs, bulls, hawks and owls.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 4-first painting day.

We got up very early, did our hour walk, had a great breakfast and went to paint. Our first painting day, I brought the lightest kit ever, and so far it's working just fine.  I started out with a little 6x6 study and less than an hour later it started to spit rain with a high chance of heavy rain, so I packed up and went up to town, got $ at ITM,  meds at pharmacy, had soup and then started to feel bad with a cold and sore throat so we skipped the museum.
The meds did nothing for my throat, and after probably taking too much, they finally kicked in but I spent the day in bed and Carol brought me my supper. I hope I'm good enough for the bus tour tomorrow.

Day 3-rest of group arrives

We walked back to airport (15 minutes) arrival area and met the rest of the group.  8 new people this year and 21 friends from past trips. Our bus trip to the agritourisimo was over 2 hours. Hotel is Cambiano de piccolo in Montefalco.  Margaret Egli and Arwed  are the trip organizers and say that this could be the best place yet in all our travels. So far the food was great. Carol and I walked to the hill town after lunch-it is gorgeous-just like those pictures you see in the mags of ancient towns and not overrun with tourists. The family running this agritourisimo is on their 25th generation.

Day 2-Arrival in Rome

We landed on time.  There were really 1000 people in the line to check passports, it took us over an hour to get through that line, then we got our luggage and walked up and down trying to find the Hyatt for three hours! Everyone told us the wrong directions including the help desk and most only spoke Italian. So when we finally arrived at the desk at the Hyatt our other friend who landed 3 hours after us was there.  AND the hotel was actually right across the street!
I can't get pictures to load so they will come Later.

Day 1-fly to Italy

Carol Pike Webb and I flew out of Boston on time heading to Rome on Tuesday, Sept. 9th.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

#15 Megan Stevens

Megan was our youngest at 9 yrs old and our last for August!  What a gorgeous girl, she does not take a bad picture as witnessed below.  Years of karate have given her the capability to sit still (almost).  I didn't know what it would be like to paint a youngster, but I love it.  The skin colors are so beautiful.  I'm learning so much with the project.

Megan Stevens, model

#14 Kay Hogan

One more to go after today for this phase of the project!

Kay Hogan, an artist herself, had been planning to have her granddaughter painted but ended up sitting herself.  She had such a good time, that she promised to paint with us either today or in October.
Kay Hogan, model
Five of us painted this model, Anne, Cindy, Elaine, Stephanie and myself.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#13 Chis Denault

Chris Denault, model
Yesterday three of us painted Chris.  Anne, Stephanie and me.  I started painting the first pose and segwayed somehow to the second pose or maybe a combination of the two.  Even though we had the blinds drawn the sun had some effect on the lighting as the time passed.  I'm glad I have these photos because I had some troubles with applying the paint and couldn't get to a finished stage.  I realized in the middle of the night that it was probably because I didn't prime or apply a ground to my Gessobord.

Kay Hogan came in to visit with her granddaughter who will be todays model.  Kay is an artist and will paint with us today.

Anne, who is a steady participant in the project, and I were discussing how interesting all these models are as we get to know them a little bit and hear their stories.

Monday, August 25, 2014

#12 Sarah Gaudet

Sarah Gaudet, Model

Sarah and Jim's painting in progress

Jim, Elaine and the model, Sarah, taking a break.

Sarah and her mom, Jackie.

Sunday morning Jim Tinguely, Elaine, Cindy and I painted Sarah Gaudet.  She was another excellent model and we enjoyed painting her.  I'm feeling a tiny bit better about using my colors.  In November and December I'll be going over most of these portraits and adding finishing touches.  The show at the Merrimac Library starts the end of January.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#11 Julia Fisher

Julia Fisher, Model
Julia posed for her People Painting People - The Merrimacians project portrait today at the Church on the common in Bradford.  This group sponsored by The Haverhill Art Association meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month to paint portraits on one side of the hall and still life on the other.  Today there were probably 15 people who painted Julia, and all are eligible to enter their portraits in the show at the Merrimac Library the end of January 2015.  She will be remembered by everyone because she visited everyone at their easel during the breaks.

The project is going along very well, and some additional artists are coming on board.  I think that October will be well attended because summer has been a busy time for a lot of people who could not take time out to paint.

#10, Peter Davis, aka Dali

Peter Davis, Model
Peter was so much fun to paint, he even volunteered to come back and pose again with his guitar.  Luckily there were 5 of us painting him and everyone loved his face and hair and coloring.  Elaine, Cindy, Anne, Liz and I all had a great time talking with him as well.

#9, Grace Handy Portrait

Grace Handy, Model
My unfinished version of Grace
Three of the artists for the People Painting People-The Merrimacians project painted Grace in her yard.  It was a perfect day and she did an awesome job of posing for us.  Liz Peck and Rob Wilke were the other two artists.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Number 8, Karen Rubino Model for People Painting People - The Merrimacians

We had another great model and got filmed for local TV last night.  Karen even brought snacks--wanted to keep us on our game, I guess.  Carol Trainer of Merrimac TV came and filmed for three hours and says that the edits might be done today cutting it down to 1/2 hour.

We had four painters last night, Fran Butsavich, Elaine Asplind Russell, Elizabeth Peck and myself.  Everyone did a totally fantastic job except me.  Check this out.

Can you imagine, you get the TV to watch you paint, and you don't do your best???  Oh well, there is no such thing anymore as bad advertising.  So they say.
Carol Trainer, Merrimac TV

Elaine with THAT CLOCK.  Now we know that all it needs if a "C" battery!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Two more portraits, #6 & 7, and another one tonight

This project is progressing and the momentum still feels good.  I figured that it would get harder to "keep up" with it as time went by but I'm finding that I'm feeling better with each one.  I can feel the progress, not that you can see much progress, but I know it's happening.  Every time I do one, I learn something new and the constancy of it makes it easier to remember what I've learned.  Here are photos of the last two sitters, and tonight I have a sitter and a local TV crew coming in.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5th portrait in the project

Last night, Monday, August 11th, Deborah Ketchen was our model.  She was another excellent poser.  We loved the colors in her skin, I had trouble and I think I'll work on it Thursday morning again.  She has volunteered to come again, how nice, so we can either take another stab or work on our painting a little more.  6 hours with a sitter would make a big difference.  Two other artists came to participate, Liz and Elaine.
Photo of the model, Deborah Ketchen

I almost forgot to take photos so these were at the end.
The next model is Friday afternoon at 1:30.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

4th Model for Portrait project

Today the model for the People Painting People project, Angela Davis, was painted at the First Church of Christ activity hall in Bradford, MA by probably 15 painters.  A couple more artists signed up to paint more of our portraits.
Angela Davis, Model
I'll be receiving more photos from other people who took photos, but for now here are a couple:

Friday, August 8, 2014

3rd Model for People Painting People Project

We had a great session today with Laura Dillingham Mailman as the model.  We have been very fortunate in that all our models so far have been excellent in every way.  Laura has beautiful fair skin tones and blond hair.  We had three artists painting besides myself:  Cindy, Fran Butsavich , and Liz Peck.
Laura Dillingham Mailman, Model
Model Laura, Liz, Me, Cindy, Fran

Tomorrow (already) is the next model and it's at the Church in Bradford.  Wait until you see those pictures!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2nd model for People Painting People project

We had another wonderful model last night and 6 artists painted!  I'm so glad I did this as I am learning something every time.
Simone Cartier, the model

We started at 6 and finished at 9.
L-R=Elaine, Lix, Andrea, Anne, I'm taking the picture.

Here are a few shots during the breaks and some shots of the work.