Sunday, June 11, 2017

An Ongoing Love Affair

  Now that we are back in the States, we are getting back to our routine. This often includes driving to the San Fransisco Bay Area to deliver paintings to clients, or going to see Mom & Dad. We do both regularly, thank goodness.
  We knew we were going to the Palo Alto area for a delivery, so decided to look up what was happening/showing at The Anderson Collection and The Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford University campus grounds nearby. We have seen several dynamite shows there, and it's always good to check in and see what's up.
  To my delight, The Anderson had a small selection of Nick Cave's awe inspiring 'Soundsuits' on display! Woo-Hoo! 

    We'd seen an extensive display of Cave's 'Soundsuits' in Florence, back in 2012, and I didn't know if we'd ever have an opportunity to see more, so we made sure we would have enough time to: 
1) Deliver Paintings
2) See Great Art
3) Go To IKEA (gulp)

  Yeah, we are masochists. 
  But, in our defense, we had a great day, and slept like new born kittens that night. Meow.

 ( I was only a little bummed that there were just eight pieces, but hey, we rarely get to see any of Nick Cave's work, so it was fine. Plus, the rest of the collection is wonderful and we spent a good chunk of time enjoying it all. )


  I've chosen to let the Soundsuits speak for themselves. Just shots of the whole piece, and close-ups.

  He uses all sorts of flotsam and jetsam to create these suits, which are actually made to wear for performance art pieces, and I find it all so extraordinary...the use of old potholders, stuffed animals, beads, old toys, hair, twigs, etc, etc, etc....Texture and color and, in performance, sound...Remarkable!

  Each suit has leggings, too. Nice touch, Mr. Cave.


  I believe there are several helpers in his studio that are there to support the undertaking. Some of the bead work and button work is so extreme...It must take hours and hours of eye straining dedication.

  That's the show.
  If you are at all intrigued by this work, you can go online for loads of images, videos, and information.
  Just remember, it's Nick Cave Artist...Not Nick Cave & The Seeds, a popular band from days gone by.
  The show runs through August 14, 2017 at The Anderson Collection on the Stanford University Campus. Go.

  Here is a short, very cool Youtube video that gives you an idea of the 'Suits in action. There are many more you can find online.

Friday, May 26, 2017

This Evening In The Garden

  Well, we've been back home in California for two weeks now.
  Tough? Yes....but thankfully the garden has been my touchstone, as always.
  It's always hard to come back from two months in Umbria, and this year it's especially true. Now that we have our own place to return to, we just can't wait to go back, and kind of wonder why we can't just stay there.
  Upside, the gallery is doing great, we have already seen Mom & Dad, and gone to the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art to see the amazing Matisse/Diebenkorn show.
  It's been a very busy two weeks, and we do love this side of our lives, too...of course.
  But...for's the garden that has made all the difference in this transition.
  After the first real winter of rain in a decade, the garden is in her glory. I thank my garden guru, Pedro, as much as the rain. I can't imagine what a jungle it would be if not for him.
  His attention to detail is supreme, and the garden has never looked better.
  Pedro, dear friend, you ROCK.
  I have spent several hours over the last two weeks, between work and all, doing some puttering myself. Picking roses, cutting back this and that, planting tomatoes....just getting in there and getting dirt under my nails.
  It's everything to me.
  It's what I need to get connected here again.

  So, when we got home late from work at the gallery tonight, I walked out back and just breathed in the evening beauty... Thank you, dearest Garden...You may be small, but you are oh-so-mighty.

  I'll just let the pictures tell the story.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Visiting Isola Polvese

  Since our time here in Umbria is coming to an end(at least this visit), we are choosing some last things we want to do before we go.
  A couple of days ago, we woke to a banner day. Warm, clear and gorgeous. Seemed perfect for a hike around Isola Polvese, the largest of the three islands of Lago Trasimeno. We try to do this every year, so off we went to catch the boat from San Feliciano.

  You can catch different boats from different spots around the lake, each area serves different island destinations. For Isola Plovese, you need to go from San Feliciano, a charming village not far from us.
  We waited with four other people. Nice.

The island is in the background...a ten minute boat ride.

  We always enjoy a boat ride! And when the lake is like glass, even better.

  Johnny was happy he didn't need to bring a load of painting gear. He's done this many times here. This trip, work is over and it's just a nice day on the lake.

Happy husband!

San Feliciano from the boat.

I couldn't resist a little Italian pride.


  Once on the island, we just took off hiking up towards the top. Perfect walking weather, for sure.

A little cloud cover made it not too warm.

  I was keen to see if the old aqautic pond area was open to the public this year. It hasn't been for some time. I snuck in once, years ago...but never got to see it again.
  Until now-Yes, the gate was open! No sneaking around! Plus, we were the only people there. Lots of frogs and lizards...and us.

  I found this informatiom online:

The Garden of the Aquatic Plants: it was built in 1995 thanks to the architectural and functional recovery, cared by the Province of Perugia, of a unique swimming pool designed in 1959 by Peter Porcinai, one of the greatest Italian architects of the landscape. Mr. Porcinai devised a swimming pool (maximum depth 5.30 mt.) built into the rock and fed by the waters of Trasimeno Lake which, subject to special filtering techniques, achieve a high degree of transparency. "

  There is a peacefulness here that is so magical. The frogs, the water lillies, the reflections in the clear water. I loved it as much as the first time I saw it.
  All the water plants keep the pools so clear...

  I could totally imagine myself spending an hour or two here, sunbathing and taking little dips in the pool. Who wouldn't?

Especially nice with the view of the lake down below. Sigh.

  Of course, there is a perfect spot to get all naked and soak up sunshine..No, I did not, sadly.
  Another day, perhaps.

Where's my towel?

  Later, we headed up a little further to enjoy a simple 'torta al testo', a sandwich made on specific bread found in this region. We had it with grilled veg at the little hostel on the hill.
  Then, more hiking.

What a day!

  A few moments from the hike-

  Here comes the little boat. Ready to shuttle us back to the mainland.

  It was a great way to spend one of our last days here, for sure. So much to do before we leave, but we know we'll return as soon as we can.