Wednesday, September 21, 2011

sitting by the roadside and tea with the queen.

It was very relaxing just sittting on the verge while my scooter was getting fixed. There were some grey clouds in the sky but it wasn't raining, and it wasn't too hot even though it was midday.
So there was nothing to do but enjoy the relative peace and quiet. There is an italian expression "stai tranquile" which I think means , don't worry, but I prefer to think of it as "be tranquil". Therefore I sat there tranquilly looking up at the trees and wondering how I could paint them against the blue sky and then against the grey clouds. And what was the word for blue in italian? And isn't it amazing how quickly the trees which are virtually chopped to half their height are now covered in leaves.
There wasn't much noise (none at all from my scooter) except for some one selling vegetables in the distance and calling out what he had. Then there were a few cars. All the cars passing slowed down to have a look at what was happening. I love that it's okay to be curious here.
It was only about 20 minutes and my scooter started again. (thanks Gabriel)
So now I'm in my studio and this is the most relaxed I have been in ages and I can't help wondering why I don't take the time to just sit and look more often.
Of course I could just be feeling very chilled because I dreamt I went for tea with the queen and one of her in laws last night. It was very vivid and I was not at all intimidated. I remember thinking she had thinner legs than I would have imagined. She was very polite , as was I.

I have been busy working on commissions so I am including photos of some of them.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A stress free life

I thought I was a fairly relaxed person, till yesterday at the market in Taranto. I was fairly relaxed about not selling any paintings and we were packing up in no particular hurry . Then a guy near us came over  and stood in the shade nearby. "I am not packing up for another hour," he said " In an hour the shadow will have reached the other side of the street and then I will pack up. It's not good for your heart to work in the hot sun." He pointed to his heart to make sure we understood and then went off to sit in a chair in the shade to wait for the shadow to reach his side of the street.
By the time we left , the shadow was half way accross the street and he was just dozing in the shade and waiting.
I think that is so impressive and I am envious. I never ever sit and wait without feeling that I have to be doing something to justify my existence. Taking an hour to myself just to take care of my heart and not work in the sun is completely foreign to me. (This was not someone who was just lazy. As far as I know he has a shop he works in during the week and still does markets on sundays as well.)
I decided to go for a cappucino this morning, as it's monday and it's nice thing to do and I work better after having been out. (Not that I am justifying myself!) So went off on scooter to town and my favourite cafe was closed , on holiday, then my second favourite was also closed for holidays , the third one had too many men in it, (they all stare and I get a bit embarassed), the next one , where you cant sit down, but I really wanted a coffee by this time was shut too. So frustrated, I set off to the next one on my scooter and riding by, saw too many men again, so I decided enough was enough I was going in the next one  and that was that.  I drew up to a small one I hadn't been in before and hurray, although there were no seats , it was not full of men either.  The guy serving was friendly  and I saw a painting on the wall by someone I did an exhibition with and we talked about it . It was nice to talk and the cappucino was good. I will go back. Its a great combination cappucino and chat.
On my search for a coffee I passed the art shop in the corsa and there was one of my portraits, framed. I had to go past it again for another look. Even after all this time I think deep down that actually people just take my paintings home and put them in a cupboard out of sight. This is not logical ,as why would people pay for them  and then put them away, but I am always ridiculously pleased when I see one of mine on someones wall.
I am almost always happy when I am out on my scooter. There is just something about whizzing along  in the open air , not so fast that you can't see everything, that feels good. It helps obviously when the weather is fine and the surroundings are lovely. I think it suits my personality as I am more of an observer than a participator. And you can see  and experience so much from a scooter. And now that I sometimes  hang my handbag on the handlebar I feel so casual  and Italian.
Can't help noticing that I have managed to justify my taking an hour out to go out on my scooter and have a coffee by writing this blog, but what the heck!  If I spend the next twenty years gradually  becoming more like the guy waiting for the sun  that would be ok. (It may take 20 years!)

As I had no suitable photos I was obliged to go out and take some. All  were taken while on my scooter (Parked!)