Sunday, September 27, 2015

Primo anno degli Imbianchini......the first year of the white beauty painters

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Tale Of Two Mice,Dropping Bugs And A Frog...........

It all started one night when I was woken by  a noise sounding like something was under the bed..........
I thought it might be a lizard or gekko as I see them sometimes inside , but  I couldn't get back to sleep until I had cleared everything out from under the bed to make sure there was nothing there. Eventually I got back to sleep.
Next morning as I came into the kitchen two mice ran across the floor in front of me. Yeek!! I bravely ( no other option) rushed to the door and opened it, grabbed the broom and battered the cupboard under which they had run. This resulted in them both running out the door - and then one of them turned round and ran straight in again and back under the cupboard. More battering of cupboard ensued but that mouse was staying put.
This was the same day that my sister and brother in law were coming to visit.
So I found some traps and baited them with chocolate and cheese. Several hours later when I returned the cheese and chocolate had been  eaten but the traps hadn't snapped.  So I tried peanut butter......... several hours later and I had visions of this little mouse growing bigger by the hour as the peanut butter had gone and still the traps hadn't worked.
So going online I ordered a subsonic ray gun thingy which I could plug in and apparently made a noise which discouraged mice .
And I retreated to my artist's retreat for the night.
Next day I set off on my scooter to find something to fight back with. So I bought "mouse glue". It was the only thing available. I had to spread it on something like cardboard  with some food in the middle and the mouse would go to get the food and get stuck. (gross!!)
Then I found that I had sold a large painting from the cafe. So went to put another one in its place. Collected some more money from sale of my prints in the little alimentare .  ( prints sold have now paid for 2 months electricity.)
Then went to a meeting about public art which I was taking part in and really enjoyed being part of a group of artists.
Came home.
Checked the glue traps.Had caught a little mouse which was looking quite perky but stuck. Removed it as best I could and put it down the end of the street where it disappeared.
Shaking like a leaf I locked up.
Slept in artist's retreat again.
Next morning  bought mouse poison and got rid of the glue.
Then I started the big clean. I cleaned cupboards, threw out  5 black bin bags of books. hoovered under everywhere , put neat bleach under all the cupboards and down the back of the fridge, cooker and washing machine - all the time dreading I might find a nest of mice. Oh yuck!!!!
Didn't find anything except some nibbled napkins.
That same day I got invited t
was nice to have company when painting

new more mouseproof furniture


maria grazia


vito antonio



white beauty painters....

painting the roofs

work in progress
o a wedding - and my artist's retreat is going to be used in some way during the wedding.
Slept at artist's retreat.
Next day went to Aliano and Alianello with my sister. Was so great to go out together and I have been wanting to go to Aliano since I read Carlo Levi's book  (Christ stopped at Eboli.)about 9 years ago. Was very hot and amazing.We drove through the "calanche" and it was like being in another world.
Then I got a booking for 2 nights for the artist's retreat from the  next day......
I can't say I was ready to move back to the studio but I couldn't really turn down the money.
So slept at artist's retreat again for the last night.
Next day I moved my stuff back into the studio , cleaned artist's retreat, got ready for the public art project (painting pictures on walls) and welcomed guests, then went to Marconia to start painting on a wall.  It was fun- usual unexpected problems- which got fixed- but that's another story- and we got started.
Got the bus home.
Carefully opened door to studio and much stamping of feet.
Slept in studio- not very well as woke up with every little noise.
Next day , tidied all day before going to marconia to paint on the wall.  Didnt get on very well and had to stop as there was a strong wind and my stuff got repeatedly blown away. Managed to fit in  visiting two art exhibitions while I was there.
Home on the bus. Much stamping of feet as I entered studio again.....
Slept in in studio- a little better.
Next day , got more orgainsed for wall painting, almost finished the "mousekeeping". Said goodbye to guests, tidied up and welcomed next one.
Slept in studio.
Next morning went to marconia on the early bus and got on much better painting on the wall without the wind.  Much aided also by chocolate cornetto and coffee.  Was a fun morning indeed.
On way back scooter was losing power so  mechanic took it away.
Decided to go to a small feste in the evening but after sitting through the church bit I was driven away by very ,very loud band. So never did hear the main singer.
On way home dropped in on american friends who had just arrived.
Much stamping of feet as I returned to studio. No sign of my subsonic ray gun thingy yet. ( no sign of any mice either.)
Slept in studio. A little better.
Off to Marconia on the bus again and fuelled by coffee and cornetto am  getting on at speed with my painting. Got lots of interest and people stopping to talk.
Back home was getting almost relaxed until I looked behind the cooker and something had been eating the mouse poison.
After investigating  with a torch I actually think ants have been eating it...
That evening I was invited out for a meal with american friends. It was spectacular.
Almost forgot to stamp feet when arriving back in studio
Next day got up early and moved furniture and then painted the wall behind it. Am getting some furniture that was to have been thrown out from the apartment above.  It means more of my stuff can be laid away safely from marauding mice or my latest problem - dropping bugs.  Have had to move my desk twice as they kept falling on it. Very disconcerting!
Other than that had a fairly quiet day.
Oh , and my subsonic ray gun thingy arrived and is now plugged in and hopefully scaring mice away from my studio.
Only waking up with the louder noises in my studio.
Got up and went to Marconia  on the bus again. My scooter is repaired so I scooter to the bus station and catch the bus. Am quite enjoying this.
Painting went well.
As it was the feste in Marconia that night I decided to return again in the evening and put some finishing touches to the painting and have a walk round the street market.  I had a great evening and I think I may have 2 commissions for portraits.
Came home on the bus and had a relaxing evening watching tv before going to bed.
Feeling a little more at home in studio  but still a little on edge.
Next day my guest left , so I tidied up before next guests who are arriving the next day.
Sunday now and my new furniture was delivered.  I varnished it a little darker and am now quite pleased with it.
Then i went out looking at property for sale with a friend So many properties for sale here. not expensive.
In the evening my next guests/friends arrived and we all went to the last night of the feste in Marconia.
Now am sleeping more or less normally in my studio- but thanks to the mice I have not done any painting here for more than 2 weeks.
So next day I started a portrait which was  commissioned while I was painting on the wall. And in between doing that I painted my old wardrobe to match my new furniture. and in the evening sat out in the street with my new guests and some neighbours drinking wine and chatting. I left before the grappa.
Actually enjoying my studio again- though looking forward to the end of the dropping bug season.  Took a brush outside tonight and brushed them all off the outside wall. I assume they climb up , then in some holes in the roof and then drop!
Next day- worked on portrait and then went out in evening with friends.
My studio is looking so pretty- especially the bedroom/living room.
more work on the portrait, a bit of evening socialising with friends and then as i was going to bed a strange noise.......
A frog the size of a teacup was sitting looking at me in my little gallery.
I opened the door but it squished under the cupboard. I have not seen it since.
Next day  I went to Pietrapertosa with friends. It was gorgeous.  A wonderful day out.
I then got another portrait commission, had another pleasant evening drinking wine with friends.
Slept in studio with no sign of frogs or mice.
Painted portrait all next day and then went out for lovely meal in the evening.
And yesterday said goodbye to my two new friends, who i hope to see again. And went to what i thought was going to be a history lesson but instead was the white beauty painters, with tv camera and cake.
I think it might now be the end of my social life for the summer, am hoping its the end of the mice, the dropping bugs seem to be decreasing and with any luck the frog left while I wasn't looking.
It's been quite a summer........

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It's July and it's very warm in Pisticci.......

It seems like a long time since I went on my "forget my birthday" holiday.
It worked in a way that I didn't expect and I came back feeling - not old,  and have continued to feel like a sort of young older person. Also I have been deciding what I might do in the next ten years - or at least what I want to do now and not put off.
This has pretty much resulted in  me going round in circles and doing very little.
I am doing a project on twitter to motivate myself and I am trying out a sort of colourist style. And my artist's retreat has been keeping me busy. I have so enjoyed meeting lots of interesting people. But am a little lacking in direction.
And summer is definitely here. I think it has been in the mid thirties centigrade for the last while and is rumoured to be going to be even hotter next week.
I have not been to the beach - but I did sunbathe for half an hour on someone's roof.
However going round in circles is not conducive to writing anything interesting so decided to go out for a walk and take some photos..And while I was out I said "good evening/ buona sera" to quite a few people and then sat on a doorstep with some lovely people and ate ice cream and heard how to cook strange vegetables and pasta  and remembered why I love living here.

some photos of latest work and my walk in the dark......

am very pleased with the oleanders by my door

Friday, June 12, 2015

fantastic " forget my birthday "holiday

After much thought I have decided to let the photos tell the story. (I took enough of them)
setting off for what I thought would be 4 days of solitude in a house in a wood.very glad I was completely wrong.

spent a couple of hours looking  round Sasso di Castaldo with Ester,s dad who made a great guide.

there were some beautiful stone houses- you would need to visit to appreciate as photos  only scrape the surface.

view from up the hill, looking over some of the old part of the town.

fantastic flowers. I loved the colours of the houses too.

my lovely red room

with en suite shower room

 had breakfast with homemade cake outside every morning

part of the lovely big garden surrounding the house.

me looking very surprised at receiving a card and flowers from my family - thanks to Ester.

sat outside in the garden and wrote about everything that happened. lovely quiet place to listen birds, and just chill.

used to sit beside the fire in the evenings and chat and drink wine

my surprise-very delicious birthday cake made by Ester

my favourite wall painting in satriano

strange and interesting.........

a pretty corner in satriano

no idea what this was but I liked it

having fun with the paintings. 

more paintings

there is an adventure behind this photo.............

il Rifugio stellata - think I spelled that correctly

the remains of my birthday cake before I ate it for breakfast
had lunch in the sunshine in the garden on my birthday then 2 hours later violent hailstones, thunder and lightening

waiting for the train home from Potenza

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

artist's retreat has had its first artist staying for a month.........

Since I bought my little house to use as an artist's retreat ( and a  place to rent out  as a "Pisticci Experience")
I have had a lot of guests from all over europe. But this is the first time I have had an artist come for a whole month.
( As the artist was married to a musician....I have been wondering where that could go too-as  there are a lot of musicians here and possible scope to play.......)
However back to art and Pisticci .
I am including part of an email Royane wrote about her experience here.  (  )

"I realized within a few weeks how important it is for a creative person to step out of the familiar and into  a different culture, surrounding oneself with the people, the food, the landscape and the light and the rhythm of daily life which is so different than our own. It's like unused circuits in the brain begin to fire.
The retreat has a spiritual quality - I don't mean in a religious way. It just feels good. It feels comfortable and somehow allows one's mind to open to new possibilities in one's chosen art form."

This is pretty much the affect I was hoping for.

Today I am sorting out a few small details and getting  the artist's retreat ready for the summer. I am almost completely booked until October - except for a few days in june and the first 2 weeks in september.
I am hoping for some longer term guests in the autumn and even the winter as there is now a pellet stove which should keep the house warm. ( I provide an electric blanket too.)
You can find me on AIRBNB as "small house in Pisticci"

I bought this little house because I wanted to share the experience/joy/fun/inspiration/love  that I have found here. Hope to see you soon..............