Monday, January 7, 2019

Shadows on the snow....

Have got a spare ten minutes this morning ( according to my self imposed schedule)
I like to start work on the hour or half past.
The title of this post refers vaguely to feeling like there are a lot of shadows lurking around my life just now. The biggest one is missing james. At this time last year i believed he was getting better and i was getting ready to spend 3 months or so in parma helping him to get better. Unknown to me he was actually gravely ill with sepsis  which i didnt know until i arrived in his hospital room and he was unconscious with an oxygen mask on.
On the previous visit we had spoken and made plans for helping him to get better . His prognosis was good. He was going to start standing up and was trying to write 
That's one shadow.
Then there is brexit. Enough said.
Then there are all the other little or big things.... nothing a brain transplant wouldn't fix.
But ....and am working on cheering myself up as i have a cold and i dont like winter and am spending too much time on my own......
So thinking about shadows on snow and its the shadows which make the snow beautiful. Just white is nothing.  Also  my friend says that its neccessary to always put some red in a painting and it certainly stands out well against white and shadows.  So todays  slightly weird, but might work for me plan, is to appreciate the shadows and chose to make some bright red bits in my life.
And as i am working on a big snow painting may incorporate this thinking.
Am posting a small view i did earlier  this week of the snow from my doorstep. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nice thoughts from my doorstep

Have been sitting on the doorstep having breakfast.
It's one of my favourite places to be. I am screened from the street by flowers and a large picture frame carefully positioned and draped with net curtain , fake ivy and pink plastic flowers. Despite the description it blends in really well with all the real flowers.
(I think there is something funny and interesting about mixing a few fake flowers in with the genuine plants. )
It's may, so most of my flowers are blooming.
When I look towards the valley I am looking through a mixture of Rosebush and climbing shrub  mixed in with most vivid red geraniums and some basil
I look over the top of the lavender bushes which are strangely soothing. Just beyond it I can see the top of a little Christmas tree which someone gave me at my first art exhibition in my little artists house and later I planted it. It seems to like living here.
I can just see the bluey hills in the distance through the branches of the big tree at the end of the street.
It is a beautiful tall tree which stands up tu the most violent winds by bending this way any that. Presently it has new reddish orange leaves.
It is behind the little white house which is actually only a wall with about 3 rows of higgeldy piggeldy tiles left on top.if it wasn't there I would be seeing the sea in the distance.
I am very proud and amused by the little statue which stands beside me holding my coffee cup. It makes me feel I am being waited upon.
This morning it's peaceful.....just cars and bells and strimmers and people talking and birds singing....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fallas in valencia

Been in valencia for the festival to welcome spring before returning to pisticci.
It was quite spectacular. The costumes of the ladies in the large procession were overwhelmingly extravagantly gorgeous. So colourful and intricate and so many..... then also the ladies and girls all walked so upright ( might have been the clothes ) that it made them seem stately and strong. If you ever saw pictures of strong looking, beautiful  Spanish women in books from the past then this was like that but multiplied.
There were fireworks going off almost 24 hours a day and I would like  to come back and see the displays closer up. From where I was staying I could see the higher explosions all round the city .
Then I was lucky  enough to be able to see the burning of the effigy. ( enormous  figures in amazing contortions and - well you just had to see them.) At the end of my street.  I think I read that there were 750 of them all over the city  and they were all burned to end the festa. There were even more fireworks, loud music  and plumes of black smoke in every direction.
Today am hoping  to go visit the giant figure of the Madonna covered in flowers carried by the beautiful ladies in the procession.
I really think I may have to come back next year. This is a very brief description of something special that you really need to experience not read about.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This morning in pisticci

It is a beautiful morning and combined going for a coffee with taking photos and chatting to people and getting some exercise........and just enjoying the moment.
Here ( hopefully) are some of the photos I took the spirit of wish you were here. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

snowy january in pisticci


couldnt get any further than my doorstep due to footwear problem............

so much for plans.....snow in Pisticci

this has been the coldest winter in Pisticci since I came to live here. The temperature has been as low as - 9C.
There was lots of snow and no water. i was stuck  inside for 3 days due to lack of suitable footwear. the streets were dangerously icy for days......
Trainers with plastic bags inside are ok but not great.
Been waking up to -9C in the mornings and for several days I couldnt get  heated up more than 12C.
My internet has been off and on and so am now trying to post this for the 3d time.
Have managed to finish 2 commissions and 2 oil paintings and have more work planned for next week.
weather should get better by next monday.........

starting again.........and enjoying what I have learned

For lots of people 2016 was not a good year and for me it was the worst year I have spent in Italy.
Starting with  new year when I had discovered that I had cataracts forming in both eyes and because of my status was not sure whether I would need to sell my house to pay to get them fixed. Am not sure which health service I can use and Brexit has only made this more confusing.
On the plus side , I have been trying out eyedrops and lutein and bilberry and it may be that in 5 or more years when it might be neccessary to have some treatment that my situation health service wise might be resolved. who least I have a house to sell if all else fails.
As an artist this was a big deal...............but, it could have been worse.
Then at the same time there was the renovation project going on upstairs. That was horrendous. It was an experience that was always going to be difficult for me as I work at home and could not get away from it. Even after 9 months I can still feel the remains of the anxiety and stress it caused- not counting that I have had to make up 3 months income as I was unable to do more than a minimum amount of work.
I had believed that the owners of the apartment being renovated were friends so other than saying could you please keep me informed of what is going to be happening , then I didn't check out what rights I may or may not have had.
The problem thereafter was made much worse due to the psychological effects of being metaphorically  battered on a regular basis, It became more and more difficult to act with any conviction and I went from being a reasonably sensible person to someone who couldn't sleep, was massively angry, had to take extra blood pressure pills, whose hands shook and I lived in a state of fear.
I regularly rushed through to the other part of my house because I thought my ceiling had fallen down. Small bits of plaster fell around me when the builders were working on the gutter and therefore on my roof....I climbed up a ladder in the middle of the night to plaster a yogurt tub to the wall to stop water running in a new leak in my roof and directly on to my electric meter. I  veered from I can deal with won't last forever to I can't cope I have to leave now.
I was however rather pleased with my ability to persevere more than I thought I could and am irrationally smug about my yogurt tub water deflector.
So , on the basis that the best way to get over something is to learn something from it
I should , in the future check out what rights I have in the worst case scenario- just incase.
I am not a failure if I can't deal with everything on my own- in fact I am an idiot for thinking that I can.  Sometimes  it would be the sensible thing to call for help.
Another plus is that I have learned to stick up for my self- even when I  feel I shouldn't have had to.
I haven't enjoyed learning all this because I have spent most of my life believing  that if you treat other people well then they will have no reason to treat you badly. So I was pretty much in the huff  for a while cause my theory wasn't working. But now that i have adjusted it to most of the time you get back what you give out but sometimes you need to  use plan b, I am not so much in the huff!
In all of this Pisticci and the local people have been an enormous blessing and comfort.
I would have preferred to ignore all this and just write about the happy bits of which there are plenty but  it does seem like my little world got all shook up and my story doesnt make sense without it. And it feels like I can only look back at this year through a fog of disillusionment.
( I have greatly censored and rewritten this several times)
Its a lovely sunny day here and the cold north wind which has been making it feel very cold has gone for the time being.
I have been out for coffee and am looking forward to  getting back to normal life.
I have very much enjoyed December. I thought I would do as many things as possible and be a bit more sociable.
So have had  people round for a meal, been out for meals,  did two christmas markets nearby my house ( great fun), been at 2 concerts locally,  took part in a cultural evening/exhibition with artists and poets I didn't know, had a swedish new year, made lots of shortbread and lasagne, painted a lot and sold quite a lot, enjoyed having a guest in my little artists house and bought  christmas lights for my studio and lots more.
And in January I have some plans for new work , maybe a few days away and lots more coffees.
So hoping to enjoy my life as a story again with the new improved me..........( and my plan b)
Happy New year and Best wishes to anyone reading this......