Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Series of Sicily Frescoes

A journey to my father's hometown of Ragusa, will culminate into a series of frescoes of Sicily .
From my mother's village in Calabria, Ragusa is "close but yet so far." You can take a bus or train to Villa San Giovanni in the city of Reggio, where a 45 minute ferry takes you across the strait of Messina.
Above is the view towards Calabria from the ferry, below is the view towards Sicily.
From Messina the bus or train continues on to Catania where you need to board a bus to Ragusa....a 12 hour venture. By car it could take as little as 4 but there is some lovely things to see on the way.
Places like Isola Bella above, Toarmina and Castelmonte below.
Upon arrival to Ragusa and the ancient town of Ibla, a Unesco world heritage site, you are faced with the beautiful facade of San Giorgio in a most beautiful piazza.
Navigating through the cobblestoned streets and many stairs throughout the town I came across this lovely scene.
I became inspired to take over 1000 photographs during this 4 day visit. These were both taken from the stairs of Santa Maria delle Scale of which there are over 300!
This fresco on a rustic limestone tile has a 1941 5 centessimo coin inserted into the plaster.
View this and more at the upcoming Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale Arizona.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's on my easel in real time #4

This is the final installment of "What's on my easel in real time" edition 1. It has been fun so look for another edition soon. Since my last post I have added 2 sections of plaster to this peice. Giornata 2 (the 2nd section of plaster and my 2nd painting day) was all of the stone work in the background.

Giornata 3 (the 3rd section of plaster and my 3rd painting day) was the scenery in the window.

Now along with Penelope she waits to be transferred. I will let the rest speak for itself, except to say that she needs a name...any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Untitled" or "Penelope's sister"

Welcome once again! This is the 3rd installment of What's on my easel in real time. You can see here that the first "giornata" or painting day on this fresco is complete. The second section of plaster has been partially laid.
The humidity index here is 50-80% which means I have been forced to leave my plaster "open" almost 24 hours before I can begin painting. I need the plaster to remain damp, but not so much that my brush will dent it. It is somewhat of a waiting game. If you have ever watched paint dry (or plaster) you know how frustrating this can be!!

I have recently found that by laying the plaster the day before, I can begin painting early the next day. Very important since once I am able to start, I must finish within 12 hours ( before the plaster starts it's curing stage.) But when I go to Arizona the humidity index will be 0-7% and that's a whole new ball game! (sigh)

I am often asked "why bother doing all this? The answer is because...

There is nothing like a true fresco!


Thursday, September 3, 2009


So in keeping with posting what's on my easel in real time. The 2nd section of plaster on "Penelope" is now finished and will be curing on my easel while I prepare panels for new works.
At 30"x30" she will now continue "waiting" to be transferred onto cloth as she is too heavy to stay on plaster and cement board. This will happen throughout the next few weeks. The window by which she sits was referenced from a fascinating place called Bruzzano,Calabria.
Below you can see that everything and everyone from the village is long gone. You can also see my mother's village of Ferruzzano on the hilltop in the background.
Interestingly, there is visible evidence of inhabitation of from byzantine, pre-hellenic and even neolithic civilizations here ..look closely at the rock and how it is carved in places!
Does that look like a buffalo? and a cave dwelling?? Well I guess we are talking thousands of years BC... Calabria has such a rich history!
If you like what you see here, be sure to view my You Tube video called "My Italy" for more beautiful imagery from Calabria as well as more frescoes. The complete and final version is now done! See you there!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's on the easel... in real time!

Since Italy I find myself in a creative frenzy, sorting through a sea of images and inspiration, both mental and photographic. I thought it might be fun to post about what is on my easel... and do it in real time. So, this fresco is unfinished and untitled but sitting & waiting...much like Penelope in Homer's Odyssey...ah, ok perhaps it is titled! I will call her "Penelope!"
Penelope, wife of Odyseuss (Ulysses in Roman mythology), is known for her patience and faithfulness in keeping her many suitors at bay as she waited for her husbands return from a long absence. Now she will show the same virtues as she awaits completion. The brown paper area to the right indicates where I will lay the 2nd section of plaster. If all goes as planned she will be sitting by a window with a beautiful view of lets see, hmmm...Italy?!?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"MY ITALY" film updated with new frescoes

As promised here is a "sneak peek" of 2 of the new frescoes I created in Italy this summer. You will notice I have been having some fun experimenting with the idea of inserting interesting elements into the plaster! The first includes an antique key and old Italian Lire.
The other is a collaboration with a local Italian mosaic artist. I love the way the small mosaic cluster in the foreground mirrors the cluster of houses of the village. I expect mosaic will be slowly creeping in to my new work, another fascinating, beautiful, and ancient medium!
This summer's abundant rainfall has given me time to work on familiarizing myself with the wonderful world of editing and film via i-movie. Although most everyone is on holidays, those of you who are gracious enough to be visiting me here, instead of the beach or the lake, will be the first to view my finalized "MY ITALY film. You will see many beautiful images in the film and I will write more about that soon but for now, just enjoy the scenery, the rest of the summer, and I will "see you in September!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

MY ITALY post No. 3 "Italian Gelato" no cone, no cup!

This funny looking bun on the counter is called "Brioche" and in Southern Italy it is the very best way to eat Gelato (in my opinion of course!) Leave it to the Italians to take a good thing and make it better!!
Let's see, I will have cioccolato, nocciola and "Rocher" the name of this flavor says it all!!!

After making your selection your brioche (an egg bread that is soft and not too sweet, similar to easter bread) will be filled with gelato and served with  a wink!  
Thankfully you are furnished with a spoon... even still this is a messy endeavor but worth the effort for sure!

So you've caught me taking a break in beautiful Italy!  I promise I have been working as well and may offer a "sneak peek" soon...until then Buon Appetito once again!! And remember to visit for updates on the upcoming show.

p.s. Why are all these posts about food???