|10" x 7", pencil & watercolor, Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook. Each small sketch is 1-1/2"x 1-1/2".|
I pretty much walked around in a constant state of wonder while I was there. I can't even begin to count the number of times I said to my traveling companion, Suzie, "Oh! Look at that! It's so-o-o-o beautiful!!!!" Finally, I decided to make a page in my journal that would feature a few of these little vignettes. I marked off 1-1/2" squares in pencil, and began filling them in one-by-one as we traveled. Since the squares were so small, I didn't use ink lines, as I thought they would overwhelm the tiny pictures. Just a few lines in pencil were enough to remember the essentials of a scene, then I painted them back home in my studio.
Here's what I included on the page:
- simple white curtains and dark green shutters against warm stucco walls
- a hand-painted shrine to the Virgin Mary on the exterior wall of a home
- beautiful windows, doors, and moldings
- balconies of stone and wrought iron
- flowers in window boxes
- creative iron work
- chimneys that looked like little houses
- louvered shutters, arched shutters, and the simplest of plain wood shutters
- freshly painted shutters and ones weathered by centuries of use
- shutters with bright, shiny hinges, and ones with rusted metal and handmade nails
- wrought iron curlicues on balconies and doors
- hand-painted flowers on varnished wood shutters
We found beauty in the most unlikely of places, like the scene above. Someone took the time to tie bundles of twigs with colored twine, twist tissue paper around a few primrose plants, tie them with ribbons, and place the arrangements on each windowsill of an ancient house in a small out-of-the-way village. Was it for the tourists? For the neighbors? For people driving or walking by? Or did she do it just for herself, for the love of seeing something beautiful at every window in her home? An Italian everyday artist!