"I've been completely saturated with Italy: color, food, culture, people, artists, and learning a new way of seeing."
--my diary in Italy, July 2018
This is the next installment in the Story of My Trip to Italy series. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and part 4. Also Part 6 and 7.) This particular post is actually a few diary entries from the time I was in Civita, Castellana, Italy.
It's such a windy day! The windows and doors are opening and slamming shut constantly...the days are FULL. I've made good friends, Italian friends. And I love speaking Italian, which I do constantly and shamelessly, and, honestly, quite successfully. I can tell people appreciate that I am trying. For example, I made friends with an older couple, Elvira and Antonio. They have treated me with wonderful hospitality. I have visited them and painted on their rooftop garden in the center of the city, and also they have invited me for dinner twice!
Elvira gave me several gifts-- clothes she used to wear in her youth. They are very cute outfits! How could I have formed such a lovely friendship so fast?
I also met a local young man, Maurizio, who showed me his favorite restaurant. Fantastic!
Also I made friends with Angelo and Giusy, a wonderful couple who runs "the Club," a little cafe in the plaza, and they are so so nice. [See photo of them in this post.] I broke my sunglasses a few days ago, and Angelo took me a few blocks to visit his friend, who opened up a little eyeglass-shop just for me. (Shops are often closed in the afternoons, I'm learning. Guys usually sit in front of them on benches, taking a break, just hanging out. It's very laid-back.) Anyway, this guy fixed my glasses for me, for free. It was so sweet. Everyone is so kind!!
I've been getting a lot of good feedback from my peers. (Really, they are my superiors, even though many are so much younger than me!) A woman named Marsal Nazary gave me a lot of good suggestions. (See My Paintings and Sketches from Italy.) Most fun was her idea of a "premier-coup," doing a quick, one-shot small painting of the same scene I had been working on (in a larger way) for a few days. It was a lot of fun working fast and free: a good balance. One method informs the other!
I'm learning so much! Honestly, the overwhelm can be intense. I'm glad I'm taking some time to process and reflect. Susan Jane Walp, the guest teacher, is giving a talk at 9 pm tonight! I really like her, and I'm looking forward to going. [note: I wrote about it here: "Loveliest of What I Leave Behind."]
"You know in your heart of hearts what you love looking at." -- Susan Jane Walp
"It's such a lovely feeling to know what I want to do with my life!! PAINT!!!"
--July 21, 2018, my diary
Next post: Alone in Florence (Italy Part 6)