Love In Italia For Valentine’s Day

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I have had the thrill of painting in Lucca, Italia during several summers, in recent years. I love to paint a balcony scene that is on a large square with an important cathedral. The real windows are often closed because of the hot, summer sunlight. When I have painted the scene, I have flung open the windows and added a couple in love. Love on Valentine’s Day – or in Italy, any day! I have museum quality gicleé prints on German etching paper available for sale, as well as blank cards, of this lovely scene.

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Here is the young couple in an embrace. The curtain is blowing to represent life and love. The days I have spent in Italy have been grace-filled days. They have been days filled with beauty, good food, kind friends and lovely color everywhere. Such beauty has been restorative to my soul, mending fragile areas, and encouraging my heart.

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This particular balcony has many pots of bright red flowers and flowers hanging on the stucco walls. The lively reds help me to see past dark days fighting cancer, and dark days healing from hard parts of my story.

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I have seen the windows open when I was on one, maybe two, of my trips to Lucca, and it was fun to see the long white curtains blowing a bit in the breeze. Such life! I have exaggerated the blowing of the curtains in this watercolor. The wild curtain expresses my joy I have experienced in this town.

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I’ve used washes of sienna to suggest shadows under the pots. A blue vase is casually tucked by one of the window shutters.

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Here is a photograph of the real balcony in Lucca with the windows closed. It’s a much more lively scene to have the windows open! This photo must have been taken during the heat of the day, or when I was wandering around early in the morning. If you’d like to buy a print or a set of cards, please let me know at marcia2010@swissmail.org. The prints are 11×14 for $40 / includes shipping costs. The cards are 10 blank 5×7 cards for $25 / shipping costs included. Please include your hard copy address when you email, and I’ll give you an address where you can mail payment. I only have 10 prints in this edition. Enjoy love in Italia!

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The front of my art cards.

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11×14 gicleé museum quality print.

Mario Sings Opera; I Paint While Fighting Cancer

After I came home from my latest oncology appointment, I sat in the sun and took a short walk, thinking that would cheer me up and wipe away my tears. Cancer is hard, no way of getting around it. The sun felt good on my face, but the walk was a struggle and reminded me of my cancer lingering in my lungs. I decided to take a nap. It was sort of a way of escaping for an hour.

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I got up, and I forced myself to dip my brush in bright red paint. I so want to complete this painting of Lucca, Italy, when I was there on a rainy, May afternoon. The bright colors I chose cheered my soul a bit. I love watching the water and paint move into places I direct it. And, I enjoy the happy wiggles of black I add as reflections on the wet cobblestone.

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The figure in the middle of this painting represents a man named Mario, who really lives in Lucca. Since I’ve been to Lucca four or five times, I’ve become more at home there, and even have folks there I count as treasured friends. I know Mario because I’m not just a tourist who breezes through for an hour in Lucca. Mario darts about with a little radio/music player. He likes to play it as he happily wanders about the many streets of Lucca, and he often sings opera along with his music. Maybe the locals have tired of him, maybe they love him. I certainly enjoy seeing him singing in his own happy world. I stop and listen to him, because I want to give him the respect I have for him.

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I’ve decided to take a lesson from Mario, and paint during cancer treatment. I certainly do not have one hundred percent energy these days, and my fingers are wobbly from neuropathy. These are two good reasons not to paint. However, I got back to this watercolor once again today, because, well, if Mario can sing opera in his world, I can paint in mine! It’s my way of making a joyful noise in my hard world of oncology. I think Mario would approve.

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