Love In Italia For Valentine’s Day


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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 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!


The front of my art cards.


11×14 gicleé museum quality print.

Can You Paint With Neuropathy?


I am trying to work on a watercolor this afternoon, after a long morning of pain. I have taken all the pain pills I can possibly take, probably more than I should, and I am upright in front of my paints. I am working on a watercolor of Lucca, Italy – depicting a rainy spring day. I loved the reflections I saw in the cobblestone streets.


My fingers barely co-operate because they are fuzzy with neuropathy. My fingertips feel as if they are sound asleep, or just starting to wake up. It hurts a little to hold the brush, but I am determined to do something other than lie in bed today. Besides, when I paint, I feel God’s presence because He made me an artist, and He delights in my using the gifts He has given me.


I lay down a layer of bright yellow, which reminds me of cheery days and dear friends in Italy. Then I add a raw umber layer to give the buildings a rosy glow. The yellows aren’t quite yellow on the buildings, unless they are mustard yellow.


I awkwardly push my brush, with my numb fingers, to move the water and paint to places I’d like it to go. “You can do this.” I cheer my fingers on. I’ll let those two layers dry, and then go back, with my clumsy fingers, and try to add more nuanced layers.


I’ve been taking natural substances orally, and rubbing essential oils onto my fingertips and toes, to help relieve the neuropathy. I’m not sure of much success. I think it just takes time to go away. Not all chemo causes this, but my type of chemo does. I was hoping my hands might be spared, but that was not to be.

If I complete this painting during these months of chemo, it will be a miracle. Truly.

Lucca, Italia Journal


I’ve been working on finishing my collaged art journal of Lucca, Italia this week. I began in May, 2014! Here, I have some original watercolors mixed in with photos and collaged painted papers. I hope to finish in the next few days.


Marge Malwitz and I had such a restorative and restful trip to Italy last May. We soaked in beauty, and responded with our own art-making. Check out Marge’s work at:Marge Malwitz. Marge is my art and “art engaging story” mentor.


It is always an honor to learn from Marge. She has an amazing design background, and gently leads me in making better art. I might make one well designed page to her twelve, but I am thankful for the one.



Each journal I make helps me to grow. I cut and move shapes around until I sense the shapes are dancing together in harmony.


I think Marge and I should take off for another trip of learning and soaking up beauty. Maybe, I’d create a couple of more pages with good design. Every artist really needs trips like these! Especially, for the naps!!!


Throwback Monday – Italy Art Cards

Lovely Lucca, Italia, Marcia Carole, Watercolor

A friend has ordered a set of these cards in the midst of the rush for “Christmas” Monday Cyber-deals. How refreshing to order art reflective of my journeys to relaxed, beautiful Italia. I like to say to friends, especially when I am about to return to Italy, “The Italians already had their time of conquering everything – the known Western world, so now they are into good food, good wine, good conversation and amazing art.” These cards remind me of lazy afternoons when I was loli-gagging around beautiful, peaceful Lucca, Italy. That’s where the original was painted.

My prices are fairly static, although I am offering free shipping this week. (5×7 inch cards, 10 for $20.) In the spirit of relaxed Italy, I’m not throwing myself into the mad, frenzied consumeristic wheeling and dealing. Instead, I’ll mail these out, little by little, as I can. As Leonardo Da Vinci used to say, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work, your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”

Here is the back of card with my website and name.

If you’d like a set of 10 of these cards, please feel free to let me know here: and just fill out the form on that page with your request for Italian art cards. I’ll be sending them out by the end of this week. Buon Natale!