Archive | July, 2012

La Provincia Newspaper Article.

23 Jul

Okay, all you students of La Bella Lingua, here’s your Italian lezione for the week:  our Discover Ciociara project was written about in La Provincia, the newspaper of the provinces around Rome.  The event covered here was the opening and dedication of the mural I’ve posted about previously, and about how our project is about art and friendship…actually that art IS friendship!  The mayor of Piglio is shown cutting the ribbon for the “unveiling” of Discover Ciociaria mural along with officials from other towns, and artists.  Also shown is the mural done by Saugerties children several years ago of the Saugerties Lighthouse and Catskill Mountains.



Scoprire la Ciociaria continues its journey

23 Jul

The mural of the Ciociaria landscape created by the four Italian artists and four American artists is now on exhibit in the lovely mountain town of Fiuggi, known for its healing waters. It is said that the artist Michelangelo was one of the first to tout the powers of the water to dissolve kidney stones! Pope Boniface made haste to get to Fiuggi, and the spa there now is named Fonte di Bonifacio VIII. Some 10,000 visitors a week take the “waters” during summer months. To learn more about Fiuggi visit Our mural is on display until July 29 at the Teatro Comunale. Here’s a photo of the display which also includes additional paintings created during our painting workshop by American painters of Discover Ciociara as well as many of our Itlalian colleagues who took part in simultaneous painting events during our stay in Italy.

L’Infiorata Genazzano!

15 Jul

The creation of the flower carpet for l’infiorata took place on Saturday, June 30, to prepare for the sacred procession celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Sunday, July 1.  The flowers are laid beginning at midnight, when the stone of the streets is relatively cool–to ensure that the flowers won’t immediately wilt!  The procession featured scenes from the Bible, angels and saints, beginning at the beginning…Adam and Eve!

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L’Infiorata Genazzano!

15 Jul

Undoubtedly the most memorable of so many memorable moments during our time in Italy was our participation in the annual infiorata (literally, “flowered”) festival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the medieval town of Genazzano.  Thanks to an invitation from one of the organizers (and “amore” of Giulio Tirinelli!) Cinzia di Fazio, our little group of artists got to create our own piece of history:  this year Genazzano’s L’infiorata made the Guiness Book’s record for the longest flower carpet–1.642 kilometers, one mile!

Here’s a peek at the “before”–where we met at midnight and worked until 3 a.m. on our design along with hundreds of the local people.  Young, old, families, groups charged with the task of creating flower pictures with the most fragrant paint we’ve ever worked with!

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Happy faces, lovely places

11 Jul

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Home again.  Two fantastic weeks…action packed!  Our adventure has come to an end for now, but our friendship with the people of Ciociaria is just beginning.  Enjoy this brief look at Ciociaria for now, but stay tuned for more Italian adventures, right here!

A Tale of Two Murals: Saugerties & Piglio

11 Jul

The seeds for the adult mural for Discover Ciociaria/Scoprire la Ciociaria were planted by the children of Saugerties, when, in 2004 or thereabouts, the Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy, under the direction of its then president, Susannah Satten, took part in a national environmental art project called “Mural Miles.”  Children from all over the U.S.A. were invited to create a mural which depicted the environment of their particular town.  The murals were then displayed in a mile of murals, in California.  Susannah and a group of kids from toddlers to pre-teens worked at my former gallery, The Half Moon Studio, to create a mural of Saugerties.

Fast forward to 2011 and Piglio, Italy:  in appreciation of the work and support for my painting workshop, in particular to Stefania Bedetti, assistant counselor for culture and tourism in Piglio, I volunteered to work with the local Italian children to help them create a mural based on their own surroundings.  27 enthusiastic boys and girls from the Piglio elementary school, accompanied by their parents, made a joyful painting of the landscape, “The Beautiful Land.”

The Beautiful Land, 2011, by the children of Piglio

The parents of the children of Piglio were so happy with the project that they suggested that they would love to make a mural of their own…which resulted in the 8 panel painting by four Italian artists and four American artists which I’ve already talked about here!

This year, we brought the Saugerties kids’ mural to Italy, where it will travel through December with its adult counterpart to the six towns taking part in Discover Ciociaria!

Two “Ciociare” display the mural by the children of Saugerties in Piglio, Italy, July 1, 2012

La Sonnina

6 Jul

Ready for dinner, “al fuori” at La Sonnina

Our guests stay at La Sonnina, an organic farm near the village of Genazzano.  Each morning there are farm fresh eggs for breakfast, for lunch or dinner, homemade pasta with organic veggies grown on site.  A couple of donkeys hover near, with their little buddy, a small goat.  Every once in a while the cows will sing with the black pigs providing the chorus!  During this extremely hot weather we can always depend on a fresh breeze on the terrazza at La Sonnina.  Our hosts are friendly and accommodating.  Here we are, below, happy graduates of the first La Sonnina cooking course, where we made Gnocchi al Sassetto and Saltimbocca alla Romana.

Happy Cookers with Chef Gianfranco Scalise

Painting paradise!

6 Jul

We’ve painted on a mountain top, at the site of an 8th century monastery;  in a vineyard where the famous wine of Piglio, Cesanese, is produced;  in medieval towns of Acuto and Trevi nel Lazio.  The people of Ciociaria have been incredibly warm and welcoming, providing lunch  (and bathrooms!) for painters.   Italian painters have been joining us, thanks to the great publicity effort by Giulio Tirinelli and Stefania Bedetti, for our Italian version, Scoprire la Ciociaria.  A picture’s worth a thousand words, so check out some of the places we’ve seen!

vew from Martini Vineyard, Piglio

Acuto, painting by Jon Campbell

View from the Castello, Trevi nel Lazio

Mady, busy painting Acuto

A beautiful underpainting by Carol Slutsky-Tenerowicz of the vineyard

Our Discover Ciociaria mural

5 Jul


The mural of the local landscape has been a great success. Unveiled in Piglio on Sunday, July 1, with reps from various towns on hand, it features the work of four Italian artists and four American artists. Each artist was given their own section to paint, in their own style, but with scale and edges accurate so it would align with its neighboring section. The work will travel through six towns where each month it will be displayed until December.

Discovering more Ciociaria today! June 27- that is (or was)

1 Jul



Village street

We enjoyed an exciting and long day today, visiting “alta Ciociaria” (high Ciociaria) towns of Acuto and Trevi nel Lazio. The mountain landscapes are stunning, and driving on roads with 180 degree switchbacks are not for the faint-hearted…thank goodness for the intrepid driver, Mike Campbell, who remained cool as a cucumber for 99% of the day, while the rest of us feasted our eyes on the scenery. It was only at the end of the day when he found himself driving the wrong way on a one way street that we noticed a tiny bead of sweat on Mike’s brow!

Loretta (town of Acuto), Nancy, and Giulio in Acuto

We found truly fantastic places to paint…the guests for Discover Ciociaria area in for a real treat. Tomorrow we head back into the hills, to the spa town of Fiuggi.

But there is a whole other side to this adventure…along with my painting workshop, Giulio has been working with the cultural minister of Piglio, Stefania Bedetti, and together they have organized an Italian art happening to compliment Discover Ciociaria called “Scoprire la Ciociaria.” Stay tuned…