Wing feath Heron fullblue2web

I find many gifts from birds in my back yard. Being enclosed by Cedars, Maples, Fir trees and Alder, the circle of grass attracts quite a lot of bird drama and I have found all kinds of feathers. Even once, while wandering with the dog, my eyes to the ground, I discovered an entire tiny nest, carefully woven together with a shred of plastic construction tarp. Still perfect.

P1040767adj

But a few days ago, in my front yard, I was startled by an unusual visitor – a full grown Heron landed in the tangled mid-branches of the towering cedar tree, right next to me – perhaps only 10 feet above my head!! I think I might have said “Whoa – Hello!!” as it shifted and shuffled, and maybe something else like “Be careful there…” since it seemed a danger for long wings to be so tight in the tree. I know for sure, after gazing at it for a few eternal moments, I said “Could you leave a feather for me please?” Then it squawked and flapped and lazily flew.. away.

The next morning…..

P1040755desk

Heron Magic, if you ask polite.🙂

 

Betty Gumbootweb

One moment I am out having a sketch and a cool beer on a hot day, the next moment I am back in my winter pants and snuggled on the couch.

Blk opus feb 2016 696web

I regularly pull open the door to my little back deck, just to sniff the air and peer out to see what is happening. It can be six different types of weather between breakfast and lunch and if there are 10 seconds of sunshine, I am going to park myself in it.

Lately I have been setting up with scissors and images, using the long hours of strong light to do my crazy clipping.

P1040350adjweb

Scanning, printing, cups, birds, wings, things. Sketchin’ and clippin’. Clipping and sipping. Friends have various names for my back porch antics.

P1040225web

Cups on deck blog

Blk 2016 653webgrey

What I end up sipping depends entirely on my mood. And it is always a good mood.🙂

Bee glass

If it all of a sudden flips to wind or rain or hail, not a problem. It is a very short wobble back to inside warmth. So short, in fact depending on the angle of the sun, I might just be sitting right in the doorway.

I love my tiny back deck.

 

Gate bestweb

When the clouds roll away on a coast spring day, everything gleams with fresh intensity.

Feather on blue blog

Red Lands 655fullweb

 

Gouache tubeblog

I’m busting out the tubes.

Bee en 549fullweb

Sunshine on the back deck… finally.

Crocuses web

CrocusP1030626web

Storms, Birdsong, Light returning… all present.

Koi

Favourite travel watercolours – lost since 2013!! – Found! Amazing what moving the furniture in the Thinking room  will turn up!

Bott Angel3a

 

P1030502web

Botticelli. Airy and graceful, like Spring.

Mokamboweb

So Max proclaimed, and it was true. Also true is what Julie said to me back in Florence just a couple of days before we left to go home. “Oh, you’ll be happy to get home, but about February, on a cold grim day, you will feel a deep unquenchable yearning in your soul for Italy.” OK, maybe those weren’t her exact words, but very nearly. So, in an effort to recapture some whisper of the flavour of that time, I have turned my eyes to coffee. Luckily, I have many, many pictures of it to choose from.

Moka arra blog

I dream of espresso, aromatic and sharp, but sweet. Sipped from thick, white porcelain cups. Even at the gas station, they would not serve a “To-go” coffee – Paolo brought it out in its perfect little cup with saucer and I drank it by the pump. It was all so delicious, every one.  But the best was in the piazza of Santo Spirito, or the Boring church as Max called it.

Santo web

P1020833

I see his point, but I could never find it boring to sit on steps which felt the feet of Michelangelo.

Max and Lisa

Max and Lisa

And I do long to go back……… I knew I would.

 

 

 

Lion door paint 450fullblog

Day One in Rome must have been a bit of an adjustment for my sweet, patient, globetrotting friends. From the second I clunked out the door my eyes were filled with the spectacle of light and texture and the astonishing age of ancient stones  – and I did not want to miss a single inch of it.

Our street, Lisa, Paolo and Max

Our street, Lisa, Paolo and Max

I probably took 45 minutes just to get to the end of our block – and not only because of the cobbles (have I mentioned the cobbles??) I couldn’t roll five feet without stopping for photos, and I’m pretty sure that is not the usual rate of exploration for my friends. But no one rushed me, and in fact we all found our rhythm – Max ranging ahead to scout, Paolo a bit ahead subtly directing Vespas and cars around us, and Lisa – well she was behind me. I have a feeling she didn’t mind too much (after the shock of slow wore off). I’ve seen the photos she took, and they are amazing.

So we snailed, and discovered, and uncovered details that quick movers might miss. Like the lions on the lintels.

P1010113adjblog P1010117adj2blogP1010116adjblog

And street art.

P1010134adj P1010107blog P1010104blog

And….. coffee.

P1010468-polaweb

So the poor scoot, made for malls – not battlefields, ran out of battery and one of my fears was faced on the first day. I don’t know why I worried, Max was a skilled and careful pusher and we made it back. I was perhaps a bit shaken and stirred, but so incredibly full of wonder, I couldn’t have cared less.

IMG_1848Lisa blog

Skull Kim 423cobblesblog

P1010522web

Never will I forget the first day I was somewhere else,  somewhere so far from home… somewhere as amazing as Italy.

Skull Kim 435blog

It was all very fine, in fact extremely exciting, to wake up in Rome at 4am, have coffee with my companions and leap out into the day… Jetlag! World Travellers have Jetlag, and it is a breeze!!! One evening nap, that was all. So I think, It’ll be the same when I get home – a couple of funny days maybe. Easy.

Ha.

Well, I have been corrected. I had Grand Designs of catching up on all my posts, sketching reams of drawings, and beginning scads of paintings – all in the first week back. Instead, I wake up at 4am, wander around my sweet warm home in a grog, and turn into a bobblehead at 7pm every night. Nothing can keep me awake, not even a bright crackling fire or pups squashing me, not coffee, tea, a nice glass of Malbec or even the opening game of hockey season. Oh well.. at least finally today I managed to pull out an ink drawing I did from the bell deck at the Masseria and as I added colour, my mind flew back to Puglia.

P1020002blog

P1010824adjblog2

Skull Kim 430blog

Cool October breeze, some sun and some rain, I’ll take it easy and soon enough I’ll be back to normal. I still can’t believe I did it. Drowsy weirdness is a tiny price to pay for such an adventure, mine forever now.

And, the good thing about being sleepy all the time – – my dreams are filled with Italy. Slowly, my blog will be too.

 

 

Lisa Marr’s vision, her sensitive eye never misses a thing.

Sell Your TV and Come To The Cinema

The Medici Chapel, The Bargello, The Loggia, The Uffizi, La Specola, The Duomo and a zillion other churches.

Michelangelos (and copies of Michelangelos and possible Michelangelos and what we believe to be falsely attributed Michelangelos and even some Michelangelo graffiti which was my favorite of all) and Donatellos and Bronzinos and Cellinis and Botticellis and Pontormos and one show-offy Jeff Koons.

Paintings and sculptures and frescoes and carvings and some truly creepy wax medical models from the late 18th century.

75 Virgins (and counting).

Rennaisance and Gothic and Mannerist and Medieval.

Otrarno and Santo Spirito.

The house where the Mona Lisa lived.

Blue sky and white clouds.

Churchbells.

Tiny hands.

Jack Russells.

Refugees.

Selfie sticks.

Sketching and taking turns reading The Catcher In The Rye out loud in the late afternoon.

Fig gelato and Pear/Ricotta gelato and Melon gelato and Peach gelato and Forest Fruits gelato and Stracciatella gelato and Pistacchio gelato…

View original post 35 more words

P1010931blog P1010846blog P1010816blog P1010804webP P1010748blog P1010738blog P1010676blog P1010675blog

..plenty of time to catch up on the Masseria Love when I’m snuggled under blankets with 2 pups, rain on the roof and a nice warm fire…

but not yet…

P1010224to draw

“The patron saint of armourers, artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend’s association with lightning, and also of mathematicians.”

Thick with humidity, the skies unleashed torrential, awe-inspiring rain, thunder and lightening. Our first morning, we woke at 4am jet-lagged, and realizing we would have to move to a more accessible apartment – 500 year old (or more?) Roman steps too daunting. But we had to wait out the storm, and it was glorious. Lightening even struck right in the square below our open window.

P1010033blog

But Santa Barbara loomed above, protecting us. We laughed, drank espresso and ate sweet, fresh pastries gathered by Paolo (during a tiny window of less rain) and the dismay of wrong lodgings faded away, replaced by excitement.P1010065blog P1010062web

Do not even ask about the Zebra.

P1010226web

At exactly the right time…sun…and the streets dried in minutes. Off we went, just around the corner – home Rome with a lift.

P1010233web

Perfetto.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 166 other followers