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Summer Sojourn in Italy


Pink Window of Time, 29 x 32 cm

I returned in the wee hours on Friday, September 3 after a 7 week stint in Italy at the Certosa di Pontignano just outside of Siena, and since then I have been able to improve my website and post new images. Though most of my time in Italy was taken up by things other than art and painting, I did manage to begin close to 30 paintings, all on linen, though many of these are “failures” that will become the underpaintings for others in the future. As much as I might appreciate the quick, rapid sketch, I also enjoy the challenge of returning to a theme again for further contemplation, allowing it to become a greater niche in my thought process. So some of these images here are very quick and not so big, while with others I was able to at least get a second session with it. The painting above, for example, was something I came across when going to answer the phone. That pink light coming in from the window lasts no longer than 5 minutes each evening before sunset, so I tried getting back to it a few days in a row. The painting below instead was another view I came across in my room when the entire Certosa lost power in a massive thunderstorm. I was struck by the reflection on the floor, the blast of white and the inclusion of a television, and I was forced to paint very quickly before the lights came back on an hour later.


Approaching of the Storm, 16 x 25 cm


Closet, 35 x 48 cm


Pink Journal and Paper Bag, 33 x 40 cm

I suppose one might think that a long stay in Italy would involve numerous landscapes or street scenes, but after my enduring plunge into domestic chaos and focus on the beauty in the mundane, even in luscious Italy I stayed away from painting the rolling hills of Chianti. I preferred coming across pink journals and paper bags. Still, I did venture outside a few times.


Blue Clouds, 16 x 25 cm


Afternoon View, 16 x 25 cm


Arch Study, 30 x 42 cm

But I kept returning to my room, where things seemed to change constantly with the flux of the days:


Amber Wall, 30 x 43 cm


Pillows, 16 x 25 cm

And the following are some other quick, unfinished sketches, which may hold something that can be resolved (but probably not):

About 2 weeks before returning to Israel, I began to think about my dilemma as an artist, about what it is I want to paint and what I don’t. As much as I would love to move often and walk into new places of transit to find new chaos and stories unfolding, it is hardly practical. And then the solution dawned on me, and I am extremely thrilled to get into this whole new world of works. And there will be no need to change countries, houses or furniture. What bliss.

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5 Comments

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  1. judith appleton #
    September 4, 2010

    you have captured the light!

  2. William Whalberg #
    September 4, 2010

    Beautiful moments! These painings share a glimpse of things, an awareness. You have stopped to smell the roses. I enjoy this very much. Thank you!

  3. Rebecca Harp #
    September 5, 2010

    Judith – thank you so very much! As a witness yourself to Italy, your comment means so very much! I did make a quick comparison to the light in my Israel paintings and it does seem that the light is different – I had not really noticed at the time, was just taken in and went with it…

  4. Rebecca Harp #
    September 5, 2010

    Dear William,
    I am so happy to hear that you enjoy these moments that I found in Italy. For me, they were like little treasures of light and color, of peace and intimacy that I came across. Thank you so kindly.

  5. October 23, 2010

    Hi Rebecca
    enjoy your art very much
    thanks

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