Playing with Fire

I have been soooo busy the last few months on things that required my absolute focus – such as making my wedding dress, teaching, and preparing for an upcoming solo exhibition. I was literally up to my eyeballs in yards and yards of ivory silk, wool and cream, and I discovered some truly wonderful people and places in the process. I am now returning more full-time to the world of paint just when spring has begun in the most glorious fashion, and I am hoping that I will have a little more time for writing about painting.

The Palace of Donn’Anna, Naples, Jules Coignet 1843

Henri Carr - Vesuvius in Eruption, March 1944
Naples - Vesuvius by Kajetonas Sklėrius (1876-1932) 12 x 17 in. watercolor, 1929
Joseph Wright of Derby. Vesuvius in Eruption, with a View over the Islands in the Bay of Naples. c. 1776-80. Oil on canvas. 122 x 176.4
Gustaf Soderberg View of Vesuvius from the Bridge of St-Januarius, Naples 1820 National Museum, Stockholm

One of the images constantly in my mind’s horizon is that of Mount Vesuvius, my next-door neighbor. For those of you who have never been to Naples and have heard rumors about how “dangerous” it is, be aware that the real danger is Vesuvius – a silent fountain of “rebirth” from which gushes the thrills, the fire, the dust, the goosebumps and the chaos that form Naples today, a modern city perched on a delicate historical tapestry. The experience is invigorating and intoxicating for an artist, a true adrenalin rush similar to that first enormous crush. But when in Naples, do as the Neapolitans do: Don’t worry about it. Let it overwhelm you, and in the meantime, if you can concentrate on getting some decent painting done, someday someone might really appreciate it.

Here below are some images/fantasies inspired by the presence of this potent volcano, a little tribute to “playing with fire.”

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Artists featured in alphabetical order include: August Wihlem Julius Ahlhorn, Henry Brokman, Achille Carelli, Henri Carr, Franz Ludwig Catel, Edward William Cooke, Jules Coignet, Christopher DiPietro, Johan Christian Claussen Dahl, Robert Dukes, Robert S. Duncanson, Jacob Philipp Hackert, Alessandro La Volpe, Heinrich Reinhold, Charles Remond, Kajetonas Sklėrius, Gustaf Soderberg, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Pierre Jacques Volaire, Michael Wetzel, Joseph Wright of Derby, Michael Wutky


4 thoughts on “Playing with Fire

  1. Rebecca. Am new to your blog and had been eagerly awaiting what your fine painterly intelligence would next shed light on. Thank you! Love the slide show and everything I have seen so far, especially the Giacometti film and The Bruegel’s. “Winter, Hunter’s in the Snow”! I too have longed
    to follow down that snowy hill and out onto that transcendent ice. Many of those images I had not seen before. Also must thank you for the
    definitive version of “Moondance”. Spectacular group with Van. New Orleans royalty!!

    I very much admired your arresting self- portrait in white and what struck me as self-efacing humor and joyous gestural freedom in your messy
    bedroom series. I hope you might be able to post a slideshow of your exhibit. Would love to see it.

    Best of luck with the new “digs” and upcoming nuptials. Nazdarovya!

    Looking forward…

    1. Thank you for such thoughtful remarks, Steven, and I am very pleased that you enjoyed the volcanic slideshow! I hope to write more often now, and to creating posts that will keep you coming back for further conversation and exchanges. Thank you also for your point of view regarding my self-portraits and messy bedrooms – they are, in fact, the subject requested for my upcoming exhibition. I am busy trying to create new ones, and remarks like yours give me courage to keep steaming ahead!

  2. Hi Rebecca, I just dicovered your blog and I hope you will soon come back !!The paintings are lovely and your thoughts on painting very exciting, I loved going through the whole thing!

    1. Hi Annamaria,
      My apologies for being so busy, but I hope to be back writing mre, and soon! Thanks for your wonderful words!

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