The plein air watercolor of the house with the brown shutters I’ve titled “Rose Garden”. I sat on a bench in a little triangle of grass with a border of flowers all around just across the road from the house. In fact there were many houses with flower gardens…all of them fenced in. I asked Claudia (the woman from the company where Glen was taking classes who gave us advice about things to see while we were there) about it, she said she thinks it’s because most people don’t own very much land there so what they have they treasure and put up a fence around it to say “this is mine”. Many of the gardens were hidden by brick walls or high fences but this one the roses just spilled over the fence and I just had to spend the day there. Which actually turned into two…most of the paintings I did took me two settings.
I would arrive, set up, paint for a while, then take my lunch break munching on my apple and drinking water. The whole town shuts down at noon and people go home for lunch. Promptly at the same time each day a car would arrive, someone would get out and open the large gates to drive into the property and then soon voices would filter out from the upstairs windows.
It sounded like they were yelling at each other( I guess Italians just speak with a lot of exhuberance) Perhaps not unlike we Americans always trying to top one another’s stories.
I felt as if somewhere in the darkness beyond the shutters of the windows they were watching me. And on one occassion I heard them utter something about the Americano.
They probably thought what crazy nut goes about the city every day for two weeks just sitting around doodling on paper.
Then all would go quiet in the house again, and the car would leave.
I always looked forward to five o’clock when the guys would return and I would hear about their stories of the day.