Structuring A Day!

I structure my day by my creativity & a deep contentment comes.

But just what does that mean “to structure my day”

What is required of me?

  • Commitment
  • Playfulness
  • Awareness
  • Friends

What do I need?

  • Solitude
  • Friends
  • A place of community
  • A place to work



Re-Organization Time!

I am struggling with the creative process!  On May 24, c.r.e.t.a. rome’s  gallery will open an exhibit of its current artists-in-residents. That includes me!  It seems like a good time to re-organize my blog to promote discussion about the creative process as I struggle to complete four large charcoal drawings along with drawings on ceramic slabs.

My daily experience in Italy can still be access by hitting the top navy/black button with horizontal white stripes. Those pages will share my life in Italy, my daily sketches, & my residency.

But here on my home page,  I’ll feature comments & questions about our creative process.     Included will be short interviews of guest artists will respond to the following  questions:

1. Describe your personal creative process & how you developed it?  (Sneaky for this is really 2 ?’s)

2. How did your creative process relate to your experience as a student?

3. As an older artist what would you tell yourself as a student?

Your responses will make for a dialogue!

So look for the opening comments tomorrow!

Anguillara, Italy

I have begun my 6 week stay at the cottage in Anguillare, Italy. It’s a lovely place with a working studio & 2 cats. Paolo drove me around the area today & got me oriented. Here is the view outside my kitchen window.

IMG_3861It’s about a 2 kilometers bike ride to the train station which costs 2.6 Euros to get to Rome.Tomorrow I will try out the trip to see a good friend of my brother. So my adventure with the map continues!

Not knowing the language, even on the internet, is constantly stressful. Not knowing little things or having everything more than a little bit different can be challenging.

But in the past month, every time that I have reached my maxed out level for stress, something or someone gave me a gift like the hairdresser below!

Anne & the hairdresserI had been lost in Rome’s winding streets until I finally found the lumber store tucked away next to the high end wedding shop! But a cool Brit who ran the  ultra cool gallery on the other side of the lumber store stated, “It’s closed. Until 3. You will simply have to wait.”

Frustrated with aching feet, I decided-Coffee! I need COFFEE! & dragged myself off to “simply wait.”

I passed a shop with ancient barrel vaults for doorways. The comfortable chairs beckoned me!  I thought, YES! When completely frazzled, get you hair cut by an Italian! He sang, he twirled the scissors like John Wayne & a six shooter. 45 minutes later I emerged, refreshed, happy & with the best hair cut I have ever had.

Sometime you close your eyes & “simply wait” & the best things happen!


Today Ann Primack and I crossed the Tiber River to visit the Gardens of  Palazzo Farnese! The air was light and the sky an intense blue. I drew for several hours!

Then we set off to wander home through the Tratevere neighborhood. We “hit” three different churches and saw exquisite mosaics.

We decided we definitely needed to stop for refreshments. I ordered a pastry but instead received a creamy cream custard with carmel on the top! I kept my miss-order and ate it with an espresso!



After a futile attempt at two churches to see Bernini’s sculptures, we caught the tram back to “our neighborhood” and headed out to the Pantheon for dinner.

We ate at Garnbini 1842!


What a treat.


I ordered a fried artichoke that you eat like potato chips!

Ann Primack goes home Wednesday. She has been a great restaurant buddy. We have experienced a range of restaurants. I figure I’ll do Rome only once.   Right!


(Just so you know, I usually eat about 10pm for 3.5 Euros at the pizza place on the corner of Largo di Torre  Argentina after a night of drawing!)

IMG_0962Largo di Torre Argentina


A Sense of Place

Yesterday a gracious Italian took me all over his beloved city of Rome. I saw the same sites with new eyes. The city seemed to come together for me as a place. Although I had read about Rome, struggled with the map to get about Rome and visited important museums, the sense of place came to me when someone who called  home it shared it with me.


       Plazza Navone

An Amazing Time!

Here on the top floor of  the Museo Nazionale Romano is any painter’s dream. The ancient roman wall paintings are unspeakably wonderful! Everything you might ever want to know about color & paint is summed up here. The paint is free, precise, animated & rich!

livia_affresco2These photos off the internet are a sorry poor example of them.


I hate to post them but my Apple I-Phone has bit the dust!  I miss its excellent pics which were so easily done as my day progressed.


 IMG_1148 IMG_1149






Here is the guilty party! An infra red camera by the Forum. I could not figure out what the stray white light was in my photo but not in my eye! Then when my I-Phone went fuzzy, I knew the light had burned out my phone’s sensors.

Any advice on how to get Apple to replace this would be appreciated!





A Sense of Place: Simple Things

I am surrounded by history layered back onto itself. But the business of everyday, Italian life fills the streets & plays itself out in the NOW of these stones.  Largo Argentina is one of the center stages of this contemporary drama in all it quirks.  In this place, a point in time & space where Caesar’s death played out its tragedy, the tram lines collect & deposit folks to & from work while Rome’s cats keep watch in the role of Contemporary Sentinels.

 Sentinel 3Sentinel 4Sentinel

Stimulation & Absorbtion!

My environment is full of stimulation. I am constantly feeling my mind & body struggle to absorb my surroundings.  Every day my sense of where I live changes. It is in the old Jewish Quarter in the heart of the old part of Rome.

Maps are useless. They assume a grid.

My physical experience of the city has coalesced into a sense of a “V” or a pie shape fitted into another “V” into another “V” onto yet another.

A piazza fooled me. It is a rectangle with streets going off each of its sides and corners. BUT most such streets lead to a “V” into another “V”.

Here is an ancient map of the area where I live & one of my favorite places, Largo Argentina.  It is here in the Theater of Pompey that Caesar was killed.


Roma_PlanCaesar Square





It turns out that I stumbled onto the symbol of Italian Fascist power.

My previous sketch is of Fasces on an exterior wall of the Theatre of Marcellus. The image is called fasces and has a history going back to the early Etruscans. An ax head is attached to a bundle of rods using a strip of leather. A longer rod is in the center of the bundle making it easier to carry and handle.

In the Roman Empire the bundle of rods symbolized strength through unity. One rod is weak but many bound together are strong. It symbolized power and authority of Rome, particularly of the magistrate’s judicial powers.

It is used as a symbol in many countries, including in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. However, the 20’Th century, Italian Fascists derive their name from the fasces and it is now strongly associated with them.

So I have stumbled on an image with layers symbolic content. I am drawn to the image but not to its fascist symbolism. Is there some way I can subvert its meaning?

The Fasces

My Daily Sketch from yesterday: