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50

Geraniums by Leanne Talbot Nowell

The gift-pot of geraniums is a sunny pink this morning, shining under a clean blue sky. My painting table is speckled with food dye. I sometimes use it to paint intense colour. Unfortunately it fades after a short time, but fading away is a release from the museum life. It gives one a sense of daring and freedom to create.

Creativity has been passed down the line in our family. When I was a teenager, at home on holiday from boarding school, my Mom (who is an artist) would ask me to make tea when her friends came over to visit (multiple times per day). If the tea tray was shoddily done, I was told to take it back to the kitchen and “do it again – with love!”.

In Italy we have a range of exceptional creativity from the kitchiest of kitch all the way beyond chic. One such example is our park. Yesterday Simon and I went for a clandestine wander down to the tower and bridge. The greens are recovering in a jungle of creativity after the rains. Fig trees have sprouted the most tender leaves and new fig-flowers. Exuberant bushes, blossoming trees, grasses, mosses and ferns are festooning the valley. We waded through them to reach the stream and checked under the bridge for trolls.

After 50 days in the nest, I feel some new ideas beginning to hatch. One of them looks like it could be a creative change to this post. I’m thinking of illustrating my big bike ride book instead. That would signify departing from Marino but taking you along for the ride by posting illustrations as we go. Don’t worry, it will be more fun. And I promise to “do it with love!”.

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Cul-de-sac

peonies white pastel

Happy Sunday everyone. Post me a pic of your picnic please?

Near Viterbo, about a one hour drive from us, there is a astonishingly beautiful and flourishing peony garden. Apparently the largest collection of peony plants in the world, it covers 15 hectares. Flowering now in Centro Botanico Moutan – take a spectacular wander around the website https://www.centrobotanicomoutan.it/en/visiting-the-garden#

4805 new cases of covid-19 in Italy yesterday. The Istituto Superiore di Sanit√† have estimated 30 000 lives were saved by the lockdown measures. At the moment for every person with the virus, 1 other person is infected. It was 3 at the beginning, so that’s encouraging. We’re bumping along the top of the statistics curve…I hope. Thinking of all the families and friends, more than 15000 here in Italy who have lost someone special in this pandemic.

On my short jog down to the end of the road and back, I garnered some attention. Renata called from her balcony to say her phone is broken. She’s very sad because the phone company only responds with a digital voice and she can’t get anywhere with it. Rita, the woman with a loud broken voice, cackled and complained from her balcony about the weeds growing up around our common stairway. She was hanging a string of large off-white panties on the line. When I agreed that we should clean up, she instantly shouted to the gardener in the pink house and told him to come over. He agreed to clean the weeds for us on Monday. So it’s business as usual in our cul-de-sac.

This painting is part of the pastel series. You can see others in my portfolio on paperbrush.com