A Ferrari for Bruno D.

Commissioned

Today in my studio awaits this classic car commissioned by Bruno D. He wanted a classical background. I chose piazza Santissima Annunziata in my home town Florence, Italy.

Thank you Bruno for ordering this. I am grateful because in 34 years of painting, the oil paint on my palette has never dried up.

The last 12 months were thin and ego crushing, my palette was not my friend. The gobs of paint on my palette weeped and shriveled up but held a core of balmy pigment inside. Waiting for my palette knife to crack them open and unveil their mystery.

I’ve come to love those ego crushing moments because the freedom they bring is like water from a mountain spring.

How I found freedom from my dream

This past year has been a time for reflection and it’s brought big changes in my work. Looking back I see that I realized the dream of my youth.

What was that dream ?

Move to Paris and be an artist. Dreams are attainable. In 1988 I left the US with 400$ in my pocket and a one way ticket to Italy. During the 21 years I lived there I carved a niche in space and built a career.

Then one day I woke up and saw that wasn’t the life I wanted. I sold everything and moved to Paris. People said I was stupid to give away all that I had built and move for the unknown. I had everything in the material world that would make 90% of the people happy. Including a house on the Etruscan coast. Every summer I spent 3 months at the sea…

But Paris was the destination. And it’s been good to me.

Then last year the persona Angie the Artist seemed to vanish. Nothing worked, nothing sold. I was in the red and digging. I had to get a job. I was terrified. I had to get a facial🤣 and I sobbed for an entire day. Starbucks refused me. Amorino didn’t even respond. My ego was a doormat.

Thank God I was practicing Hatha and Nada Yoga everyday. The vritti were calm.

I wanted a job where I didn’t have to think. I cleaned a house and the lady never paid me. I didn’t want to teach English though I had a good CV and I’d been smart enough to get a teaching certificate. Just before the massive strikes last December I interviewed with Cap English.

Then the strikes hit.

They offered me classes the next day because many of their teachers couldn’t get to work. I walked 3 hours in the rain to teach for 3 hours then another 3 hour walk to get home…

I subbed in different schools until in one school the teachers begged me to take over because the former teacher left.

I never knew how much I would like teaching. I even forget I exist when I’m writing on the blackboard. I was liberated from the persona Angie the Artist because I was enjoying myself, thought I did have to think 😉. No time wasted declaring taxes, doing marketing. No pressure.

One day during the lunch pause I looked at a tree and thought how the tree was content. It didn’t need to be anyone. It didn’t have to pretend

I was liberated from a 30+ year ego trip.

And now I am free to paint, scuplt, and play music.

n 2019349 Haricots Verts

n 201949 Haricots Verts – a postcard (sized illustration) from Paris

For 8 months I lived in this 5th story walk up. There wasn’t a kitchen. Rather, there was a very basic kitchen; a one-burner hotplate and a microwave with a grill function. All we ate was roast chicken, eggs, and haricot verts. This feels like rationed food. Everytime I walk into a supermarket it feels like they are rationing our food in these little packages.

It’s interesting to know the story of packaging. It began with the Scottish army. Quickly it was understood the power of imagery and labels in packaging. Now, all we buy is a bit of food in a package. It’s not the food, it’s the package. There is a huge economy behind packaging and it’s creating a big pile of trash on the planet…

As the strikes and the gilet jaunes break the French economy — because believe me they are destroying, it big time — I have begun teaching English in elementary schools. For years I’ve taught English to French kids on a private basis. But this is different. All my artist friends everywhere are in the same situation. We artists are the end of the food chain and we are all at a turning point because the Western World economy is breaking.

Why am I telling you this? Because on my lunch break I go to the grocery store cafe and draw stuff. Thus haricots verts in a box.

n 2019468 Finess Saucisson

n 201948 Finess Saucisson

When I was drawing this it reminded me of a story about the Macchiaioli in Livorno. One painter was to poor to buy his own fish from the fishmonger in order to paint a still-life. He had to borrow his neighbour’s fish, paint it then give it back.

Why did I think of this story? Because I’m sitting in a supermarket cafe, waiting on my lunch break as I am now subisitute teaching English in French schools. I borrowed the sausage from the shelf.

Follow this link to see all the available Postcards from Paris

25 euro free international standard postage.

n 2019467 Sausage

n 201947 Sausage – an oringinal postcard-sized illustration from Paris

When I was drawing this it reminded me of a story about the Macchiaioli in Livorno. One painter was to poor to buy his own fish from the fishmonger in order to paint a still-life. He had to borrow his neighbour’s fish, paint it then give it back.

Why did I think of this story? Because I’m sitting in a supermarket cafe, waiting on my lunch break as I am now subisitute teaching English in French schools. I borrowed the sausage from the shelf.

Follow this link to see all the available Postcards from Paris

25 euro free international standard postage.

n 201941 Salted French Butter

N 201941 Salted French Butter- original postcard sized illustration on archival paper

Everything is out of order in Paris, including this post which should have gone up a few days ago. It’s the strikes. Right? I couldn’t even pay my taxes. I guess I should have offered butter to oil the spokes.

Follow this link to see all the available Postcards from Paris

25 euro free international standard postage.