This is one of those days I would love to be back in Italy – it is warm, but not too warm, but somehow the lure of my suburban street is not as strong as the lure of an Italian street – when I am there I am always pulled outdoors to smell and see and greet and experience some one or some thing that is “new”. But part of the lure is that there is so much that is not new – it is the very, very old which is so appealing.
Thankfully, the days are ticking until my departure to be a part-time faculty person at the Gordon in Orvieto program. Orvieto is an enchanted hilltown in the region of Umbria, just an hour north of Rome (you can see how beautiful it is in this landscape I painted in 2001). It has been continually inhabited since the time of the Etruscans, so every building on the volcanic plateau which is Orvieto has a history which is layered upon another, older history… modern, Baroque, Renaissance, medieval, Roman, Etruscan… many dating back 2500 years.
I am thinking through the course I will teach – Painting the Figure in Context. It will be part landscape/part studio course in Oil Painting, and I plan to use the frescoes by Luca Signorelli in the Duomo (Cathedral) as inspiration/imagery source. The Gordon in Orvieto program is structured to have one-month-at-a-time courses, so it will be an intensive four weeks, hours in the classroom each day. Although I like to go with the flow, and teaching in a foreign country requires it – I should have things pretty well thought out before I depart! I am trying to spend a little bit of time each week to continue to block out our classroom exercises.