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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Talking with Ghosts


That's my shadow...cast over stones that were laid in place in the 5th century BC.  Awe.  That's the only word I can use.  Kelly has brought me to paint along the appia antica, the
Appian Way, which originally stretched 330 miles from Rome to the port town of Brindisi along the 
Adriatic Coast.  I don't come across things this old, or this significant everyday.  I was speechless.
Marcos met us there and after a few minutes of walking and scouting they chose their spot and set up to get to work.  Me?  I'm still digesting the fact that I am standing on hallowed ground, my feet are traversing stones that were trod upon by soldiers, slaves, rulers, popes, common folk, and the like, thousands and thousands of years ago.  My brain is filled with imaginary stories of what they were doing, feeling, thinking as they plodded along this uneven path.  Yes, I am talking to the ghosts.  So I let the painters know that I had to drop my pack and take a walk...no need to let them think I was completely crazy.

Romans, Italians really and most Europeans, encounter pieces of history this old on a daily basis.  Not us Americans.  We are more likely to watch machines knock down "old" edifices once they are out of style.  So I had to commune with the past, I had to think about how many people walking this path may have thought the entire world was ending because theirs felt like it was.  This juxtaposed nicely with the fact that right now Americans are uptight because our government is closed and we are sure the world, as we know it, is ending.  But so it goes, life goes on....and on and on.  Every crisis brings a change, sometimes it is painful but it continues to run forward....most often for the better.

....imagine the stone cutters for this road speaking in horror about how opening up Rome to those imports coming in from Greece would ruin everything; Wonder if those who paid big bucks to be buried along the prestigious road ever imaged that it would some day no longer be an important route for travel?  And, if a fleeing Peter really did see a vision of Christ on the road causing him to completely "turn around," what other visions for the future might we see here if we looked hard enough.  No answers came to me...lots of thoughts, tons of questions, but no answers.
I

By now my comrades needed espresso so I happily volunteered to walk in the other direction and tote some back from a little cafe not far away.
I stolled back with the coffee pausing to snap a few shots for future paintings.

It was painfully obvious to me that I was way too over-stimulated by my surroundings ( or at least my thoughts about the locale) to settle down and paint.  So I admired Marco's and Kelly's progress and found some shade to sit in so I could sketch.

And that, my friends, was how I spent my day along the Appian Way.  Let's hope that the ghosts of the past don't haunt me when we make our trek to the aqueducts to paint tomorrow.  I need to resume the challenge of bringing Rome to life on the canvas....

Ciao,
Cindy
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