2011 -the new season has begun!

The first group this year hails mainly from Arkansas, following the amazing Barry Thomas, a former Razorback football star, now one of the most popular painters of the new west.  His paintings are riots of action and color.  When he sets up demos in our quiet little hill towns, a crowd always gathers to watch his flamboyant techniques.  The conversations around the dinner table are interesting and urbane—with quite a few good personal Bill Clinton anecdotes.

A visit from Alessandro Quargnali-Linsley, Paola’s son, was productive and enjoyable.  Alessandro works in IT in Chicago, but is an artist in the tradition of his family and shares a true love for this ambitious project, begun by his Mom and his Aunt Enza.  Since we were still in the initial set-up phase, we got to sample quite a bit of Umbrian food at the houses of friends and at local restaurants.  Sandro even mastered the making, from scratch, of the traditional local pasta:  Ciriole alla Ternana.

The pleasures of my duties here at La Romita include not only appreciating the geographic diversity of our participants from all over the states—after Arkansas, this year features teachers and students from Indiana, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Colorado, and Texas—but also ever increasing age diversity in our groups.  Our next group will be college students in fine arts from Ball State University,  but almost every other group consists of adults of each age group; twenty-somethings to eighty-somethings sharing and learning from one another.

A couple of days ago, Ben and Enza arrived in Italy and, as usual, hit the ground running.  New projects this year include finishing the air-conditioning in the studio and putting up new solar panels over the garage to further reduce our carbon footprint.  They’ll barely get their bags unpacked before they head up to Stockholm for the annual meeting of the American Institute of Architects.

Tante Belle Cose

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