Blog 1 December 2015
La Donna dell’Oratorio :
Paintings at the Oratorio‘
Working’ to achieve a relaxed lifestyle in Lucca since 2013, I have with the help of others created a website, began researching and writing a book (about the connections between the City of Lucca and the City of London), joined many local organisations and most recently increased my output of painting from about one each year to eight during 2015. If one dwells too long on the amount and quality of art, in particular painting, in this region of Italy, one can be forgiven for perhaps feeling a little intimidated to pick up a brush and paint. However, the opposite has been the case and I have actually felt inspired to work harder and try to improve any ability I may possess. In Lucca ‘culture’ is unavoidable!
I have enjoyed many musical evenings at the Oratorio degli Angeli Custodi in the centre of Lucca and have embarked upon producing a series of paintings using the background of the Oratorio as the ‘connection’. The first painting was at the suggestion of good friends Kate and Arnold, regular visitors to Lucca from New York from a painting taken of Arnold playing at the piano there.
The second was from a photograph taken by Nicoletta Cerasomma for a promotional leaflet for LuccaOperaFestival and which I surprised as a gift to Michelle after another musical evening when I unveiled both pictures for ‘public scrutiny’, something I had never done before.
From that evening I obtained a request to paint a scene from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly taken the Japanese soprano Yasko Sato in her role as Butterfly performed recently at the new Opera House in Firenze. This gave me great pleasure as my Australian friend Anna wanted to surprise her husband Simon, giving the painting to him at his 50th birthday party in Lucca. This was well received as they had spent several years in Japan and Simon was able to converse with Yasko fluently in her own language.
These paintings, together with other portraits of Puccini and Verdi, I intend to display in various locations around Lucca, in particular chosen trattorias and restaurants, where the public can view them over dinner, a glass of wine or even a pizza. I already have donated to the Puccini Ristorante two portraits of Puccini I painted locally since Jan and I live above can regularly watch the public viewing them.
During 2016 I hope to produce many more work (all in oil on canvas) including continuing the ‘Oratorio series’.