Within my art practice, I crave recreating a feeling of home. I search for the moments that leave me feeling safe, content, at peace, at home, and capture them in a photograph, then paint them. Usually I get this feeling at the Farm, this time it was in Italy. This one, that I titled "Morning in Buonconvento," is a little bit on the sad side, BUT the sadness is sandwiched between some beautiful moments. It was in this place that I learned the powerful effect that the natural elements can have on the soul.
We'd just arrived in Buonconvento, a small town outside of Siena, late on a Monday night, and were able to catch the fading sunset melt over the hills of Tuscany. The camera roll on my phone was jam packed with photos of the landscape, and we'd barely been there 15 minutes.
Once we set our bags in our room, I got a text from my Dad to give him a call. When I did, he had to give the sad news that they had to unexpectedly say goodbye to our family dog, Hank, because they found out that he was so so sick, and no one knew. As you might imagine, I was devastated. Not only was I sad that my sweet dog wasn’t here anymore, but it broke me to hear the sadness in my dad’s voice. I knew that my whole family was just as sad as I was, but they were together, and I was nearly halfway across the world. Even though I was offered every comfort from my husband and his family, I felt the small sting of loneliness in this particular moment of sadness.
The next day, still a little puffy eyed, still very sad, I awoke to the most beautiful morning. The villa we were staying at is situated in the rolling hills of Tuscany, and was lush, green and blooming. It seemed that every flower in the area was blooming. Taking a walk around the property eased the pain of my sadness, and brought a spark of joy back into my mood. In this particular painting, I hoped to capture the fresh brightness of a new day, and imagine hearing the rustling of the stalks of wheat in the morning breeze.
There were bees buzzing in and out of the bushes, reminding me of The Farm. The last of the morning dew cast a fresh glow over all of the surrounding land. And, best of all, it was so, so quiet. I took in all of these signs of life and used them as a balm to my heartbreak. I felt a strange mixture of sadness and joy, grief and happiness. In this moment, I was reminded of the things that make me feel at home, like fresh air, green grass, blue skies, and wide open spaces. This place was thousands of miles from the places I know and love, but for just a short while, it provided me with what I needed.
It gave me a place to call home.
“Morning in Buonconvento” along with twelve other original Italian landscapes will be available next Monday, June 17!
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