29 November 2008

La mia piccola mostra

Laugh with me...

Here is part of my first little show of artworks, currently at Bancogiro near Rialto Bridge. Four others are in another part of the restaurant. The piece at the far left, which features a poster of a Giovanni Bellini painting recently shown at Querini Stampalia, is called Bellini e Altri. It was the first to sell.

Nothin’ can stop me now!

24 November 2008

Rumors of snow

Yesterday afternoon the weather turned decidedly colder and I thought I heard a few Venetians on the Strada Nuova mumbling something about snow…


My fondest fantasy! Other than a tiny flurry or two early last December, I have been waiting since January 2004 to see snow settling on La Serenissima’s lovely shoulders again.

But I forgot those dim rumors when I arrived at Jeremy’s Book Club in the evening because I was introduced to one of my favorite authors, Michelle Lovric. Ms. Lovric penned the complex and beautiful The Floating Book, my favorite semi-historical tale of Venice, as well as many of the other well-worn fiction and nonfiction volumes on my bookshelves. She herself is a vivid, charming woman with a graceful way of accepting a gush of compliments. (Probably it wasn’t the first time she was inundated that way.) In short, I was delighted to tell her how many happy hours she has afforded me these past years.

Do you know what she told me just as she was leaving? “Snow in the forecast for the early morning hours.”

She was right. Not exactly the fairytale kind that I dream about. Rather, the wet, sleety kind that sends folks in search of a caffè corretto. Still… snow! I thought you might like a glimpse.

21 November 2008

A different Salute

I’m sure I will never forget this day – the day I mounted my first exhibition of artworks. I am so pleased that it happens to be Festa della Salute because my memory of this day last year is bittersweet (no candy pun intended), thanks to a certain gentleman who proved to be anything but. Now I can replace that memory with the giddy picture of myself on the floor of Bancogiro, assembling my frames and securing my Scatole Veneziane (Venetian Boxes) with grubby bits of “Patafix,” the Italian version of “stick’um.” It took me all day, but the show is up at last, and it looks terrific.

To celebrate I walked over the pontoon bridge from Santa Maria del Giglio, lingering mid-Grand Canal before I took myself to the Festa. I bought an extra-large candle to ensure good health for myself and my loved ones in the coming year. It would appear everybody in town did the same, as you can see above.

Then I treated myself to a real Sicilian canollo and a skewer of headache-inducing, filling-shattering caramei. (Remember? – that’s the hard-crack-toffee-dipped dried fruit so loved by Venetians.) To halt the sugar death spiral I shared a Cabernet Franc and a kebab with girlfriend “M.” Tomorrow I plan to sleep late and goof off all day.

Yes, this is just the way I always want to remember Festa della Salute. Frankly I've never felt better.

14 November 2008

Petty crime does pay.

I confess. I have become a criminal.

I was thrilled to be able to add eight more boxes to my upcoming show, but quickly found myself out of my primary material... Thus a few nights ago I was reduced to filching posters in bulk, rather than delicately and discreetly peeling one from this wall and one from that. I was seeking volume, not quality. I needed the assistance of my gal pal "M," as well as a couple of strangers, and I had to work late at night to avoid the Carabinieri. It was damp and foggy... so foggy that vaporetto service in the outer regions was suspended. Luckily, a motoscafo driver took pity on me and gave me a lift to the main line at Piazzale Roma. Me and my bundle, which looked and felt far too much like a dead body hastily wrapped in paper... He never said a word about it. Above you can see Yours Truly, the shameless thief, with her loot.

It all turned out fine in the end. I have completed sixteen pieces for the show. I thought you might like to have a peek at them...

06 November 2008

Sweet November

I have returned from the U.S., where everything I was nervous about actually went quite smoothly. In short, I had a ball. No place on Earth can beat New York in autumn. Even the election went my way.

Now I’m home again, and somehow it’s even sweeter than when I first arrived more than a year ago. My plane touched down in a dense fog – the kind that erases the horizon and blends Venetian sky and lagoon into dull molten silver. September’s crowds have subsided and there’s a cheery nip in the air – red wine weather! Already “it’s beginning to look a lot like Natale” in the streets. (They were putting up the firefly lights yesterday afternoon.) Best of all, I needn’t have worried – I was clearly missed. I had the great pleasure of being heartily welcomed back in many quarters.

I’d love to spend the next few days lingering in my favorite places, but I’m much too busy getting ready for my show at Bancogiro. Before I left I came upon eight more boxes to cover, so I will be able to offer twice as many as I had expected, if I can just get them finished in time.

That said, I gotta run…