| Aeolian Islands

katephotomountainI just had a wonderful side trip to the Aeolian islands, an archipelago off the coast of Sicily. Lipari, Salina, Panarea Stromboli. Salina was my favorite, small, lush, dramatic, romantic. In a way a European edition of St. Kitts. Salina is known for growing capers, a small hardy pretty bush with a sweet smelling white flower. The capers flavor pasta, salads, fish, everything and is often used with fresh mint. Malvaisa wine is produced on the volcanic slopes and one night I had a glass of wine on the terrace of an old mellow hotel and watched the  nearby volcano Stromboli light up like a cigar. One brilliant orange flame on a very black night. Quite eerie. The next day I went over to Stromboli in a fast speed boat. We passed directly under the roaring volcano with rock and dust spewing down the sheer face to the sea. What a sight. Afterwards, I did a couple of sketches which I hope to turn into big canvases one day.

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| News from Ortigia

katesketchReally getting to like my studio. It is  hotting up and I have both doors open to the ocean. Below the city wall there  are some wonderful golden flat bedded rocks and when the sea is calm in the summer people go down there to sunbathe. I usually go down around 6.00 and have found a great ‘rock seat’ where I can read….or in this case sketch. From this vantage point you see this most timeless silhouette of an ancient city, once one of the largest cities in the world. The sunset is so different to the Caribbean, here it lingers and a sweet haze appears on the horizon as the light slowly dims.

| The Fish Market

I am having a marvelous time in Syracusa. The fish market is gutsy and noisy and I love going early to watch the stocky tough fishermen unload their catch. Right now they come in with piles and piles of black prickly sea urchins. Well not black really, a deep indigo streaked with ribbons of viridian green seaweed. The guys sit on a crate and slice in half the urchin spooning out a brilliant orange roe into a small container, these they sell as a delicacy to pour over ‘spagetti vongole.’

My drawing…

SUdrawingThe drawing into color…

SUcolorAnd then, goes into the start of a painting.

SUpainting

 

 

 

| Sicilia for a year

I arrived last week in Syracusa, Sicilia. I flew in late afternoon over Mount Etna as the new moon twinkled excitement and adventure. I love traveling by myself.

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Today is the patron saint of Syracusa, Sant Lucia and I can hear deep booming church bells in the Piazza and the crowds beginning to gather for the celebrations. Poor Lucy, made a saint after giving away all her jewels to the poor and annoying her fiancé. She then refused to obey orders and so sacrificed herself to the gods. There’s a marvelous Carravaggio in the church depicting her gouged out eyes on a plate in front of her….gift of light, eyesight etc. all very macabre.

I have rented a small apartment on the city wall by the sea. Next week I search for an easel and set up my new studio ready for sketching.

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Already I see so many girls wearing scarves, big drapey scarves over the more or less black uniform. It is quite chilly here so color will arrive with the warmth I imagine…or will it?

| The Gallery Cafe

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So excited to add The Gallery Cafe as one of our new retailers! It’s quickly become a favorite spot on St Kitts… enjoy a coffee and delicious pastries made by Leah, and shop Rosey Cameron’s gorgeous art in the gallery. You are likely to meet this sweet mother-daughter duo as they are usually there!

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My boys on their patio…

IMG_2587Be sure to stop in if on the island!

-Maria