Sunday, April 12, 2020

Vesuvio part 22

Weather around here changes rapidly and at times violently. Today turned out to be a very nice day, though tomorrow they are expecting huge storms and hurricane type winds (in recent days we have had all those things put in appearances), so I thought it a good idea to get this proof done and get a photo of it in the nice light. And since I have everything at home these days, I had a lot of opportunity to work on it. Did some experiments on scrap paper, more work on the actual printed piece, both last night and early today.

After a lot of looking, I decided that the wall was too light.  Some of it had to be darker than the pale wash of New Gamboge I had put down, but not quite as bold as the more full strength version of that color I had tried on the first proof. On a large scrap of the same paper put down another wash, then overlaid it with a wash of burnt sienna.  That would work.  Applied that to my newer proof. Then more colors all around- on some people, some food, the floor, some pale coloring on those background paintings, so that there wasn't any bright white of the paper left in the final version.  And then while I had plenty of daylight and sunshine, got a good photo of it.

I think I am going to declare this piece done. I'm sure that the more I look at it, the more things I'll find that I could improve, but such is the fate of all artists.  Meanwhile, I think it's what I want.   Came up with the official title, Around the World with Jim.  After all, food was a big influence here, and I show the restaurant's two best known dishes- the "Vesuvio Around the World Special" pizza, and their "Our Famous Jim Salad." The combination made for a fine meal.

Looking at the piece does make me miss this place.  I miss the very tasty food.  I miss their period decoration, unchanged over the decades. And I miss the idea of people being able to go to a crowded place and get something to eat.  Probably someday (the day keeps getting pushed further and further away) we'll be able to do things in public again, and at least in this area there are still places that serve good pizza (take out only).  I don't know if there are any places left that look like Vesuvio did.  At least I have the art.  This one will serve as the BAT, and when I can I'll go pull another proof and color that to match this one.  Won't be tomorrow (to wet and windy predicted), and after that who knows what we'll be allowed to do?

Today is Easter, a holiday that often gets people together for family celebrations, but these days not so much.  Heard my brother stopped by my parent's house today, children rang the doorbell, then ran away.  Easter candy for the kids was put on the steps so they could come back and collect it after my parents were safe back inside.  I was down there briefly to finish the mowing of their lawn (batteries that were used up yesterday now recharged, taking advantage of the nice weather).  While I was there, got a call from him on my cell, an offer of their excess holiday food, so we'll have to work out an exchange tomorrow.  While I was mowing yesterday, my mother gave me a gift of what she's not ready to eat with me today, a box of manicotti from Pastosa, a specialty store that opened in this area recently.  (package says they started in Brooklyn) Make a tasty filling for their pastas and stuff them nice and full.  So after my lawn mowing was done today, back home for a feast.  

I had made a batch of sauce this morning, so it was just a matter of assembling the parts, putting it in the oven for about 20 minutes, adding some freshly grated cheese.  As tasty as I expected. Did I go back and get a third one- of course I did.  And I still have some left for tomorrow.  Making art on Easter is not a given, but it has happened before.  I documented one such case as part of my Fourth of July series.  The open blow slot for the beginner glass blowing class was on Sundays, so I gave up an invitation to a dinner at someone's house to use the time, which resulted in one of my best glass pieces.  


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