5 Jun 2022 | Works
A dream under construction
In the Italian countryside, about a three-hour drive from Rome, lies this beautiful piece of planet Earth. Our good friends James and Claudia bought an old farm house and the surrounding land, dotted with olive trees, some 12 years ago. A few years ago, they packed up their lives in the Netherlands and moved to Italy for good.
When we visited them this spring, the house was undergoing renovation. You had to use your imagination a little, but we could see their dream house taking shape. It was very special to witness this long-running project!
Because of the renovation, we stayed further up the hill in a neighbouring house. The views were just stunningly beautiful. Their land is shaped a little like a sombrero. The house is on a little hill, but the hill is itself in a valley. So first you go down into the valley, then you go up again to the house.
We arrived for perfect weather - clear skies, sun, pleasantly warm and not too hot - and just after a rainy period. Everything was growing like mad: grass up to your knees, wild flowers, poppies. I spent an entire morning sitting on the top of the hill drawing the scene in pencil. When we returned home, I turned my pencil drawing into this painting.
PS: I had to make a sacrifice for this piece of art. While I was doing the pencil drawing, a dog from the neighbourhood was keeping me company. Imagine my surprise when I realised later that the dog had stolen my pack of cigarettes! I kid you not, he had carried the pack home to his owner. She put the cigarettes aside thinking someone might come and ask for them, but by the time James found out, we had already traveled back home.