Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Dante and Beatrice

This is a hand painted rendition of Dante and Beatrice on Vellum, which is believed to be from the 1700’s. Note the colors, and I have included some detailed photos.

Dante (in red) approaches Beatrice and her maidens. Dante, is a poet, and is often portrayed with a book. Notice the detail of his finger inside the book to hold his place. The maidens protect Beatrice, as she is not allowed on the common streets alone without a chaperone. Her virginity must be proceed, and to protect her honor is to protect the family from scandal.

The detail in the folds of the garments is just incredible, and the details of the buildings. The lions flanking the staircase in the background…just beautiful! The diaphanous veil that she is about to pull over her face to show that she is a modest lady. Ahh, so much to love about this small painting.

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Nun Playing A Violin

Although this is a print, it is an antique print. The original was a painting from the Italian Renaissance. The painter and subject are unknown. The face of the nun appears very young. Which is not a surprise, since families often sent a daughter to the convent. Often, the families just couldn’t afford a dowery for more than one girl, and sometimes they couldn’t afford one. A young woman would go to the convent ready to serve the church. Gardening, cleaning, praying, helping the poor. Mother Superior was in charge of the fate of the young lady.

This print reminds me of an educated lady, grieving for her family. Maybe it is an evening of a full moon where the light hits the courtyard just right, and the echo of her violin playing brings tears to the eyes of the other young ladies that have come to the convent. Young ladies that miss their families, and their old way of life.

Of course, there were young ladies that came to the convent and had a better life after they were surrounded by other young ladies. There would have been young ladies that would be able to eat good food once they were in the convent. I was once told that city poor was much different than country poor. If you were poor and lived in the city it was a little tougher to obtain fresh food. If you were poor in the country one could glean from neighboring farmers, there were eggs from chickens, and one could grow some of their own food.

Looking at old images really makes me grateful to live here and now. I am so thankful, and appreciate our ancestors, each and everyone of them. The lives they had were not easy! The choices they had to make were so different, and so far removed from the world we live in today.

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Marcela Bennett

I have always loved bell towers, and when Marcela told me she would create a bell tower, I was excited. This particular bell tower is the San Juan Bautista, it was the 15the Mission that was founded in California. The color of the sky is a bit exaggerated, but so lovely with the light colored mission. Each of the bells have their rope hanging down, ready for the monks to pull at hours for service and prayers.

 

 

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Donald B Williams

Two sketches done by a local artist Donald B. Williams. Th first sketch is Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church at Cayucos, California. It was dedicated July 14, 1900, and the little church burned to the ground on September 30th 1970.

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The haunting image of the church with it’s picket fence almost has sense a looming omen. Maybe it is the black and white, or maybe the knowing that it no longer exists. The shadow that is starting to fall on the left side of the building doesn’t help to make it appear to be a place of happiness. The new church was built in 1965, and five years later this one burned to the ground, yet no one knows the cause of the fire.

 

The other sketch is of the San Luis Obispo Mission…

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Although, this too is a sketch, it doesn’t look as “dark” to me as the other one. I notice that the fountain is not in the sketch, could be that the fountain did not exist when he did his sketch.

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Gail Salituri

Gail is one of my favorite “Mission”,  and Italian Villa painters. Her paintings take the viewer to the place. This is exactly what art is suppose to do, transport us, allowing our mind to enter the art, like a portal. These four Mission paintings take us one journey to the   Missions during a romanic phase of the history of the Missions of California.

These little gems are magnificent, and represent the Capistrano Mission, and the Carmel Mission. The three at the top are the Capistrano Mission, which is located in historical San Juan Capistrano. The Carmel Mission is located in Carmel by the Sea.

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Our First Class

It has been my dream for a long time now to have a campus. A place where people could come and learn. It didn’t necessarily need to be a college campus or even high school, but where all ages could learn something. One of the aspects of my dream was realized on Saturday. We had a paint and sip class, and more Saturday classes are coming. Here are some photos of the space where learning takes place…

The indoor space is 1700 square feet, and the outdoor patio area is 3500 square feet. We are calling the space “Casa Dell Arte” where we are going to offer more than just painting, but also craft classes, yoga, dance, and a chance for others to share insight. If they want to come in and lecture or give a presentation of some kind, we can offer our space as a place where learning can take place. Art is important for our well being. Skye was a great teacher for the class, she even allowed us to deviate from the original, and we could make our art piece any color we wanted. I am so looking forward to sharing this space with others, and seeing people learn art, and so much more.

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A Place of Reflection

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Finally, the Mission paintings and a few nuns are in the same place. I like this grouping. Six  of the paintings in the grouping are from the 1800’s and the others are fairly modern paintings. Some were purchased in art galleries, and a few from antique stores. Sometimes, when I buy paintings, I search with a subject in mind, and other times the painting is one of those that I just can’t go home without that day. Knowing that if I wait too long it won’t be there.

Week after week, I will go though, and tell you a little bit about each of the paintings on the wall. I do love the Missions here in CA, and they each have their own interesting history.

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Villa at San Marcos Creek

Last month, I made it my goal to finish the house in less than 90 days. I still need to get the rails to two beds. You would think that “standard rails” are easy to find, but everyone has to order them. UGH! Why are they called “standard”?

The great room, with views into the kitchen, dining room, and the bar.

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Cow Parade SLO

When I was attending the Mid State Fair in 2015 I saw an artist working on a cow. She was painting a fiberglass cow, and I had to know more. I went over to the table to find out more about the cow, and how I could acquire one. The cost was out of our price range, but that didn’t stop me from keeping that paper. I held on to the dream of having a cow. We were only in escrow for the winery, but we knew that owning a winery isn’t going to pay for art.

Almost a year later, I was told by a friend that there were a few Mini Moo’s, so I placed a phone call to find out how I could get one of these cows. This is the biggest public arts display in the world. Pretty impressive, and I had to be a part of it.

There was a vast array of artists that were all very talented! I saw the vision of Julie Dickey and Sandy Stevens, that was the one!

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It’s a bummer that I can’t show you real photos of the progress, but they do update everyone on Facebook. Here is the link to their site The Passionate Hearts, so you can learn more about these fascinating women. If you join them on Facebook and Instagram, you will also see their progress.

If you are interested in the whole CowParadeSLO project, click on the link. We are so proud to bring art, charity, and wine together.

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Villa San Juliette

I love visiting Villa San Juliette, they are the neighbors of Ranchita Canyon Vineyard. The beauty there is magnificent, the grounds evoke an image of European splendor. The artistically rendered gates open at 11am, the driveway is punctuated by cypress tress, and olive trees. The statuary, and landscape transport your soul to a place of divine harmony. I feel as though I am in an ancient Roman painting…bring on the banquet!

I have visited VSJ many times, but have never had the opportunity to meet the two gentlemen that own the winery. Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe  are the owners, and I am told that the two met as schoolmates in Liverpool and a friendship bloomed. Both young men loved to entertain and as they grew into adulthood, this shared passion led to careers that often intersected,  as dancers, then as choreographers and as producers of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

Despite their demanding schedules, in 2004 these two friends made time to catch up over a dinner in Las Vegas. They asked the sommelier to surprise them with a bottle of Cab, and, when both glasses were poured, the conversation took a momentous turn. The wine was spectacular, spurring an interest in the Paso Robles AVA that would grow into a love affair. And thus, in that first sip, the dream of Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery was born.

Smitten as they were, just one year later Ken and Nigel purchased a pastoral 168-acre property located at the northern edge of the Paso Robles AVA in the small town of San Miguel, California. A healthy vineyard was already established across rolling slopes and ideal soils, so Ken and Nigel directed their energies towards enhancing the natural beauty of the vineyard with a tasting room styled after the Tuscan villas that Nigel had enjoyed during trips to Italy.

Ken and Nigel’s belief in Paso Robles wine country comes to fulfillment in Villa San-Ju- liette’s comfortable tasting room, superb wines, and idyllic vineyard views.

The two are the producers of American Idol. They also produce many other talent shows, as well as own the winery. In 2013 the winery became SIP certified, which is no easy feat. One must be able to demonstrate their sustainability, water, animal conservation, soil health, and the overall carbon footprint are measured.

Their wines have won several awards too, so it’s so worth a visit. Every time I have visited, I have been fascinated by what appears to be a sculptured wind vane. I recently was told that the “Fat Monk” is a second label. I can’t personally attest to it’s yumminess, but the Fat Monk looks super cool.