In private collection
In private collection
I joined with two other artists in Valencia to hire a model with whom we enjoyed working. She is able to hold long poses. Over three hours I painted her in acrylics and later added the clothing and background. I took as inspiration for the background the landscape paintings of Van Gogh, with a twist.
Portrait of Young Man, pastels, after the Rubens sketch. Rubens and other artists of the time would use the same figure in multiple paintings.
Us In a Field in Pennsylvania, digital painting
Matteo was my mother’s brother. He was born in Partanna, Sicily in 1893. His last name differed from his siblings. This anomaly has been prodding my curiosity for several years. Recently I wrote to Partanna to request his birth certificate. Unlike others I’d received, this one did not show his parents. Then I requested a copy of his Social Security application. There he named his father. Assuming he had the facts correct, now we know his father’s name. But what happened to his father? His mother, my grandmother, remarried when Matteo was around 5 years old.
He immigrated in 1915. I remember him teaching me to use utensils the continental way, fork in left and knife in right, and now switching back and forth. He was a very quiet guy as I recall him. My brother me he was quite active in the garment workers union in NYC, as was his sister Anna (Annette). He married a woman named Nellie who died in the early 1940’s. I think they married in Newark, at least I found a record of a Matthew and Nellie in the marriage records and as this is a uncommon combination of names it’s likely to be them. He died when I about 10 years old.
We walk to museums, to look at buildings of particular interest, to lunch or dinner. I can not help but look at the people. Ukraine was part of Russia for hundreds of years but the area has been inhabited for over 30,000 years. Who are they? The ethnic group called ‘Ukrainian’ is Slavic, as are Russians, Poles and parts of the old Yugoslavia. They do not seem in general to be quite as blond with super light skin tones as I noticed in Russia, but close enough.
In a bar in Cabañal having tapas with Ximo and Andea. They are great company. We tried an array of unusual tapas, thanks to Ximo’s excellent suggestions. Superb local wine. I had a great time with them in May, sometimes in bar and sometimes at Ximo’s place.
Cabañal is on the edge of Valencia, Spain at the beach. The narrow streets reflect the age of the place, which is full of many two story traditional Spanish townhouses. This is a small water color painting.