Iâ€™d waited an absurdly long time to see Rome, (living so close as I do) and yet, the timing of this first visit a few weeks ago was just so perfect, (as are all things when you really look at them).
As soon as I arrived (and even before) I recognized that familiar little voice that drives me to where I need to go and who is telling me now that Italy is a place I should go regularly to recharge my life and beauty loving artist batteries.
All of the ingredients are there that connect me to my heart, and from that heart center, art will flowÂ : beautiful color everywhere, intoxicatingly gorgeous churches and museums, an astounding cultural heritage, generous, friendly people, a singsong language, andâ€¦of courseâ€¦.Amazing FoodÂ ! All of my senses are in a constant state of rapture when Iâ€™m in Italy.
What struck me immediately as I awoke my first morning in Rome was the jasmine scented smells floating into my room, the burst of color as I looked out my balcony at the orange domes and rooftops, and the sweet sound of birdsong.Â Birds are everywhere in Rome, joyfully swooping in and around, chirping happily away. Theyâ€™re nothing like the carnivorous pigeons that live in Paris and scare the living daylights out of me half the time. These birds singÂ !
My first important stop was the Vatican, and I had the extraordinary good fortune to find an exquisite guide who made that part of Ancient Rome come to life through the magic of her storytelling. Patricia Fogli-Iseppe is an absolutely brilliant historian and art lover. Sheâ€™s really got a special genius, and if youâ€™re ever in Rome, well, look her up, you wonâ€™t regret itÂ !
Patricia explained that during the Renaissance, beauty became linked to divinity and thus became the door to something higher than oneself, call it what you may. Â«Â Someone whose eye is educated to see beauty is someone whose soul is at peace.Â Â»
Just as the renaissance was a time of artisitc and intellectual flourishing on all levels, Iâ€™m going to consider this visit to Rome as my personal renaissance. Itâ€™s a rebirth to the origins of beauty, to color as a vital life force, and of course, to art as the central theme of my life. When I see this much beauty and focus on it, my soul really does feel at peace.
There is so much to see, I found the best way to really focus and absorb the ambiance and some of the details was to slow down and do some relaxed sketching and drawing in my journal. Those sketches will become abstract paintings and deep intuitive responses to so many of the things that sent me into a state of rapture. I canâ€™t wait to spend the entire month of July exploring this in my studio.
Iâ€™d love to hear your comments on places that are special for you, places you want to go back to again again. What about them nourishes you and calls you back for more ?