Since returning from Italy, people have asked if I was inspired to make art as a result of the trip. You would think that the answer would be simple, but it isn't. Although I took a sketchbook, our visit was spent seeing as much as we could see in the limited time that we had. So, my answer is this: I was awed by the artwork that I was able to see. The sculptures and paintings were magnificent. However, what inspired me as an artist were the frescoes. There were frescoes to be seen all over Italy, but I was particularly thrilled with the Roman era examples.
Perhaps the most inspiring fresco to me was in the National Roman Museum. In fact, I was surprised how much I enjoyed our time there. The museum is off the beaten track, air conditioned, and not mobbed with people; a trifecta that is rare in crowded Rome. The inspiring fresco that we enjoyed is the oldest example of a continuous garden painting. The work is dated from 30-32 BC. Being in the room with these wall paintings, I could imagine the sounds of birds and running water. Artistically, the textures present in the preserved work moved me beyond words. Who knows whether something so ancient will find a way visually into my present-day work? Here are some images:
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