Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mermaids and Ships in Bottles - in memory of dear Alfio

I've been painting.  And collaging.  This is the final piece for Lilla Rogers' fourth week of Assignment Bootcamp.  The theme was nautical and the palette was pretty much this - predominantly acqua with hints of blue, neutrals and accents of tomatoey oranges - some of my favourite colors.
My Father-in-Law recently passed away and when my husband and I were clearing out his office we came across these - literally within days of starting this project. They're grappa bottles (one of them with a ship inside!) and a little wooden boat that my husband made with his Dad when he was a child.

Alfio was devoted to his holiday home on the Italian island of Ponza and every day in August he'd be out on his little boat in the crystal waters surrounding the island, diving for shellfish, then spending the evening on his terrace playing the mandolin and drinking grappa with his lifelong friends.   It was so fitting to draw and paint part of his grappa collection with a nautical theme in mind - the very quintessence of my children's beloved Nonno.  It was very easy getting into the spirit of the project simply by imagining the paintings hung on the wall of his house.
When I started painting the bottles,  Isadora had just finished school for the Summer and was lounging around between the TV, the iPad and my phone while I worked.  I was in despair and was delighted when she sat down to paint with me.  I didn't imagine she'd do this though!!!  My jaw dropped.  She's nine!!

In the meantime, I was doing this.

These canvases are really small - post card size would you believe?  In a couple of weeks we'll be going to Ponza to scatter Alfio's ashes in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Ponza and Palmarola (an island that is a completely unspoiled paradise near Ponza and a place very dear to Alfio's heart).  I'll take our paintings and put them in the alcove in the living room.  I think they'll look nice there and I'm sure Alfio would have liked them - especially Isadora's.
Here are some pictures of him on his boat and at the house with my children.  Aren't they lovely.