Friday, September 26

"Off track" in Cortona, Italy

". . .it is only by going off track
that you get to know the country. . ."
- - E.M. Forster
I didn't go to Italy exactly to get to know the country. I went to take a week-long workshop with Michael deMeng, but what a pleasant surprise the setting was!And how I grew! My quads grew somewhat I think just by being in the hill town of Cortona, where everything is either a steep uphill climb or a careful downhill stroll. . . but, I also grew through the teaching of Michael deMeng.Our opening night reception was held at Il Pozzo. Ivan displays a delightful gallery of artwork, and the centuries-old history of Cortona is in evidence in his shop as well. If you go to Cortona, you simply must stop by Il Pozzo (translated means "the well"), and within the gallery, you will find the remains of an Etruscan well, that Ivan unearthed while looking for more height to his shop.Monday was dedicated to a field trip. Our first stop was a pottery shop, where we watched the clay go from the wheel . . . to the painter.Our trip through this process was explained by Carlos.Ah, yes. Carlos . . .Reluctantly, we moved on to an olive farm where we had a delicious lunch with primarily olive oil as an ingredient -- the fruit of their efforts.And then wine-tasting in Umbria. A terrific day!

Our next day was spent at a huge flea market to gather materials for our project with Michael deMeng. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures during that gathering, but it was amazing.
View from our workspace.

The next four days were spent in a delightful room at the Oasi Hotel making our Alchemist's Books. Some people completed multiple projects, but I was wrapped up in my one and only book.We were a wonderfully compatible group of fourteen.And there was even dancing!

My book:

23 comments:

  1. Leslie,
    Your book reflects the golden air of Tuscany!! AND, I see that Jeri made it, you girls must have had an incredible!! time.

    Were you in Venice also?? Oh, this all looks so ancient, and wonderful, I would love to visit someday.

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  2. oh golden light
    and rusty crusty richness
    like biting into the most
    delicious cinnamon buttery bun
    oh Leslie
    I will have to savor each and every
    gloriously aged and golden image
    again and again
    I am SO there in spirit
    so much rich and sensual joy
    mmmmmmmm
    isn't the world
    just so very very scrumptious!?!

    AND such a beautiful book dear girl
    are you swooning still?

    xo x- eb.

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  3. Leslie...
    I am wondering
    IF perhaps
    you may have
    brought Carlos home
    as a special souvenir
    for eb...
    I am just saying
    you know...
    that perhaps
    well he is
    apparently
    well versed in the wheel
    and clay
    and - well...
    I am just entertaining
    the possibility of
    well...
    a tutorial
    of sorts
    I am just saying...
    that perhaps...
    well
    did you?

    xox - eb.

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  4. Lovely! Lovely scenery, people, and art! I'm sure you had the best time. Your book is amazing!

    Denise

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  5. oh hello... to all of it. the book is tops... goodness you must be so pleased... good choice miss leslie... good choice to go! cannot wait to see you in a few days!

    the fan
    keli

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  6. Leslie

    These photos are amazing!!! as is the setting of Cortona, and the images you captured there. Thanks for sharing this with us. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the piece you made.

    YOU are a lucky girl!!!

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  7. I was waiting patiently for your beautiful photos, Leslie.

    Nice to know I was there. Sometimes we get back from these incredible journeys, life goes on at home and it becomes a distant memory.

    We need to get together and share.

    BTW, eb. Carlo is MINE!!

    ....once again I'll say your book is fabulous. I took no completed photos of mine. When it arrives home I will post it.

    Have an awesome time in Portland.

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  8. Dear Leslie: Your book is amazing hope you will post more pic's : ) All your pic's are wonderful and looks like you reeealllly enjoyed your time in Cortona.
    Now, AFTER EB and then Karen Cole, I think Carlos would reaaalllly loove some sun and relaxation (did I say loooove or NEEED :) so, if you reallly don't mind, I'd LOOOOVE to entertain him in sunny, warm Arizona - ha : )
    Just letting you know how much I enjoy your blog and art and pictures and Carlos and ??? oh did I say Carols : )
    Love & Blessings, Sandra in AZ : )

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  9. What a wonderful post....you are a marvelous photographer....I am SO envious of you!! Cortona, Carlos, fresh olive oil, Carlos, Italian wine, Carlos, creative spirits, Carlos....hmmmm...you are one lucky lady! Your project is amazing! I know you said that you didn't take any photos while you were shopping at the market but I'd love to hear more about that part of your trip and anything else about your trip. Can't wait to see what you post next!!
    ~Allie

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  10. Dear Rain Drops On My Glasses:

    You're home... Finally. For a few days. You walked in the door and the dogs acted like they'd been confined in a Turkish prison for 11 days.

    The orchids snitched on me, telling you in detail how I watered them with stale, warm beer that I found in an open bottle on my desk.

    While you were gone, the markets collapsed. Gas went up 30 cents a gallon. The temperature of north America increased by 1/100th of a degree. (See what happens when you leave?) But you're back now... And soon everything will be okay.

    The scent of you in these rooms is fresh. Your voice lingers in the air as you say wonderful things to the dogs, And your book, your opus, is a three dimensional expression of your thoughts: color, family, wood and metal, the ties that bond, a hand reaching out, and a mind that takes in everything.

    In mere hours, you'll be leaving again for Portland. This time I will do more than write in your absence... I will drink too.

    Somebody named Carlos left a message for you on the phone. I may take a trip next week myself.

    I love you like candles love a dim room.

    I remain,
    That guy in at the desk in the front room, which you pass through to get to the printer.

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  11. oh Leslie - such wonderful photos! Looking forward to seeing them all!

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  12. ummmmmmmmmmmm
    yummy!

    that carlos,
    er,
    i
    mean,
    that country side,
    your photos,
    all of it............

    :-)

    {{ i love seeing that man~jack
    is still in rare form
    with the PerFect ReTorts.
    "carlos called, indeed" }}

    show more shots of EVERYTHING

    ---->that karen
    will Kitchen Dance
    even
    when there is no kitchen.............

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  13. i don't know *how* you were able to accomplish anything beyond looking...sigh. & carlos...carlos, indeed!!!!

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  14. Your photos, like Susanna’s, have a glow that is all photographer and heart.
    Cortona makes me pane for Portugal and one of my favorite places there-Obidos.
    Thank you for reminding me of narrow streets hugging the shoulders, the music of steps on cobblestones, the delicious surprise of an occasional “easy-on-the-eyes” Carlos, the magical lightness of wine in Mediterranean soil, the light on the olive trees, and a landscape that anchors itself like a vine tight around your mind. This could have been Portugal.
    And your book, my dear, total and absolute Poetry! Who needs words, when art creates all these many moods and images in the receiver? Yours is the hand that gives as much as it received.
    And with words like Jack’s, who needs Carlos, anyway. If Carlos calls again, give him my number ;)
    Xox
    Isabel

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  15. Lovely pictures! I want to see them all! Welcome back! Oh, that's right you are already off again. Have a wonderful time in Portland!

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  16. Dear Leslie
    What wonderful pictures of magic Italy.
    The cobble stones the lovely old doors.
    You seem to have had an amazing time.
    I would have loved to be with you.
    MORE PHOTOS needed.
    love.

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  17. I went to the site a 2nd time and got lots more pictures! (ah the vagaries and weirdness of the internet!)
    Anyway, just wanted to say how amazing your book looks. It looks a great treasure indeed. Hugs.

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  18. LOVE your blog! And Carlos:)

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  19. Fabulous book Leslie!!!! Oh and yes Carlos looks yummy also,lol.

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  21. I loved seeing the photos of your work, the scenery but i have to admit I went to the comments section to see if anyone mentioned Carlos. hahahaha
    What was I thinking??

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  22. I sooo love Tuscany and this workshop sounds like a dream come true! It's going on my "must do" list for sure.

    The book you created is simply beautiful.

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  23. Amazing book... I like the work, texture....

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