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Roma, Early Morning

21 color Silk-screen
paper size:  44"H x 30"W

I was standing at the foot of the Spanish steps early one morning in Rome waiting for the American Express office to open.  I looked down the piazza in the direction of the Piazza Del  Popolo.  There was a huge shadow of a palm on the face of a building and it struck me as being purple as I saw the piazza for the first time.    On this trip I was staying nearby at the top of the steps in a small pensione across from the Hassler Hotel and every morning after that I came down the steps and started my day here.
 

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Bacino Orseolo
21 color silk-screen
paper size: 25"H x 38"W

Bacino Orseola sits along the shortest route between the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco.  I frequented this area in 1988 while in Venice with a friend.   The canal opens up at this point and the Godolieres park their boats here before their  evening activities.   Every time I passed through here I had to stop and turn around.  The shops here had great quality items and it was much quieter than the popular pathways.  The colors of the buildings were bouncing everywhere off the water.
 

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Firenze
18 color silk-screen
paper size 30"H x 22"W

When I visited Firenze I stayed on the Piazza Annunciata.  The perfect proportions of the piazza reveal the spirit of the Florentine.  Stand in the center and you can take yourself back to the Rennaissance. Our room was huge with a vaulted ceiling and when you opened the shutters you could here the clammer from a small restaurant down below.  The vision of the dome of Santa Maria Del Fiorio stood across the roof as an anchor of reason.   It is a wonderful experience to take yourself into the timeless realm of renaissance space.   You enter the alleys and streets and look either way and imagine yourself as a character in the works of Massacio or Ucello.

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Guggenheim Terrace
18 color silk-screen
paper size: 22"H x 30"W

  Peggy Guggenheim's house is located on the Dorsoduro in Venice.  The first time I was in Italy I spent the last two weeks in Venice. We were staying in a wonderful pensione in a quiet part of town near the Church of the Frari. Everyday I would make a trek through town with the Arsenale and the Biennale as my last stop before the vaporeta ride to the lido.  It was the closest thing to perfect that an art student could hope for.  At that time the Guggenheim was only opened two afternoons a week.  It was the last year of Ms. Guggenheim's life.  On the aftenoon that I went she was there and taking some air in her Garden.  My friend and I were mesmerized viewing the masterworks of surrealism for the first time.   The art work and the ambiance were so incredible we both wanted to get the catalog but we had no money.  An extremely distinguished and handsome man was selling the catalogs and he sensed our dilemma.  He had some books over to the side that were damaged.  He spoke up and said we could have one for a mille.  We were ecstatic and immediately got our money out.  My friend had the great idea to get Peggy to sign our books.  We approached her, she was dressed in a purple shift with bright red stockings and she was sitting near the burial grounds of her beloved yorkies.  She was happy to oblige us and that was truly a great moment to have personal contact such profound patron of modern art.   I went out to the terrace and sat down to gaze across the canal and think about it all.

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Piazza San Marco
18 color silk-screen
paper size:  22"H x 30"W

The piazza San Marco is one of the great human spaces in the world.  As you are walking through the narrow streets toward it from any direction there is a calm quietness that you comes over you.  When you reach the colonnades and the sky opens your spirit is heightened.  The facade of San Marco beckons you and the excitement builds as you approach.  The Cathedral is a visual feast for any art lover.  I was riding the Vaporeta one day and it must have been on the weekend because there was a backup of boats pulling into the dock.  We were stuck out there on the water longer than usual.  The view struck me with the motion of the boat and the flickering light mirroring the vertical lines cast on the water from the buildings. Seeing it from a distance enabled me to deal with the scale in human terms.

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Along the Grand Canal
21 color silk-screen
paper size:  30"H x 22"W

The Trattoria Madonna is located in one of the little alley ways that opens up onto the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge.   My first experience in this part of town was spent searching for this Restaurant.   It is famous for many things but my favorite dish is the "squid in su tinte".  This is a great shopping area in town and a lovely place to stop and relax.  The cafe tables are all along both sides of the canal.  If you have been walking through the shops or just wandering through the maze you will eventually end up here.  The sparkling white Bridge that rises up as the union of the two sides of the canal seems to have a great part to play in the flickering light that dances off the water.

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View from the Garden of the Pitti Palace
21 color silk-screen
paper size: 27"H x 20"W

Florence in spite of all it's renaissance order is a noisy city.  It fills up the bowl of a beautiful tuscan valley.    When I would visit Florence at the end of the day it always seemed necessary for me to climb up and out of that bowl and see the city from one of the promontories.   My favorite place to go probably because it was the quickest one to get to was Fort Belvedere.  From the fort you could look across the Arno and see the entire city.   After sitting there a while I would always exit down through the Garden of the Pitti Palace.  A favorite for Art lovers the Pitti Palace houses some wonderful treasures.  As you approach the grand rusticated structure there is a spot that provides you with a birds eye view of the Duomo and you can make a connection  with the two great designers Brunileschi and Giotto.  After seeing the Bell Tower and the Duomo from this distance you are compelled to make the trek to the top of at least one..  Traveling up the steps in the  duomo between the two walls is an experience and the view from the top is remarkable.

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Rhone River
18 color silk-screen
paper size:  32"H x 40"W

The Rhone River splits on either side of a large island near Avignon.  Avignon epitomizes the south of France.  It is a great stop on the rail line that is close to the beautiful southern countryside.  The light flickers off the foliage in constant movement.  The old town is delightful.  It extends along promenade through town from the train station.  The Popes Palace is located at the end of the promenade where the street opens up into a big piazza.  This Palace was the home of one set of Popes during the Great Schism.  There is a wonderful collection of Siennese works from Italy and the museum is a great find.  The garden at the palace is on a cliff above the river with a great view upstream.  The quality of the crisp clear air and the flickering play of the light bouncing off the foliage was the element that keep coming back to me after the trip.

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Tholos at Delphi
21 color silk-screen
27"H x 20"W

The new tourist town of Delphi was built up the road from the archaeological site.  The streets are steep and the vista looks out to the sea through a gorge and across an ancient alluvial plane.  The French archaeologists were the first to document their work at Delphi.  I loved visiting the museum with all the beautifully rendered drawings of their projections.  Rambling around through the ruins imagining the past glory one hopes to make a sensory  connection to the oracle.

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Acropolis
21 color silk-screen
18"H x 12"W

The plaka section of Athens has a special appeal because of it's close proximity to the Acropolis.   To step out of the hotel and wander around the local neighborhood over to the base of the mountain in five or ten minutes is a convenient treat.  The first time I staid at the Plaka Hotel I found my way up to the roof and did my first sketch for this silkscreen.  On my way back to my room I traveled the halls and found the  rooms that faced the right direction.   On the next trip I made sure I got the room with a view.

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Mykonos
21 color silk-screen
20"H x 27"W

Mykonos is one of the Kyklades group of islands in the Aegean Sea.  It is famous as an island playground for non conformists and the glitteratti.  Before modern times it was controlled by the Venetian Republic.  The white washed harbor village is a maze of nooks and crannies that lead you in and out through lovely small courtyards of painted stones with bougainvillea trees sprouting out of the pavement.  The famous pink pelican of the harbor greets all visitors.  Across the water from the harbor is the ancient island city of Delos.  It is well worth it to make the rough choppy boat ride for a day of hiking the ancient ruins where Artemis and Apollo were born.

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Rio Della Salute
21 color silk-screen
12"H x 18"W 

The Rio Della Salute leads you to the Church of Santa Maria Della Salute on the guidecca along the grand canal.  The beautiful Baroque Church was built to commemorate the end of the Black Death.  At this time the venetians started painting their gondolas black.  A special pontoon bridge is built across the grand canal that leads to the Cathedral for the festival celebration.  I visited Venice in November during the aqua alta and the  festival of Salute.  It is a special time for Venice and even the inconvenience of high water is not bothersome when you are thinking about all the loss that this resilient city experienced during the plaque.  Salute is a resplendent jewel that rises up out of the canal as testimony.

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