Friday, 7 May 2010

A Chance Meeting of Artists

OK, I know you're bored with me banging on about my holiday now, but there's a nice story I want to tell, before we move on.

During our first day on Procida, strolling the streets, getting the lie of the land, we peered through the open door of a massive old church. Inside, instead of the usual icons and statues, were slender, wooden easels, bound together in groups, displaying watercolours of the island. We went in for a nosy.

The work was lovely and, in a back corner beyond the paintings, an incongruous huddle of sofas and armchairs snuggled together around a rug. We were welcomed enthusiastically by two men and, in broken English, they explained that the elder, Enzo Campanino, was a painter and lecturer, his companion, a poet.

The exhibition was part of an Artists' Collective they had recently formed on the island, including musicians and writers, as well as painters. We were later joined by a pianist, although unfortunately she spoke no English at all (and my Italian is more or less limited to buon giorno).

Well, I couldn't resist it: I whipped out my sketchbook (ever the show-off) and showed them the drawings I'd done in the mountains. That was it: we were shown to the comfy chairs and presented with cake and glasses of Lemoncello (the delicious local tipple). I was given a huge guestbook and asked to do a drawing of Enzo.

I did my best (the pressure of proper portraiture is always a bit daunting). In return, Enzo gave me a lovely watercolour sketch as a memento:

I came away feeling wonderful. The exchange of work and ideas is such a lovely thing to share. Hello and thank you to Enzo and the artists of Procida if you are reading this!


Anonymous said...

What a lovely story!
I hope you got a good likeness. Look forward to seeing your exchange gift and hearing more about your trip.
Mum X

Candace Trew Camling said...

That is absolutely MAGICAL! That is a truly wonderful story!

Serena said...

A beautiful story and wonderful memory!

Mary Jane said...

Such a touching story. A tear almost formed in the corner of my eye. My mouth dropped open when I saw the floral painting. What a lovely exchange! No wonder you came away feeling wonderful.

Croom said...

Oh Lynne what a lovely treat for you both. I just love the sketch Enzo gave you, something to treasure.

Thank you for a very interesting blog. Tina

Lynne Chapman said...

So glad you enjoyed hearing my story. It was a very lucky chance encounter for me.

Rebekah Leigh said...

A lovely lovely story ( I know it's been said)! The watercolor sketch he gave you is beautiful. I really enjoy following your blog :-)