|Rome painting, Earl V. Staley, 1980s|
|Earl's sketches Casa Rustica @ American Academy, 1981|
My daughter Caroline spoke similarly of Rome after her Italian honeymoon in 2001. "It was strangely wonderful to see a woman in stilettos pass by the Coliseum on the back of a Vespa." She was caught up in the juxtoposition of different worlds absorbed in a single glance. Again and again. I will be too.
|1980s Rome Painting, Earl V. Staley|
"Be Here Now. It's the key to living...You need something. I offer you this suit. When you want to marshall all your resources...put this on. It isn't for boy scouts, though. Some may think you look dangerous. Faded fabric with clean European design, it's a bit arresting. It takes a certain charisma."
"Wow," I said, "Wow, it's raw sienna. It's definitely yellowish." I thought about my tube of raw sienna acrylic paint in the studio.
raw sienna pigment was first made during the Renaissance from Terra de Siena (earth of Siena). "If you wear that suit in Siena, you'll be in camouflage. Totally invisible. Could be interesting," I say.
Before breakfast this morning, Earl tells me, "I'm returning the J. Peterman suit."
"Really," I say, "Why not keep the jacket? It'll be great with taupe and loden slacks. Great with jeans. It's the whole suit that would take some doing."
He tried the jacket on again. It's definitely has something. It'll work.
"And what in particular do you want to see when we day-trip to Siena?", I ask.
His answer is swift, "The Pinacoteca Nazionale. There is room after room filled with small exquisite paintings. Egg tempera on gold leaf."
What a guide I'll be traveling to Siena with, a guide in a raw sienna cotton twill jacket who can tell me about 14th century paintings like this 'Annnunciation' by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. J. Peterman, you have triumphed again.