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Thursday, December 14, 2023

The things you do for art. ART/4 sensorial day 3

 At  Smerillo late December 

Smerillo is a little town close to Amandola where we once lived. In altitude it is nearly 900 metres and it is renowned for its chestnut festivals and  for its spectacular views across the entire spectrum of Le Marche.

So, what are we doing wedged inside this crack in the mountain side you might wonder?

Well, it was supposed to be one of our art sensorial days (we being our little art group ART/4;nature)

Every three weeks or so we venture out into forests, mountains, rivers etc and simply absorb nature, its air, its trees and bushes, ite light and its sounds. And this was one of those days.

Not quite so though

Because it was cold, not 9C as it was when I left home but barely 3C with a strenghtening easterly wind.

And the whole town was closed; not a bar open and another human being in sight except  a pixie like gentleman who assured us that indeed Wednesday wasn't the day to visit; everything closed, except a huge restaurant which was to open at 12,30. We booked lunch for later and went exploring.

Now I must explain that Smerillo has a distinctly ex Hippy feel about it; that  'Where have all the Hippies gone' sort of feeling, with those lingering and faded colours still discernable here and there on closed bars and pubs (just one) too, with elfic names. You know what I mean.

                                  This is not an Elf but me with a new best tabby cat friend

The Elf like lovely young girl at the empty restaurant told us that the equally famous ring around Smerillo walk had been closed off, because it was dangerous after recent storms, but she winked and said go for it anyway there's nobody around to stop you

We did, and got a third of the way around and began to think it was an elfik trick.

Because you know, Elves can invisibilise themeslves (and others) at whim,

Bur we continued bravely on, slipping and sliding as we approached the also equally famous gola ahead (see above)

The thing about Smerillo, is that it's unusual

All the little hilltop towns hereabouts are also similarly so, each in their own particular way.

And our lives, as artists; are equally unusual and would we have it any other way? So it follows, doesn't it that we hate so called normality and avoid it in every way and every day possible. 

We yearn for a world  where the confines of conformity and the cultural herding and indoctrination of 

mankind abates and is unravelled.

So, you see, our monthly art trips, into mountains and forests, serve as a sort of deconditioning, to put us back into that state of being where art and creativity become its natural outcome.

To quote Robert Henri 'The objective isn't just to make art, it is to arrive in that state where art becomes inevitable'

I'll  leave you with a forest painting from our previous art adventure

Buon Anno,


Should you wish to can contact me, to get information about my art workshops in Italy, or about my work, you'll find me via my new website,