I never intended to stay here, but my less-traveled road led me to divide my time between two countries on different sides of the Atlantic. It is a path that many with ambition plan to follow, eventually coming to a new home where they will live out a life filled with beautiful scenery, art and excellent cuisine, leaving behind others with more mundane aspirations. Italy has often been the imaginary view from a corner office, a measure of personal success. It has also been relentlessly stereotyped in books and film, and I would like to offer another, and possibly truer, perspective. I have lived in Italy for over thirty years, coming here on a whim and staying year after year, marrying and raising a family, creating a world here near a small southern town which has never failed to interest me. But if you are thinking of the many stereotypical accounts by ex-patriots who have made a new life here and enthuse romantically about all things Italian, I assure you the real story--my story--is different. Of course it is rich with olive trees, blue sea and stone towns, but there has been so much more that is wondrously strange, terrifying, indecipherable, and marvelously funny. My life here hasn't been what you might imagine at all. painting: "Il Vinello" oil on canvas, 11 x 30 inches, 2010
I love your work so much! You are my favorite artist. I was able to view your art in Lampasas. Do you offer art classes in Austin?
Thank you for the wonderful comment! I am so glad that you managed to come to the gallery, too. I don’t teach classes at all, sorry to say, but occasionally I have been tempted to get some kind of plein air painting class going in Italy. As usual, I just have too much to do. But it would be fun, even though I prefer working in the comfort of my studio with music and air conditioning!
I appreciate your thoughts about my work! Actually I get my supplies from both the US and Italy. I have a dear colleague who has an art supply store in Bari (Saluti Signor Carenza!) and so I can get just about everything for painting there. I have another friend (Saluti Signor Farina!) in Grottaglie who has been helping me with all things ceramic. But then of course I have to carry rolls of canvases and pastels each time I fly, but I don’t mind really. I wish I had a gallery in Italy but where I live, buying art is the last of their concerns. So unless I have a one-off show there, I bring mot things back here to the USA.
Hello Ms Langston:
I would like to commend you strongly for your writing as well as for your paintings. The paintings in particular have (to me)such an interesting narrative and gently expressed meaningful quality that I am very much drawn to, as I am sure are others.
I wanted to ask if you have availability of art supplies locally or do you have to bring them or mail order them?
Many thanks also for your very interesting and well written blog.
Peter Berndt, M.D.