ICON WORKSHOP WITH
ANDREA MATUS DEMENG AND MICHAEL DEMENG
Friday, March 4
Prior to leaving I had made arrangements to share a cab right from my hotel to the hotel in Cortona. All I had to do was be outside the hotel at 11:30 a.m. and Enzo the driver picked me up. Already in the cab was Kay Melchor. We then went to the airport to pick up Katy Foruria and Wendy Whalen.
It is a one and ½ hour ride to Cortona and our hotel. We are staying at the Casa Per Ferie Santa Margherita. It is a guest house convent/hotel run by the nuns of the Santa Margherita Order.
The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from the center of Cortona.
View from my room
After unpacking I decided that no moss would grow on me so I went for a Cortona walkabout.
Stepped into La Chiesa di San Domenico,
Cortona is a walled city on the top of a height so in the old days you could see the armies coming to kill you. The town was protected by walls and gates like this one.
At 6:00 p.m. all the participants gathered in the workroom for a welcome event that included champagne and appetizers.
Stacey, Michael and Andrea. Michael is explaining there are nine steps to tying a scarf in Europe.
I finally take a nice picture of a human being. Actually, in a foreign land, you want your leaders to be this happy.
Yikes. This is Andrea and Michael's class sample. Yikes!
Then we walked into town for a meal at LaFett Unta Fiaschettecia.
Saturday, March 5
One of the much anticipated highlights of the trip was that we went to Arezzo, a town 20 minutes from Cortona, to attend their flea market. I drove to the town with Stacey, Wendy, Christine and Solange.
Oddly, an Italian flea market is not too much different from an American flea market. It is true that a bunch of the stuff is older than America itself. There was plenty of stuff to look at. I would say that the flea market was a success. I spent $155 Euros and got this cool stuff.
I joined the majority of the class on the return to Cortona by riding one of the local trains.
We got our first session in the workshop with Andrea.
This triptych structure that I brought will be the basis for the project.
Michael and Andrea provided this board for our substrate.
The main accomplishment this evening was to get a coat of gesso on the board so it is dry when we want to start on the project.
We then went out to eat a sandwich cafe before heading to bed.
Sunday, March 6
This morning the weather was nice enough that after breakfast we walked into town.
This is the view out of our home which is downhill.
The bad news is that all of the town is the other direction and uphill.
We went to the Museo Diocesano. This small but magnificent museum is filled with the works of the famous fresco artist Fra Angelico.
This may explain religion.
Walking around Cortona produced street images like these.
Lunch today was at Enoteca Enotria.
During the afternoon, some of us hiked down the mountain to the Cimitero della Misericordia (Cemetery of Mercy). The walk down the hill was long...but it was downhill.
From the road down you can see how far we had to walk to get to the cemetery.
The walk back up the hill to town and then down the hill to our hotel was a challenge.
By 4:30, we went back to class to gesso some more and begin to cut up our images. Class does not officially start until tomorrow.
At 7:30 p.m., we walked back into town and had a wonderful three course meal. My food was anchovies, pasta and pork fillet. With wine. Then to bed.