Tonight we are sitting by this poolside, listening to the day end here at the Masseria, a converted farm in Puglia where the class is taking place. The moon is rising over these trulli houses, the typical form of building in this area. These cone-shaped stone dwellings are dotted around the countryside here, and one town, Alberobello, is completely made of these (we will go there later this week).
Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, there are stone walls. Driving along the country roads, there are stone walls on both sides, and the colors often include these rosy pink tufa stones that are local to this area. The landscape is very Mediterranean,with olive trees, vineyards, pines, and low-growing shrubs with pinks, lavenders, scarlets, and golden flowers, and every color of green bush and plant.
Literally all the buildings are also made of stone, and the place we are staying is no exception. The view above shows the courtyard below the little balcony outside our apartment. Everywhere there are niches, and vaulted ceilings, and stone archways. Even our classroom is a beautiful example of this.
Here is a view of the sky just before sundown, looking out across the empty pianurra. The white building on the left is the corner of where we are staying. Today we drove into the nearby village for various supplies. Thankfully my rusty Italian rises to the occasion when needed and we were able to navigate the back roads, find a few stores, explain what we wanted, buy it, and find our way home - phew! The chef here had lunch waiting for us, a lovely homemade brown bread with olive oil, tomatoes, and basil on top, and then a fabulous risotto resting on a bright green puree made of broccoli rabe stems. Yum. He is cooking our dinner as I write this. (See Daniella's blog for delicious details).
The drama of the day was that all the encaustic paints that Daniella mailed here last month did not arrive. This included nearly 100 colors of encaustic paint. It has apparently been seized, for awhile by Italian customs and we are not likely to get it before the class is over. Major disaster for us, but the ever resourceful Miss D. bought a set of oil paints in town. We squeezed them out onto paper towels to let the oil settle out, then spent all afternoon mixing the remaining pigment with encaustic medium. So voila, we made our own paint! The colors leave a lot to be desired, but hey, at least the class will be able to learn how to use them and we won't have to do a five day class without using color! This is our batch of babies. We are so proud!
Location:Masseria Della Zingara, Puglia