Terra Vivente

A view of the studio door from the street, Strada Filippo Maria Giudi.  The city is very quiet and peaceful; the streets where we are located in the medieval district are very narrow and accessible only by foot. 

Three planes, a bus, two trains and a car ride later, I have arrived in Italy.  I am one of four international artists in residence this month at Terra Vivente Art Studios in Guardia Sanframondi, Italy. Here with me is another American artist, a French-Canadian sculptor and an Australian poet and filmmaker.  My apartment and studio is located in the centro storico (historical center) of the town, dating to the 16th century or so.  We are located directly across from an incredible garden, where I spent the first day painting on paper. It is filled with exotic plants like passionflower and flowering artichokes, alongside familiar star jasmine and olive trees. We have met in the garden a few times to share our dinners together; there are incredible views overlooking the valley.

The view from my balcony of the mountains, valley and garden.

Vittorio, a friend of the residency, has brought us fresh figs and plums from his farm.  It makes me think of my student Lucila, who has shared some delicious figs from her trees back in San Antonio.
Works in progress: I began painting on paper (18 x 24"), blocking in layers of shapes, colors and textures I gathered from the town and surrounding gardens.  

Above is a view from inside my apartment, looking to the garden across the way. There are three stepped levels and a few curious neighborhood cats that lounge in the shady areas.  The artichoke plant below is taller than I am by at least a foot with saturated, surreal purple blooms.  


  1. Buon Giorno Rachaele! So glad you made it! The best laid planes... What beautiful pictures and the beginning of your paintings are beautiful! Everyone says hello and best wishes for an awesome residency!
    Watching USA vs Japan Women's World Cup Soccer,(hosted in Canda) USA winning 5/2! Amore,madre

    Buon Giorno Rachael


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