To me, all painting exists in the realm of early language. When it’s most powerful, it directly effects us without the spoken word. Color and shape, the record of emotion and feeling, recreate emotion and feeling in a viewer.
My first actual experience of Southern Italy was fourteen years ago . . . where African-American artist and mentor, Raymond Saunders (Prix de Rome 1964) led a group on a one month painting program in Greece. At the end we took a boat from Patrus to Brindisi and from there slowly trained up through Italy, visiting museums in Florence and Rome. I remember feeling drawn to the landscape in that southern tip of Italy, the allure in the sunlit fields as the train moved slowly down the tracks. At the time, however, I didn’t know I had any connection there, that this was the birthplace of my great grandfather.