"Des Venti Mundi" (portrait of Frances Mayes; Cortona)

watercolor, pencil, and oil pencil

12"x14"

2014

 

This was my Christmas present to Frances (surprisingly enough, she and good, highly-dependable Ed, her husband, live just up the road from me here in Hillsborough when they're not living at Bramasole).  Frances was once (as anyone who's read her books knows) terribly excited to have uncovered vestiges of some ancient fresco at Bramasole during its renovation (one of several over the many years).....so, I thought I'd just put her in a fresco.....

 Just for the record?....this "fresco" picture is INTENTIONALLY drippy and damaged-looking.  The actual Frances,herself, happens to be remarkably well put-together, inevitably well-dressed, and perfectly well-preserved. 

Of course, the only song appropriate for Frances and this picture is Enya's (sorry....but I'm old enough to still love her music) "Afer Ventus".  Go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhGL0TxQLqs

P.S.  The photograph upon which this painting is based was taken by the relentlessly talented Steven Rothfeld, who's worked with Frances across several of her books and the yearly editions of the "Under the Tuscan Sun" calendar.  His work can be seen at: http://www.stevenrothfeld.com/