Tuscany called me back to her in 2012. This time it was Piero della Francesca who I wished to spend time with. I did this by renting a 15C apartment in Arezzo just around the corner from the Church of San Francesco which houses ‘The Legend of the True Cross’ frescos by Piero della Francesca. For a whole week I visited those paintings and gleaned with my hungry Tasmanian eyes, to help with my own work. However, an Englishman, who had befriended me in 2011, was responsible for my being able to stay in Tuscany for any length of time. He invited me to live in my own apartment with painting studio on the mid-floor of his beautifully restored villa in the woods if I agreed to live there for a liminal period of time – say – 40 days and 40 nights. I did not resist his gracious offer and yes we lived through a memorable time together and will be friends for life.
Whilst there I was able to read and contemplate without interruption. James Joyces’ Ulysses for my first time and lots of poetry from my friend’s extensive library. These paintings are made up of images that presented themselves for me to deal with during my stay.
I made friends with many interesting people whilst I was an artist in residence and just before I left Tuscany, I invited them to view these paintings in the old cantina beneath my living quarters. My English friend had restored the cantina and made a gallery to show art works and he had even crafted six delicate easels to sit them on. It was an opportunity for a garden party and to say arriverdici to the friends I had made and to satisfy their curiosity about whatever I might be up to.