Monday, April 23, 2007
An Old Olive Grove
MONDAY, APRIL 23
It is impossible to imagine Italy without olive trees. The two have woven inextricably together over the centuries. Orchards are scattered everywhere over the countryside and trees are carefully preserved from one generation of landowner to the next.
A friend and I went out looking for a scene to paint. Driving toward our destination, we missed our exit and turned around. At that moment, I saw in the distance a dazzling landscape and insisted that we go explore. An old olive grove stood adorned with a carpet of blazing red poppies. It was as if a cache of rubies had been strewn over the land. The trees were old, some 500 years or more, with huge gnarled trunks. The limbs and branches produced lots of little silver-green leaves.
While we painted in the afternoon light, a caretaker arrived. We were a bit nervous about intruding, but he said he was happy we had chosen this place to paint. The olives and poppies had called us, and this gentle man appreciated that we honored the beauty.