Fattoria della Talosa–Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Ornellaia–Super-Tuscan, Cordella–Montalcino In May 2018, I spent a delightful week in Tuscany. I wasn’t alone, though. Melody, author of the blog, Meals With Mel accompanied me on this little adventure around Florence and the Tuscan countryside. We had a fabulous time wandering around the beautiful city of Florence and marveling at the many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture—including the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. We visited The Galleria dell’ Accademia which displays Michelangelo’s, “David” sculpture as well as the Uffizi Gallery which exhibits Botticelli’s, “The Birth of Venus.” Once in the countryside, we enjoyed lots of sunshine and blue skies while truffle hunting at a beautiful farm and vineyard called, Fattoria Santa Vittoria. And, of course, we had some of the most beautiful wines in the world—mainly, but not entirely, comprised of the Sangiovese grape, an Italian red grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter.” For those of you who may not be familiar with the wines of central Italy, The Apennine Mountains, which run the length of the Italian Peninsula, dominant the wine regions of this area. Grapes are planted in the hills and valleys of this mountain range with altitude providing a moderating influence on the hot climate. It’s also important to mention that the coastal areas on both sides of the country […]
Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1486 Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy Liberty of Poetry by Pio Fedi, 1870 Santa Croce Florence, Italy Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty. Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of rays, standing on a broken chain, her right arm uplifted. Pio Fedi started to design the Florentine statue, known as Liberty of Poetry, in 1870. It was the same year in which Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the New York Statue of Liberty, was in Italy, fighting alongside General Garibaldi during the Franco-Prussian War. The Coronation Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Unknown English artist oil on panel, circa 1600 National Portrait Gallery London, England Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss Front view Marble by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) Musée du Louvre Paris, France Venus Bordeaux, 2001 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte by Jim Dine (American, b. 1935) Bordeaux, France The Kiss Bronze by Auguste Rodin Outside the Musée de l‘Orangerie Paris, France
Of course, he wasn’t always called Winston. When this black and white feral kitten first appeared on Green Hill Farm in the early 1990s, he was just another no-name, country kitty looking for food and shelter. You see, in the country, we don’t buy or go get a cat; it just shows up. First, it takes up residence in one of the barns or sheds—a safe place with an occasional mouse treat. Next, you may catch a glimpse of it under a bush or behind some flowers. As it gets more comfortable, it begins sunning itself on the front porch and leaving dead rabbits at your door. Before you know it, the cat has had its mail forwarded to your address and now considers itself a full member of the family. At least, that seems to be the story with this congenial cat Grandma and Grandaddy Rieley took a liking to and adopted many years ago. Besides supplementing kitty’s diet of mice and rabbits with cat food, my grandparents also allowed him in the house at night to watch television with them. As I mentioned, my grandparents became very fond of kitty, and Grandaddy began referring to him as—wait for it, “Nyning-Nyning.” I’m not even sure I’m spelling it correctly as it was more of a noise than a name. Anyway, Nyning-Nyning was well-loved and became a permanent fixture on Green Hill Farm. He enjoyed hunting, despite receiving two or […]
“Whimsical Sheep,” 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas (brush/palette knife) by Tonya R. Hengerer Wishing ewe a wonderful and woolly Wednesday!! 🙂
“Cheerfulness,” 14 X 18, acrylic on canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer “Daring enthusiasm And abiding cheerfulness Can accomplish everything on earth Without fail.” ~Sri Chinmoy Farmguy and I love England, especially the Cotswolds, and one of our favorite places to spend an afternoon is Kiftsgate Court Gardens. It’s located very near Hidcote Manor Garden and is situated above the village of Mickleton in the county of Gloucestershire, in the far north of the county close to the border with both Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The gardens, famed for its roses, are the creation of three generations of women gardeners. Started by Heather Muir in the 1920s, continued by Diany Binny from 1950, and now looked after by Anne Chambers and her husband. Kiftsgate Court is currently the home of the Chambers family. My latest painting, “Cheerfulness,” was inspired by a photograph I took during one of our visits at this lovely garden. *As always, lots of gratitude to my friend and art teacher, Janet Wimmer for her input and guidance. 🙂 Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Our new lambs–Tino, Sweet Pea, Butterbean, and Truffle Spring 2018 Please bear with this somewhat stream of consciousness post. I kept going around and around about what to say, how to say it, and whether to even say it. But here it is. Suffering at the hands of someone you love and who is supposed to love you, […]
The Cotswolds Unofficially, the beautiful hymn, “Jerusalem” is often seen as a national hymn by many English people. “Jerusalem” was originally written as a poem by William Blake in 1804. The lyrics, written by Hubert Parry, were added to music in 1916 during the gloom of WWI when an uplifting new English hymn was well received and needed. “Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land.” After visiting a number of wonderful art galleries in the Cotswolds as well as spending the last week in England’s “green and pleasant land,” I was inspired by this country’s many breathtaking landscapes to pass an afternoon painting. Here’s the result. 🙂 “Sea Dreams” 8.5 x 11.5″ acrylic on canvas. by Tonya Rieley Hengerer Enjoy your day!
“Sunset on Green Hill Farm,” 36 x 48 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas Original artwork by Tonya R. Hengerer This coming May 8th will mark fourteen years since Farmguy and I completed restoration of our house built in the 1790s. It’s my family’s ancestral home or family home place and was purchased by my great-grandparents in 1912. The reference photo […]
Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920) Rosebud Cakes, 1991-1995 oil on canvas, 40.3 x 50.8 cm (15 7/8 x 20 in.) Wayne Thiebaud continues a tradition of painting food still lifes that harkens back to the Renaissance. The great Dutch and Flemish food portraitists sought to represent their subjects’ varied textures with exacting accuracy, lavishly illustrating abundance and the ability […]
*Photo on left of Green Hill Farm and kitchen garden: Flower Garden design quilt (left) by Great-Grandmother McDaniel and Log Cabin design quilt (right) made by ladies in Grandma Rieley’s Women’s Circle at the Brethren church and given to me on my wedding day in 1997. For the last three months, Farmguy and I have traveled four hours to […]