Go to our Website!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where John Wilkes Booth was killed

On his way to Richmond, a few weeks ago, on Highway 301, south of Port Royal, Bob passed this marker along the road that marks the spot where John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin was killed. Apparently the largest manhunt up to that time, it lasted two weeks. The Smithsonian Associates has an interesting page called Civil War Studies.org that gives all the details of his escape route, how he was tracked down and killed along with Washington DC sites connected with the assassination and photographs of the people and places involved. Bob thought with all the talk about Abraham Lincoln surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama that you might find this of interest. If you are REALLY interested in reading more - here's a link to another site that gives tours of The Original John Wilkes Booth Escape Route!

Signs along Highway 1, a Blue Star Highway where John Wilkes Booth was killed

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our article was published!

The article that I wrote about our two-year adventure of living in Italy was published in the January issue of "Wavelength" - KJZZ - National Public Radio Phoenix's member magazine. It highlights our experiences, how we "lived cheap and made art" and how we relied on NPR - via the Internet - for news and information while we lived in Italy. George Susich, the designer and Karen Werner, the editor do an amazing job of putting this magazine together four times a year that is beautifully printed by PrismaGraphic, in Phoenix, Arizona.

We were thrilled when we were approached to write this article and Karen helped me to whittle our two-year story down to a 3,000 word article. It was a challenge to narrow down the images as well and the story ended up being a ten-page article! We are grateful to George, Karen and KJZZ for their interest in our adventure and for the excellent design and printing of this piece.

You have to be a member of KJZZ to receive this magazine, so I hope you are! Public Radio will need all the support it can get in these trying times, so I hope also that if you can find it in your budget to become a member and support this extremely worthwhile organization, you will be helping keep a very valuable service going.

The opening spread of our article shows one of the "flower carpets" in Spello, Umbria, during the "Infiorate" flower festival where the streets are filled with carpets made of flower petals. (check out June 2005 of our Italy blog and scroll down for more photos of this festival and my story about it)

One of the spreads in the article, broken down into each region we lived in with Bob's photographs and my paintings and journals

Friday, January 23, 2009

Come to our reception!

We would like to invite all of you in the area to come to a reception for our joint exhibition in Wilmington, Delaware. Here's the info:

Chiaro/Scuro (effects of light & shadow)
Black & White Photographs & Watercolor Prints from Italy
presented by Bob & Rosemary Connelly / Live Cheap & Make Art and Jerry Bilton

Featuring Bob's Black & White Grotesques and Rosemary’s Watercolor Journal Paintings
Reception, Friday, February 6, 2009 4:30 - 8:30pm
at Brew Ha Ha, 835 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE (302-777-4499)
On exhibit through February 28, 2009
For information call 302-265-2525 or
email: livecheapmakeart@gmail.com
visit our website: www.livecheapmakeart.com - Live Cheap and Make Art Studios

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Anne's Italy: Italian cooking classes

Anne Robichaud received her degrees in both English Literature and Italian Language and Literature from the University of Santa Clara (California) in 1970, after also having completed studies in Italian literature and culture, as well as art history at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy in 1969. She furthered her studies at the University of California, Berkeley in l972 and since 1973 has lived in Italy.

After teaching for two years in Rome, she and her Italian husband moved to a mountain area outside of Assisi (Umbria) where they worked the land, raised three children, and began restoring their farmhouse.

Anne now gives tours of the area and cooking classes both in Italy and in the U.S. She recently asked me to share this information with you, if you are interested. Her annual U.S. Feb/mid-March cooking lessons/lecture tour kicks off in San Francisco this year - and wraps up on the East Coast.

Bring Umbria into your home with her cooking classes or invite family and friends to a gourmet Italian feast cooked by Anne.

My watercolor of Il Tempio di Michele Arcangelo, Perugia, Umbria

For more information on Anne's U.S. tour, go to http://www.annesitaly.com/USevents.html For a full update on all her new tours and articles, visit her Website

Amaryllis in bloom January 2009

These are the amaryllis watercolor paintings I have been working on this past week. I made a painting once or twice a day while it was opening up - I swear if I had the patience to just sit and watch I could have seen it growing before my eyes.

This is the series of watercolors I made on narrow sheets of watercolor paper

At this point I had to turn the sheet to capture the blossom!

We have a new President!

What an historic moment this was! Bob and I were glued to the television yesterday, thrilled to witness this exciting day and not wanting to miss a single part of it, from the moment the Obamas left the Blair House and attended church services, had coffee with now former-President George Bush (yeah!!!) and his wife Laura, to the swearing in, his powerful speech (was George visibly squirming in his seat??) and escorted them to the helicopter (never was I so delighted to see a president leave office!!!!) to the parade, when they got out of the "beast" and walked up Pennsylvania Avenue, to the parties last night (OK, I eventually lost interest in the parade and fell asleep long before the parties ended). We are behind this president with so much hope that he and the men and women he has selected for his team, along with the Congress and Senate -- with all the good will of the people can at last work together to find common ground and transform our country, to live up to its promise and truly be a place where every person can secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their children, where there truly is justice for all and where Martin Luther King's dream really does come true. And with this president, at this time, I can imagine the dream becoming a reality. I am filled with hope and joy.

There are much better photos on the internet of this moment, but Bob and I took some shots from the TV and this is one of them:

Here is a link to some great photos of the ceremony on NPR's website.

Third Paperwhite in the series

I had to add a third painting to the series of paperwhite paintings I've been doing. It kept calling to me and I knew that if I didn't start it on Sunday it would have grown and changed too much. So I drew the final stage, with the flowers starting to fade and the stems reaching out of the top of the page. This is it.

Paperwhites #3 (and last in the series)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Paperwhites Obsession

Around Christmas we picked up a couple of those boxes with bulbs, a basket and some dirt and planted these Paperwhites and a couple of Amaryllis bulbs. They have been blooming all week and I can't stop sketching them! Here are two of the paintings I've been working on. I haven't posted any new art here in a while so I thought I'd let you know I was in fact still at it! I consider these still "works in progress" but I thought I'd post them anyway.

Paperwhite watercolor #1

Paperwhite watercolor #2

Not sure yet if there will be a #3 - the Amaryllis bulb is also ready to pop and it is calling my name.


Friday, January 9, 2009

House for Sale in Central Umbria

One of the views of Umbria near San Venanzo (photo by Barbara Skinner)

Our friends Art and Barbara have a wonderful house in the small town of San Venanzo, in the Umbrian Hills. They moved to Italy from Kentucky about two years before we did. But they actually jumped in with both feet, bought a house and became members of their community. This is not one of the more "discovered" hill towns - meaning discovered by tourists - it is a town where Italians live and work, raise their families, go to school, celebrate festivals, grow vegetables, make olive oil and simply live their lives, simply. Art and Barbara have worked to learn the language and make friends and that they have done with abandon! They were the Americans who reached out to us, even before we arrived in Italy, who gave advice freely and generously shared whatever knowledge they had with all of us newcomers. They ARE the welcoming committee for Americans (and all english speakers for that matter) who are lucky enough or brave enough to make this gigantic move, to go and live in Italy.

Their blog Art and Barb Live in Italy documents their day to day living in this lovely setting with views beyond compare. Barbara is also an amazing cook and often posts recipes for all the mouth watering dishes this part of the world is famous for.

They have decided that it is time for other adventures, want to return to the states and are seeking a buyer for their house. You can peruse all of their past blogs on their Archives and see photos of their home and its surroundings by clicking on this link (and a nice little blurb about us too -- thanks Barb!)

We wish them well and hope to see them again either in Italy or here in the states!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Last of the Christmas photos

I just had to post a photo of what Chris calls The Crazy Christmas House in Richmond

Aunt Jessica, playing dress-up with Kyla (has it become to clear to everyone reading that we do whatever Kyla wants to do?? How fun is that!)

Lastly, Jessica always has to spend time at the Beach when she comes to visit - regardless of the season. We had a lovely balmy day and spent it at Rehoboth.

(p.s. don't forget to visit our new website! www.livecheapmakeart.com!

A few more images, pre-Christmas 2008

On the Saturday before Christmas Chris and Kyla met Jessica, Bob and I in DC. It's a good halfway point between Richmond and Milford and Jessica had planned to spend a few days alone with them before Christmas. This was a good way to get her there without driving all the way to Richmond and a good chance to expose Kyla to Washington DC. We had a lot of fun, visiting the Arboretum and seeing all the holiday decorations. They had an exhibit of replicas of all the important monuments created entirely out of plan material. I mentioned this before, but wanted to post some images to show you what I was talking about.

Here are a few examples of the incredible artistry. Little toy trains ran through the whole of it as well and it was quite delightful.

A replica of The Nation's Capital

Back side of the Smithsonian Castle - Unfortunately, this museum that houses, among other things, Dorothy's shoes from the Wizard of Oz, was closed for renovations!

Bob and Jessica at the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in the distance

Bob celebrated his birthday eating his favorite dish - LAMB - at a Lebanese restaurant in Richmond

Friday, January 2, 2009

We have a Website

It's official! We have finally created a website for Live Cheap and Make Art Studios, where you can view and easily (we hope) purchase, using PayPal, images from our collection of fine art photographs and watercolor journal paintings and prints from our travels! This is a limited offering we plan on adding to as we go along so we hope that will entice you to go back again and see what's new.

We used Yahoo Small Business Merchant Solutions design templates, personalizing them for our business, easier than learning more sophisticated web design programs and an affordable way to go. We are still working out the bugs so we hope you will bear with us if some things don't work smoothly yet. We would really appreciate hearing your comments.

Visit our website at: Live Cheap & Make Art Studios!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Highlights 2008

Happy New Year everyone! We got home from Richmond on Saturday and Jessica went home to Milwaukee on Monday. Here are some of the highlights of our holidays with our kids. We had a great time and now that we're back on our lonesome, we had time to post some of the photos. We hope your holidays were great and that the new year ahead is filled with the people and things you love the most. Thanks for visiting!

Nina, Chris and Kyla's new Christmas kitten

Nina took a liking to Jessica's lap (not to mention her knitting!)

Kyla got the pretty pink dress she wanted for Christmas and had to wear it immediately. Her Gram was elected to be the hairdresser.

Sometimes it's the smallest things that get the best reactions!

Our three girls

This Thanksgiving Jessica took over the task of preparing the turkey. For Christmas it was Chris's turn to make the sauce and bread the cutlets for chicken parmigiano. Kyla, of course, had to help!

All five of us, Christmas Day in Virginia

Christmas in Richmond

We picked up Kyla from her other Grandma & Grandpa's house on Christmas Eve. She looked so pretty in her festive red dress!

Kyla decorating the Christmas tree

Chris helping put on the finishing touches

Daddy as Blitzen

The things we do for Kyla!

She does love her Daddy!

Christmas Holidays 2008

Happy New Year everyone! Bob and I spent a very quiet night at home watching the festivities in Times Square at midnight, talking with our kids and family and toasting the new year at midnight with a glass of white wine. We had a wonderful Christmas with Jessica here visiting and spending the holiday in Richmond with Chris and Kyla. Here are some of the highlights of our holidays.

Chris and Kyla met Jessica, Bob and I in Washington DC the Saturday before Christmas and she went home with them for a few days. We followed on the 23rd and we all spent Christmas together in Richmond. It was magical!

We visited the U.S. Botanic Garden that had an amazing exhibit of all the historic monuments in DC in miniature, created solely from plant materials, along with a display of toy trains that zoomed above our heads.

Our son Chris

Jess and I having fun in DC

We visited all the war memorials, including the new WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, which is still the most moving, and the Korea War Memorial.