Huddled in a small minibus, their bags full of food and other necessities of life, Romanian women in tattered coats tried to stave off the evening chill. They held their possessions tight as if an unknown force were about to sneak into the van and steal their Future. Their life. With a 30-hour bus ride, they returned to small towns in the wilds of Transylvania. To families who depended on the money they had earned in Italy I was headed towards the unknown, dragged by my “meditative visions,” by my desire to fully express myself in my paintings, and to expand their potential. I wanted to explore, probe mysteries.
Transylvania … I had no idea why I was pushed to get on a rickety bus with my dog Maddi, and to go to a place known for spirits. But I was hoping to find renewed inspiration in a place that, strangely, resembled the steppes of Russia. Every artist requires solitude, a place of tranquility. I too sought a place where I could take care of my paintings, my feelings and my soul. I felt limited in Italy by its daily life, news, politics, and feuds. All this had robbed me of peace. So had the harsh realities in my home life. It was time to give my palette more earthiness, to feel less evanescent. Romanian women were clearly grappling with the demands of life, but they still showed a certain nobility, a strength. I hoped that living among them in the hills surrounding Brasov would give me greater power, freer vision. I was now a refugee and needed to be cleansed of the darkness that had invaded my life.
Once I arrived in winter, and settled in my little stone house, I was immediately catapulted into the past, Now immersed in a totally remote region, where old wooden wagons maneuvered along icy mountain paths, I could sit by a fireplace, sing, read, watch the smoke rising from distant chimneys and listen to the falling snow. Absorbed in this simple life, my painting has found a new transformative energy. I was free, and so were my abstractions. The strength and drama of my colors intensified as I made connections with the sky, the nature around me. It was as if my art was no longer limited by gravity. I was absorbing the colors from the landscape and the sounds of gypsy music that came to me at night – and this allowed me to paint with new enthusiasm -be much more connected to humanity.div class=””>Romania has revealed so much to me, the snow, the animals that skip in the forests, the solar winds that I now try to incorporate into my work. It’s such a poor land, a forgotten land, but still part of the stardust that encompasses the universe. Maybe those gypsy songs intoxicated me too wildly…maybe. But the best part about being a rebel wanderer (I’m going to wander again) is that I don’t need to be a realist, classified in a straitjacket style. Romania taught me to accept, to be free, whether I sell my art or not. I don’t dream of glory.