9. The courage to be terrible

To be able to work effectively on frescoes, Tonio feels that we need to have the experience actually making them. So off we went to the “masseria,” an Italian farming estate, to learn the art, which involved carefully spreading two layers of plaster, then creating a “cartone,” which is a drawing of what we wanted to do, then tracing it, then punching tiny holes in the outlines on the tracing paper, then applying pigment to it to sift through the holes onto the plaster to create a guiding outline, and finally, painting within those lines.

Every step filled me with dread. It is amazing that even in a no-stakes situation, where you rationally know that no one cares, how hard it is to be really, really bad at something. But I tried to suck it up, do my best, and try to savor the once in a lifetime experience of it.

Can you tell which one is mine?

Ben at work:

2 thoughts on “9. The courage to be terrible

  1. I love your little bird, and I would immediately recognize it as your work!!!!! You have a definite artistic style, which I have always admired. I still remember a picture you did of yellow forsythia in, like, fourth grade!


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