Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Hunting and Gathering Report

Yes, dear h-and-g aficionados, it's time for another report. I can take no credit for finding the following item, however. The honors go to artist Sierra Briano, who gave me this wonderful record of someone's passion for Italian art. Sierra is of Italian heritage, and she knows I'm a serious wanna-be. Though I've never found an Italian in any branch of my family tree, Italian art lives in my heart.

This unassuming three ring notebook contains copious notes and illustrations hand written and drawn with great care, all on the subject of European art, much of it Italian.

The book has a few blank pages, but most are filled with notes by Margareta Buhnsen of Salem OR.

Here's her floor plan of Santa Sophia Church.

Margareta lived in Salem with a Rural Free Delivery address written in her notebook. Did she make notes from a class or did she study on her own? Did she ever see the wonders she wrote about or did she visit European paintings and churches only in her imagination?

Above is her rendering of a painting by Duccio. Below is her drawing of various Roman temples of antiquity.

In addition to notes on art and architecture, Margareta included techniques and recipes, like the one below for a medium or mordant for oil paint used in block printing.

I hope she got to try her hand at creating. I looked for traces of her life online. I did find a Margareta Bahnsen, born about 1900, who was living at Salem Ward 1, Marion, Oregon in 1920.

What will become of our passions and creations when we go? I hope my family will hang on to my unsold art work, but there may be too much of it, as I'm pretty prolific. Maybe some will be sold after I die--that would be just fine. What about all the stuff I've collected, like Margareta's notebook? Maybe it will move on for another hunter/gatherer to find. That would be pretty okay also.

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