At a recent multi-generational dinner, the conversation turned to what the other son was up to, not the one sitting next to me but the one studying fine art in Florence. Even as the words came out of my mouth, I cringed at how clichéd they sounded, “A good friend of ours studied painting in Florence – but she lives in Rome now” it’s a conversational longbow because she studied there 20 years ago, but you never know, right? I expected polite nodding followed by swapping stories but instead, quick as lightening, he says “is her name Andrea?” I looked a little stunned ’cause that’s exactly who I meant – clearly he brought his longbow too. Even though they’d never met her, it turns out she’s been an important mentor to the brother/son starting from when she was his teacher at the Florence Academy of Art.
There’s something beautifully validating about your favourite people meeting independently of you & having the same connection – at times the world can seem overwhelming & then just like that, it’s small & kind again.
* Andrea J Smith is an incredibly talented painter & I was lucky to be able to attend her Still Life Painting Class earlier this year. If you want to learn from the best, I highly recommend you check if she has space in her upcoming Melbourne classes & if you’d like to see more of her work, she’s having an exhibition at Melbourne’s Australian Galleries from Oct28th – Nov this year. See you there!