It was hotter than anything and I planned my days around the shady lanes of the late afternoon. My borrowed bicycle, "Rilke" provided the breezes -- I rode around Lucca's walls until the sun was gone.  A few steps from my ancient house, I found an art supply shop with some linen boards in European sizes. They were square and natural, glowing in their linen-ness - the french-grey neutrals one fantasizes about for optimal glowing mid-chroma colour work. It was as if the sketches that were to emerge there were half-done in the shop - the warm grey of that linen seducing from down the street. I bought every last one, which was fourteen. And so fourteen location sketches came home to New York in my carry-on.

"Oh mysterious world of all light, thou hast made a light shine within me, and I have grown in admiration of thy antique beauty, which is the immemorial youth of nature." (Paul Gauguin)