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The Buzz at l’Abeille

Making of the amphora (photo credit Jimmy Ruffato)

Tap-tap-tap! Bam-bam! Grrrr-pdrrr-pow-pow! are the happy sounds chez nous, where my men are busy as bees at our home nicknamed “l’Abeille” (bee in French). Whether it is the metal being pounded, welded, heated to make a new creation or my horse being shod or visited by the horse dentist, the activity is exciting and necessary.

The family is together at home these days. We are often scattered about, paths crossing here and there, each chipping away at on our own projects. Yet, we always return to the table for a meal: a sacred time for us to gather without an agenda, to take a break from our work and to nourish our bodies. Our conversation goes from one topic to another and there is an element of jest – a sense of humor.

I would love to share with you a bit of “the buzz” around here, and some recent reflections:

A new step in Sergio’s career

Sergio & his amphora (photo credit Jimmy Ruffato)

Sergio has worked day in and day out on his latest, most challenging and largest project to scale: his first public art commission. His work was recently inaugurated as part of the “Euroméditérrannée” urban renewal project in the La Joliette neighborhood of Marseille. This sculpture, an amphora (ancient vessel), recalls the ancient Greek origins of this port city and stands as a celebration of the cultural exchanges that have been perpetuated to this day around the Mediterranean Sea.

It has been 10 years now since Sergio first started working with metal in his father’s studio and then at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This public sculpture is a major stepping-stone in his young career. Although he has created similar pieces in the past, he had never endeavored to create something of this size (9 feet tall). He couldn’t have done it without the help of his father, Serge, and younger brother Jimmy. Together they managed to pull off this project in only 6 weeks from budget approval to installation!

A season at home

This winter and early spring have been a time for me to reconnect with family and friends locally, to have time to read, reflect, and to paint as I am inspired by the nature surrounding me.

Each day begins with time on my rock near my horse Danilo’s stable. I look out onto the distant hill and I thank my God for all the blessings and then I am silent to receive what comes.

Today is being born. Let us create with the birth of the day. Let your light break forth as the morning to create a new beginning. With words, with a smile, with a painting let your soul touch another and take courage to go into the unknown.




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3 thoughts on “The Buzz at l’Abeille”

  1. Hello! I found you via Sarah Wilcox. I am interested in a painting of Cassis as the subject. I live in Charleston SC and my Aunt Anne lives in Cassis! She has a lovely B&B called The Dorn overlooking the Cap Canaille.

  2. Jill,
    I love reading about your precious family and all your incredible projects!! So very proud of your boys.
    I look forward to your emails to see your beautiful paintings.
    Your writing is as inspiring as your painting! Loved reading about how you start your day with expectation!!!
    Miss seeing you!!! Have a blessed day!!

  3. Beautiful words! Missing you and your family! We must return soon!!
    Love Joey & V
    Please come see us next time with an extra day to spare. Life can be short❤️

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