Though I’m in danger of making you all jealous, I wanted to share the news about the new painting I recently received. Rita and Tom Bottoms, who live over the hill from me in Santa Cruz, have gifted one of Tom’s Venice paintings to me and RJ. Tom created a number of gorgeous paintings, some quite large and others more intimate, capturing the canals, gondolas, palazzi, cafes, markets, and other Venetian scenes.
They are currently updating their book Riffs and Ecstacies, which features many of Tom’s works as well as a number of poems and short prose pieces that capture their travel to Venice and love for the city. In the process of making changes for the second edition, Rita asked RJ and me which of Tom’s gondola paintings was our favorite, to make sure that they didn’t take that one out of the book. We replied, and also told Rita about how Tom’s painting of the coffee tray at Florian’s reminded us of a special birthday breakfast there about five years ago.
Next thing I knew, Rita was inviting us to come over and pick up the painting! It now hangs in our kitchen with one of the Venice paintings by Karen Cogan. We also enjoyed a lovely visit with Rita and Tom in their backyard, with their ginko tree offering a stunning backdrop.
Btw, I was showing our recent wedding photos to Rita and Tom, and Rita remarked, “You look just like Anais Nin!” Rita actually knew her personally and had hosted her at their home.
UPDATE: On 12/22/20 Rita let me know the following:
The 2nd edition of Riffs & Ecstasies, Venice will be out in February 2021.
Two books about Tom Bottoms’ painting are in the works right now:
Jillian Pinney, Joyful Spirit: Painting with Tom Bottoms, 2021
Frank Galuszka, Cafe Vernacular: The Paintings of Tom Bottoms, 2021