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My Julia Roberts Moment

Have you ever tried to recreate a favourite movie moment?

In recent memory, I believe that I’ve done it only once – in the autumn of 2016 in Florence.

My chosen scene occurs in the Italy portion of “Eat Pray Love” – when the character Liz (Julia Roberts) buys a beautiful negligee, makes herself a meal of egg, salmon and asparagus, and eats on a carpeted floor while reading an Italian newspaper. It’s my favourite scene of that movie – the quiet, the personal indulgence, the light streaming in the window, making a special picnic for one. It felt like a perfect solo travel ritual.

So I set out one night to recreate the meal portion, not the buying-lingerie part. Around the corner from my rented apartment was a small shop where I bought the veggies, the eggs and a good bottle of wine to add to my picnic. Back at the apartment, I set a linen tea towel on the floor with my prepared plate and wine, some soft music playing in the background and ate quietly as the setting evening sun cast long golden streams across the wooden floor. I savoured every bite in gratitude for being able to have this “Eat Pray Love” moment in Italy.

And that memory was with me as I painted this 5″ x 7″ ink and watercolour of the charming Florence shop that supplied all my delicious picnic ingredients:

Bottega Bici di Firenze (2018)

That picnic scene in the movie now has much more meaning to me, and each time I happen to see it or spend time with this piece, I happily experience a soul-nourishing rush of emotion.

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