i briefly considered naming this trip "eat, pray, love, art" as it covers all my bases, but given the bestselling book, i thought better of it. but the art of cooking is alive and well in this family household, as i sat witness to my hostess, pina, making gnocchi pasta by hand. as she kneaded the dough with "calm, patience and love" , we shared stories on relationships, as women do. i was given the task of rolling the small pieces of potato pasta along a ridged tool, to give the sauce something to cling to, which made me feel useful, if not awkward in my clumsy efforts to get it right. but to be educated in the ways of joyful cooking, by a true italian "mama", in this faraway italian village, inspires me to approach food in the same way i do my painting, with trust, intuition and presence.