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a detail of the artwork Dining Alfresco of a street scene of people dining and having coffee alfresco



This wall based mosaic and ceramic sculpture hung at Adelaide Airport for many years before the new renovations it was one of 3 commissions that hung in the only cafe open at the airport.   Of course it was lots of fun to make and hopefully cheered people up after a long flight or made them smile before boarding!

street scene of people dining and having coffee alfresco in contemporary naive style in bright colors, ceramic and mosaic

The art of alfresco


Eating and drinking alfresco is something I have always loved.  The name al fresco comes from the Italian language and means to eat outside at a fresh temperature, in the fresh air.   Being born in Sweden and having Europe on our doorstep it is something I grew up doing.  However here in Australia particularly in the summer, the air may not be what you call “fresh” well at least not the temperature (as I am writing this today our temperature here is soaring at 42 degrees Celsius) we are however lucky to have pretty unpolluted air in Australia, so perhaps the saying suits us in that regard.


When we first immigrated to Australia many moons ago there were no outdoor eating places not that we could find anyway.  Luckily for us it is something that has slowly evolved as times gone by with more and more settlers from Europe and Asia arriving and now finally there are alfresco dining places all over Australia.  There used to be all sorts of council laws that forbade it, with scaremongering saying we would all be run over by cars, trucks and buses if there were tables and chairs on the footpath.  The thought that you could take a dog with you and sit outside was another law that took a long time to change.  At first there were only special dog friendly places where you were able to take your dog and sit outside with.  I don’t know what the hiccup was perhaps the old Councillors thought we would all get rabies or transfer the germs to the food or something?  Mmmm maybe that is another idea for a painting or sculpture.


a detail of the artwork Dining Alfresco of a street scene of people dining and having coffee alfresco

Enjoying the coffee

For many years alfresco dining was a special treat as we lived on the farm in the country where the practice was slower to catch on.  These days we reside in a beach suburb and take daily walk with our dogs on the beaches close by, often with a little stop along the way for a coffee or milkshake.  I cannot tell you how lovely and atmospheric I find it.  I try to always take such delight in the small things in life – the ordinary things like a good cup of coffee, a beautiful view, a smile from a passerby, the happy wag of a dog’s tail.  Each of those things makes up the mosaic of a happy life.


I hope you are having a happy life too, and are noticing all the elements around you with a view to the cup being half full, even when you finished the coffee.

Here is a quote I think fits well here by Drew Deyoung;

“Of course I look at the glass half full.  The only time I would look at it half empty is when I think about how good the first half tasted”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting or maybe alfresco dining!

Love Marie xxx

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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