Connor and I arrived in Italy on Monday and enjoyed staying with our friends Pamela and Lou who live in Cittá della Pieve. We barbecued, enjoyed home made dinners, drank wine, shared stories, caught up, did some exploring, and settled in. Our hosts are so very generous, opening their home and taking time out of their busy schedule for us, creating this wonderful opportunity for me to bring my son Connor along on my Paper Paintings Italy Retreat for 2018.
A Roman Adventure
A couple days into the trip, Connor and I headed out on our own, off to explore Rome in a day. We visited the Borghese Gallerie and Gardens, the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain (we filled our water bottles here), the Trajan’s Column, The Forum, Piazza Venezia, and the Pantheon. Not bad for a days’ work! Connor was our navigator with the maps he downloaded on Google; we saw many of the things he studied in AP Art History this year in high school, so the experience was that much more special.
The Paper Paintings Retreat
And now, it’s time to get to work!
The students arrived on Sunday afternoon from Rome and Florence by train, bus, and plane before being whisked off by our private drivers; you could feel the excitement in the air when Pamela and I met them at the villa. Our travelers were tired and weary, but happy to have arrived in Italy at the Paper Paintings Collage Retreat, at long last. We had some delayed, cancelled, rerouted flights, but in the end everyone made it in time for dinner.
Sunday afternoon we hit the ground running, I had the class sketching and underpainting their sunflower project down in our HUGE light-filled studio space on an 11×14 canvas panel before they could fall asleep; saving the classroom presentation for Monday. Everyone created amazing sketches and underpaintings of flowers before they called us for dinner up in the villa dining room.
Big Studio Day
Wine Walking and Tasting
After a long day of making paper in the studio on Monday, we got some fresh air with a walk down to Cantina MuroGrosso for a wine tour and tasting and a stroll in the vineyard. Along the way we encountered all kinds of wild flowers and tall grasses, what a beautiful afternoon. At the cantina, our lovely hostess Paola gave us a wine tasting and talk, featuring all of the vineyard’s wines paired with cheese, salami and bread.
Every one was up for taking a bottle or two of wine home. Who knows if they will ever make it into the suitcases, or if they will be enjoyed this week with new friends here at the Retreat, either way it was s wonderful finish to our first full day of the Paper Paintings Italy Retreat here in Central Italy where we are traveling off the beaten path, enjoying small and intimate venues.
Making our Way Home
One thing about this trip is that friendships are formed fast, people bond with one-another because we are like minded and all here for the same reason… to make art and experience Italy. Some folks came with friends and others arrived alone, but everyone has new friends before day one is finished!
And that is a beautiful thing.
Follow Along; Join in the Fun!
There’s much more to come, follow our adventures here on the blog this week and be sure to check out more photos on the studio facebook page!
for being a part of my