Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pinch Me in La Morra, Italy

"Bend in the Road" (La Morra, Italy), oil, 16"h x 7"w, copyright Jill Banks 2014
I must be dreaming.

In two days, my workshop "Paint with Me in Italy" begins ... when I'll be leading a very nice crew of students through an adventure in the Piemonte wine region of Italy. Yet, before they arrive ... I'm checking it out ... exploring the streets, osterias, pizzerias, views of La Morra yesterday and today. Heading to Nieve tomorrow.

This place is ridiculously gorgeous. I'd been warned. It's also the first time I've been someplace in Italy that wasn't packed with tourists. The views, the streets are filled with some visitors -- but mainly residents and some Italians on holiday. It feels like having been let in on a very nice secret.

Last night I ate pizza and sipped a local Barbera wine overlooking dusk and nightfall in the valley. A breathtaking view. One that made me count that lucky star.

Tonight, after dinner, we wandered to the main piazza I'd been painting a few hours before. It sparkled with small towns all through the valley set against an inky blue sky.

"Bend in the Road" was one of four paintings worked on today. Three will see the light of day. Not so sure about the fourth.  Another was completed yesterday too late for a photo to appear yet. I'll try to catch you up on this slice of heaven, feet and eyes willing.

Check out more of my paintings from this past Spring's trip to paths more frequently taken (Venice and Florence) in the Places Gallery on my web site:, under Works.

Coming Up (in addition to the Workshop)

  • Aug. 16-Oct. 12: Paint the Shenandoah Exhibition, River District Arts, Sperryville, VA
  • Aug. 23-24: Shadyside: The Art Festival on Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, PA
  • September 13 & 14: Alexandria (King Street) Art Festival, Alexandria, VA
  • September 20 & 21: Armonk Outdoor Art Show, Armonk, New York
  • October 5: McLean MPA Artfest, Sunday, October 5, McLean, VA. 52 artists in McLean Central Park
  • Oct. 17-19: Great Falls Annual Studio Tour, Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • Jan.-Feb. 2015: Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!


Phone: 703.403.7435

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