Monday, August 4, 2014

Paint With Me In Italy: Day 1 and 2 ... Dreams

Workshop first night's dinner at the farmhouse in Italy ... overlooking the vineyard. So good!!!! And fun!

This will be short-ish since short doesn't seem to gel with my personality.

I'm here on my day 4 in Italy as workshoppers arrive. Phew, for day 4. I remember day one. They arrive to the bed & breakfast and farmhouse with a little time to unwind/unpack before my demo and dinner ... day one.

Yesterday found me nervous. Give me anything other than plein air to demonstrate, teach ... and I'm cool as a cucumber because what I'm showing is what I do ... what I've done ... what I live and breathe. Plein air? Heck, anything can happen and if it can, it will.

"Practicing" for my first demo, right outside the B&B in Neive, Italy
But, I got a good night's sleep. Painted what I thought would be my best foundation for the demo this morning. Breathed in. Breathed out. Remembered what I wanted to learn, experience in the workshops I attended .... and knew this week would deliver.

What a great day. Dreams came together. Mine with this opportunity to teach. Manu and Mary Beth's sharing their gorgeous vineyard, farmhouse,  and Italian life. Students realizing a dream to to travel, paint, see, experience.

So amazing. The bonding's begun. It is a great group! They are nervous about painting tomorrow. Scary to start.

Day Two
"La Cucina," oil, 8"h x 6"w, ©Jill Banks 2014: Where some magic happens
The workshop gang survived their first morning of painting with flying colors. Not too much moaning and groaning ensued and they did great! They are open to learning ... and that attitude will take them over tons of hurdles.

I am remembering (with not TOO much prompting) that this isn't bootcamp. We are in wine country. In Italy. Surrounded by beauty. In a land that protects its siesta. Holidays. Family and friend times. And these nice people volunteered to come with me on this adventure.

Everyone is encouraged to arrange their schedule to what makes them most happy. Mornings are for painting. Afternoons can be for painting, relaxing, taking a swim, lounging, watching others paint.

Today, after a full day teaching at each easel, I set up to paint late afternoon -- capturing Mary Beth and Manu's glorious kitchen.  Just passing through this room makes me happy ... so it became my subject, while it transformed over the hours readying dinner for this clan, with lasagna, a salad bar and dessert that were ... like all our meals ... amazing! Made with love, for sure.

Plein air training with Anna: that's me crouching ... never, ever to be able to get back up from there.
Dinner was filled with stories, good cheer, laughter. A fantastic evening with wonderful people.

Tomorrow we head up the street from our B&B to paint the town of Treiso.

If I haven't said it before ... now's the time. I couldn't have imagined being in this spot right now. Not only being in this place, but being here as a teacher and helping others discover this world of painting I love. Really? The only way I know to repay this opportunity is to share what I know, my experiences, inspirations, enthusiasm ... wholeheartedly, plus.

Coming Up
  • 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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