By Janette Garbuio
I’d like to share moments of our May 2016 – Ev Hales Painting Workshop in Venice & Bay Of Poets (Cinque Terre), Italy.
The arrival into Venice was easy with the airport bus. The group began to arrive the day before, others on the day of the workshop.
Inside our accommodation, our studio tables were personally organised by the head nun, Sister Lucia. Sister Lucia always welcomed everyone at breakfast and during busy times, helped with the expresso coffee.
The managers Diego and Adrianna are always there for any queries or assistance.
Ev arrived on the day and was ready for some Venezian scenes. Unfortunately, the first day was interrupted by rain, so I brought everyone to St Maria del Frari. I mentioned that we were artists to the ticket office and they kindly welcomed us to draw inside this beautiful building.
Afterwards the weather cleared so we were able to paint outside and every day was filled with opportunities to capture the Venezian atmosphere. One evening an opportunity for an opera was organised and held in the 17th century frescoed building nearby.
On Sunday, Venice celebrated the Regatta, which means the ferries do not run on the grand canal because it was used for this international rowing competitions. It was so colourful to witness this event after we painted in the quiet area of the Jewish quarter.
On the days travelling on the tragetto (Italian Ferry), we visited the islands of Murano and Burano, where the sunlight made the brightly coloured houses stand out. I showed everyone my favourite church on the island of Murano. The floors have the most interesting and unusual mosaics dating to the year 700AD. Ev even discovered a new mosaic which was hidden under some seats.
The night trip by ferry back to the main island is beautiful as you can see Venice dressed in lights and the canals are so quiet because the normal day activities have ceased.
Having our own studio back at the accommodation, Sister Lucia would come to reminisce the days of her teaching and view our work. Ev and Paula gifted Sister Lucia a painting to hang on the walls for all to see.
One of the places we visit is Padua (Padova in Italian). Padua is a beautiful medieval city and everyone came. They mingled with the pilgrims at St Anthony shire and enjoyed the market square. Treviso was another place outside of Venice that the group ventured to experience the true Veneto people. Everyone had time to shop at the market and after lunch everyone settled along the cool banks of the canal to paint before returning. The local drink “Sprintz” with Prosecco is a favourite drink by the locals. Forget tea and coffee, we joined the locals!
Venice was vary special but the next part of our trip was also magic – the Bay of Poets…