Sue Hibbert, a Western Australian plein-air watercolour artist, was introduced to the region of the Frignano and Tuscan Mountains in Italy.
Sue demonstrated her technique using the views of ancient churches, towers and villages filled with medieval stone buildings. There were also quiet places to visit, full of nature and history. The forest leaves showed the colour of upcoming Autumn and the rivers flowed under ancient bridges.
Sue was always surrounded by painters wanting information. It was fun to explore and take in the location and sample local produce.
Surrounded by the Apennine Mountains – Emilia-Romagna
Our first hotel in Palagano is located in a picturesque village surrounded with valleys covered with work fields. The hotel owners went out of their way to welcome us.
The owner was so taken by our lovely ladies that he showed us his 80-year-old balsamic vinegar, used only for his hotel menus. It was located high in the hotel ceilings and he even allowed us to purchase some at a very special price (I know the price of aged balsamic – he was very good to us!).
The hotel included a studio that we used regularly for painting workshop demonstrations, an updated bar area and next door was their indoor heated pool and beauty spa area.
Naturally, we enjoyed happy hour while finishing off the day or viewing our works.
Heading to Riolunato
The Appennine region is a unique area, which is protected by a large natural park. We stayed in a little town called Riolunato, which was the second part of the journey. Riolunato is situated in the middle of this protected park.
Our studio at this hotel was used by our enthusiastic participants and under Sue’s guidance finished some beautiful works to bring home.
For 14 years, I have taken artists to the mountains and every time something extraordinary always happens.
This time, in Cutigliano, the Mayor of the town found and welcomed us inside the 15-century council hall. We were able to take some gorgeous group shots front of the flags of the town.
Also, my dear uncle Monsignor Don Giuseppe of Fiorano Church always makes time to bless us before giving us refreshments. We try our best to stop in Fiorano after visiting Modena and the Ferrari town of Maranello.
The locals know me and they always are so happy to see me again and go out of their way to make sure my artists are welcomed. Especially my cousin Carlo, who I depend upon if I need something. Whether it is medication, a doctor, specific he knows where to go to get this for me or will speak to the person who will oblige me for my group of artists.
The work that was produced, Sue and the artists should be commended. I am always so happy to see the artists showcase their work to the locals. The locals love to see how their town has been interpreted.
If you are interested in coming on a painting workshop in Italy, where we take care of everything (so you can just paint) – please visit the available tours here.