What a whirlwind 2016 was!
We were fortunate enough to showcase three trips in 2016.
- May 2016 – Venice and Bay of Poets (Cinque Terre) with Ev Hales. She was able to encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone in new methods of painting watercolour.
- June 2016 – Emilia-Romagna and Tuscan Hill with Regina Hona. Regina made the region sing with her pastel demonstrations and excellent advice in ‘plein air’ painting.
- September 2016 – Venice and Bay of Poets (Cinque Terre) with Malcolm Beattie. His enthusiasm allowed his group to see the magic appear on his watercolour and sketching pad.
All workshops were filled with laugher, adventure and plenty of fine art works by the end of the day.
As an artist, I know what it means to find a place outside of the door or window, which inspires you to take out the painting gear to capture the vision. I find this is more important than taking photos and then going home or a studio to paint. I feel you need to paint in the outdoors as this experience creates the work of art. Seeing a country like Italy, one of the cornerstones for art since it dates back to the Roman era can be so special for an artist.
I also enjoy seeing various people in the groups forming a bond, not only to myself but to others. They have been such a friendly and happy groups that I feel do not want to say farewell when the time comes to part. We are all having such a good time… so why stop?
2016 we celebrated 10 years of conducting these tours. This has allowed us to form great relationships with the hotel owners and people around the area. So when we meet up again, it is like greeting great friends. This means they also take good care of my groups, showcasing their best meals in the Bay of Poets and the Mountains.
An example, September 2016, in Venice, the ticket man at the Opera remembered me from May 2016 and offered good quality tickets at a discount. You need to know that in Venice there is never any discount – but it did happen to us.
Some of our artists were given special treatment, especially when Tham and Pauline were painting a house and garden across the canal on the island of Murano. The lady of the house, took upon herself to walk all the way around to them to see their work and then invited them in to see her home. This is truly an honour, which Tham and Pauline enjoyed. They marvelled at the lady’s antique furniture and another lovely garden, which was hidden by a giant wall.
We celebrated a few birthdays in September. Jan Hope had a lovely cake organised for her in the Bay of Poets, however they did not have candles. Therefore, they placed a safe (or so they told me!) explosive flare which lit up not only the cake but also Jan and Malcolm’s smiling face.
We loved all three trips and each one holds a special memory. Below are some unique shots from the tours.