Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Final Words...Parole Finali

I've been back in the states for only a few days, and it's hard to exactly say how I feel about the summer. "Trip of a Lifetime," "Unforgettable Experience,"...everything I come up with seems so cliche, yet accurate as well.

It wasn't all fun and games, and it wasn't some sort of romantic escapade captured by Jane Austin... but it was hard work. We woke up early every day, painted in the heat, winds, bugs, sometimes even rain! But we did it...in Italy. Not bad.

I left excited to spend the summer in a foreign country, to have an experience that I could truly call my own. No responsibilities to anybody but myself. I left wanting to grow as an artist, observe other artists, and absorb work of the masters- Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Correggio, Titian...just to name a few. I spent time in Florence breathless from the amazing works of art and the vibe of creativity. In Venice I became taken by the architecture, surrounded by a sense of calm that only rivers for streets could bring about. In Rome, I was overwhelmed with the history, the churches, and it's overall grandness. Throughout the summer, I was introduced to one great place after another... rooftops in Todi, caves and real italian pizza in Orvieto, alleyways and arches in Perugia, throwing pots at Mario's, decaying walls and ancient doors in Multipulciano, dogs on castle walls and hot espresso in 100 degree heat at Castel Veito, swimming breaks at Castiglione del Lago, winding streets and spirituality in Assisi, pomp and circumstance in Sienna, finally painting a scooter and pizza with honey in Cortona... the list goes on...

And did I mention the shopping???

Corciano, however, is where I lived. This amazing little hilltop village, is where I used pure purple as a shadow for the first time. It's where I greeted dogs in Italian. I had gelato almost every day, and umbrian white wine while looking at beautiful clouds and vistas in the evenings. I wrote two children's stories inspired by my surroundings. I got engaged here!! I learned, that you can always make another painting tomorrow, if you don't like what you did today. I understand now, why Jason felt like Corciano was such a special place. And yes, as cliche as it sounds, I can't really put into words how precious I feel this place is... because it's not only where I grew as an artist... but I really grew as a person. I have no desire to settle down here, I don't feel like it's my home, but it was my Italian home, and an important part of my life.

I'm not sure if any of the other folks felt this way, but what is really cool, is that this group are the only ones who really share this experience. When we see each other again, it will be like we all know a secret, and only folks who came on this trip are privliged to know what it is. Every single person, from the teachers to my peers, had something to teach me. I hope that maybe... they picked up something from me, too. (Besides learning how to say DOG in italian!!)

Anyhow, I feel like I should leave this with some words of wisdom, which I don't really have. So I'll sign off with these final photos, of the group, and of myself with my body of work from the summer. Some good paintings, some not so good, but all a part of the learning process, and all a part of my time in Italia.

Ciao Tutti...!

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