Last blog post for the summer...
A year ago I wrote this blog post: "Dreaming of Italy." And ever since then, I have been fantasizing about it, without really believing that it would happen. I was swept up by a fierce longing to travel to Italy, and I was particularly excited about this program for artists: the JSS in Civita Summer Art School and Residency in Italy, which I learned about from the Savvy Painter Podcast. (The residency is in Civita Castellana, the countryside where Corot painted.) So, a few months ago I applied for their annual merit-based scholarship. Although I didn't get that scholarship, I did get a partial-scholarship to the residency program, which was enough to make my dream a reality! Two weeks painting in Italy!
So...I bought my plane ticket! I will leave on July 9th and stay for two weeks.
I have a new passport! Il mio passaporto nuovo.
I'm so excited!!! I've never been to Europe! I haven't been on an airplane in maybe 12 years or so. Actually, I'm feeling a little scared. Sto cercando di imparare l'italiano. I'm using the duolingo app on my phone, which is pretty helpful. I'm getting pretty good about saying things about elephants: L'elefante non scrive il libro. (The elephant doesn't write the book.) Will I use this knowledge in Civita? Io non so.
Also, I have been labeling things around the house to help learn some Italian. Il gatto, i fiori, la buca delle lettere...
The JSS team strongly recommends a French easel, and mine was in sad condition. I was anxious about spending money on a new easel after buying the expensive plane ticket. Luckily my neighbor, the artist Ken Kewley, loaned me his easel. I took it out for a test-drive a couple weeks ago at Clear Spring Farm. And I love it! I'm so excited to use it in Italy. I'm sooooooooooooooooooo excited to go to Italy!!!!
The easel comes with an adorable little wooden palette that folds up perfectly inside it. However, Ken's palette had too much old paint on it for me to use. I looked everywhere online to order a replacement and couldn't find one. So.... my husband made me one! He used a regular wooden palette from amazon.com and cut it down to size, and put little hinges on it. I gave it a few coats of linseed oil, so it should be ready to use soon. It's perfect!
After my residency ends on the 24th of July, I'm going to take myself to Florence for a couple of days. I think I'm just going to sit on a bench by the Arno and sigh romantically at Italian pigeons...
But, perhaps some of my blog readers have experienced Florence and wish to offer me some advice or suggestions about what to see? If so, please do so in the comments below!
I'm so excited to go to Italy!!!!!! I can barely hold myself together and act normal... I'm not sure I'm pulling it off. Anyway, this is my last blog post for awhile because I'm taking a break for the summer. I'm posting this on Tuesday instead of Wednesday because I'm about to go camping for the rest of the week and won't have access to a computer. I hope you have enjoyed my blog so far, and have a happy summer.
My blog will resume in September!