Painting at Peralta is always a joy, especially when the sky is blue and the sun shines on the terraces surrounded by lemon trees and Jasmine blossoms with a glistening turquoise sea in the distance. But on the first day we restrained ourselves and painted something a little less grand to get warmed up. The small, deeply set window in an old stone wall featured a wonderfully round clay pot on its sill - just the thing to try out those Burnt Sienna tones.
On Monday there was no holding back and we made an excursion to the nearby village of Torcigliano. Those of us who choose to walk, sent their painting equipment ahead with the others in the car and were able to enjoy a wonderful walk contouring along the mountainside through an enchanting forest and viewing staggering vistas across the valley to Peralta and the Mediterranean coastline. We were rewarded with the most delicious meal in Torcigliano's restaurant after a short painting session before lunch, which was continued afterwards in a slightly laid back fashion.
Another joy was our visit to the famous town of Pietrasanta. Well-known for it's marble quarry established by Michelangelo and to this day a magnet for contemporary sculptors from all over the world. The town square is of generous proportions with fantastic views for painting and cafes for cappuccino breaks. This outing was followed by an excursions to the medieval Lucca, where painting, sketching and shopping were optional, but sight seeing was a must.
The sunny weather gave way to some rain on our last two days. A great opportunity to do some portrait painting. We were lucky, our hostess Dinah Voison accommodated us in the stunning studio of the late Fiore Henriquez, left almost untouched since her death in 2004. It was an honour to be able to paint in a such a special space, surrounded by Fiore's sculptures. So came the wonderful week at Peralta to a creative conclusion.