Beautiful Tuscany – exciting painting, May sunshine and pools warm enough to swim in! This year I travelled to Peralta and Cotto within the same fortnight, thus saving me a trip back home to London in-between. The plan worked beautifully and allowed me to stay on for a couple of days to indulge in more painting, lounging by the pool and visiting my Italian friends.
The week at Peralta started with my painting demonstration of an old clay pot surrounded by lush greenery, a good subject for beginners and advanced alike. Later on we painted the intimate corners around the old mountain village of Torchigliano, with a rather sumptuous meal at the local restaurant. Apart from capturing the many stunning views around Peralta itself, we also had the chance to paint in the town square in sculpture adorned Pietrasanta, where the renaissance artist Michelangelo was the first to recognise the beauty of the nearby marble.
Much less grand but nevertheless a joy to paint was the fountain in the square of the Medici town Fivizzano, during the second week in Cotto. The impressive castle Veruccula not far from Cotto makes for an excellent days painting, especially when a leisurely lunch in the small Pizzeria at the foot of the castle walls breaks up the hard day's work. At other times we were busy capturing the vistas towards the Apuan Alps and around Cotto, with its massive church peering down from almost every corner. As in the previous week at Peralta we also visited the historic town of Lucca, famous not only for its double sided town walls (great for a stroll & to gaze from) and amphitheatre, but also for its cathedrals, café and restaurant culture and last but not least, shopping.
Both painting weeks finished with special last dinners and enjoyable viewings of everybody's work. We all agreed that that this year the beginners made remarkable progress. A most satisfactory way to finish a creative and pleasurable time in Tuscany.
With many creative wishes for the summer,