to a place not too far from here. where life is a little slower, sweeter, and perhaps even a little more lyrical. to a place where there are olive trees in full bloom, cobblestone pathways to follow, grapes waiting to be turned to wine, sunsets to be marveled, hours to roam, and dreams to be told, to a place called Orvieto. How lucky and how grateful I am to have been able to live in such a place for a few short days, and with some of the most beautiful people I now know and hold dear.
Sharon... such a brave and wholehearted woman. I have "known" Sharon for some time now through the blog world, meeting her in person could not have been any more sublime, and in such a far away place. She was always aglow with a smile that was just as much internal as external. Her work is constantly evolving into something more beautiful than the last. I think she (and a few others) would have stayed in the studio all night and day painting away, if possible...
but there was cooking class to attend, wine tasting at the vineyard, duomo's and Etruscan caves to explore, gelato to enjoy, and much fun to be had.
Beth... sparkling and witty, with a lovely mystique. She came to the workshop with good intentions... to fearlessly make art, have a great time, and to paint a face! Not only can she paint a face, she can paint a story with her brush that begs to be told... not to mention her ability to play the piano... wow! I loved watching her pages evolve and change as they became about her personal journey.
Janice... so well poised, dedicated, and high spirited. When I first met Janice in the convent courtyard I felt like I had known her for a long time, there is something very comforting about her presence. Over the week it only became stronger. Her enthusiasm in the studio was contagious and still is. Seeing her artwork is evocative and inspiring, and makes me want to get in the studio and create! She was so determined to make this trip happen and she did!
Margarida... so very passionate about life, and always says what's on her mind, from Portugal. Our time together would not have been the same without Margarida. She spiced things up and gave a little more flavor to the day. I so enjoyed having her there and watching her work at an amazingly fast pace. Her journal was pretty close to being finished at the end of the week and it couldn't have been any more original. Her art is filled with truth and empathy for humanity.
John... my gentle-hearted and wickedly talented sherpa. John and I met just a few years ago and ever since he has become one of my dearest friends. I adore him immensely and love that he joined me for this week in orvieto. He added so much to the class and made us laugh often. His work, be it painting, journaling, book binding, or whatever his heart is set on, is exquisite. If only I could get him to share more of his work online, you would see what I mean.
of course, give any of these seven beautiful souls a little (lot) wine and they are nothing like I describe, but I can't say too much...
and last, but not least... our beloved hosts, Bill & Kristi. Aren't they adorable? Even more so in person! I first met Kristi at the very first Art Nest years ago. There was an instant connection, and still, I continue to be in awe of her soulfulness and gentle nature. I remember hugging her goodbye at the Utah airport back then, feeling so blessed to have met her. This was my first time meeting Bill, so encouraging & kind, with a great sense of humor. When she and Bill invited me to teach in Orvieto of course I was ecstatic, but I didn't know what I was in for. I didn't know it would be quite the amazing experience it was, from the beginning with my family, to the end... with all of you.
to all of you, thank you. it would not have been what it was without any of you. How hard it was to say goodbye. I miss you all and hope we meet again, and soon, very soon!
and.... I have been invited to return in the fall of 2012. More about that soon. I can hardly wait!!!