One of the things I was most excited about during our week in Montisi, was the watercolor painting class with Liz. Elizabeth Cochrane is an accomplished artist using both watercolor and oils. We visited her studio last summer when we were briefly in Montisi, and had a lovely dinner.
Liz came twice to the villa for an art class, Tuesday and again on Thursday, but unfortunately for me, as you know if you've been following my blog, these were our two LONG days of cooking. I joined the group a little late on Tuesday, painted a wash, and sketched my olive tree (we all painted an olive tree for our first project).
Then it was back to the kitchen. I needed to get cooking tasks done, for both lunch and dinner. I was able to come out a couple of times during the morning, but was always at least two steps behind the group.
After lunch, when everything was cleaned up, I tried again, but was sad to find, it had started to drizzle, and the artists moved inside. Liz had to leave, but said she would be back later in the week. She is a great teacher, and gave each person lots of individual help and tips about shading, mixing colors, using wax to block out white area, and showing light.
Liz returned on Thursday morning, shortly after Jerry and Paul's breakfast, but it was party day, and I had lots of food to crank out! I was so frustrated that I couldn't finish my tree. The group's lesson was in the breakfast room, just off the kitchen, so I could listen to some of Liz's instructions, but it is not the same as her telling you what to do with YOUR painting to shadow it, or fix it, or to have her pick up the brush and SHOW you what to do. Everyone's finished paintings were wonderful, and I sadly had half a tree. I was determined to finish it at home, so I carefully packed it. I worked on it for two days since returning home, and realized two things. I LOVE painting, and I really need some lessons! I have tried several more paintings since being back. I will call another friend of mine who teaches art for a private class and lunch, so I can learn some basic technique. So far, my paintings look like a fourth grader painted them, but it is very fun and relaxing, and the hours fly by. I really want to learn to do more with this!
If you promise not to laugh, you may click and continue reading...
Here is my "did it on my own" olive tree:
Next, I tried a pot of geraniums.
My Italian house:
And finally, a hill town: