Friday, October 28, 2016

Surviving the Bermuda Triangle & painting in paradise...

Day one at the Botanical Garden
"I dream my paintings and I paint my dreams." It would seem Van Gogh had Bermuda in mind when he uttered these words. I just returned from teaching a workshop on this magical island and each day was an inspiration. The weather was perfect for outdoor painting except for the occasional passing clouds. Given the large group, I chose locations both for scenic beauty and their central location on the island with room to spread out. 

The workshop began at the Botanical Gardens with a lecture and demo on painting the nude and the outdoor figure. I explained the benefits of using a limited palette to create realistic flesh tones. A more chromatic palette was discussed when painting the live model in the afternoon sun. 
The following day we painted the landscape at the famous, Horseshoe Bay Cove. The location offered stunning views of aquamarine sea, pink sandy beaches, rock formations and plenty of cover from the sun. We had a great lunch at Whaler Inn where everyone enjoyed a Rum Swizzle - Bermuda's national drink - which I'm sure improved our paintings immensely!

Lunch at the Cabana
The group shows off their awesome paintings!

On our last day, we were invited to paint on the grounds of the Salt Kettle House. This little inn has been in operation since 1970. Salt Kettle is so named after the salt trade that existed between Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The salt was delivered by ship and unloaded in the bay at the back of the Guest House - the bay is in the shape of a kettle, thus the name.  Parts of the Guest House are nearly 300 years old. The owner John was very hospitable, serving a lovely, afternoon tea and cookies to the group.

Winslow Homer painted this view from Salt Kettle

Winslow Homer was familiar with this scene. He painted Prudens Bay in 1899. The location offers views of boats and old houses on one side and a lovely inlet on the other. 

Tea is served!
Eli recommends Fairmont napkins for painting!
This year we were joined by a lot of Bermudian artists. They were so welcoming, offering rides to visiting artists and extending an invitation for an impromptu, farewell cocktail party. It was great making new friends and reconnecting with old. I'm already planning the next workshop for 2017, I hope you'll join us in Bermuda!

Farewell cocktails overlooking Salt Kettle. Thanks Jennifer!
Some comments by participants…
It was a fabulous time enjoyed all of it ...loved meeting the local Bermudians. You are a very energetic teacher and I can't wait to finish the paintings I started in Bermuda - thank you -thank you! Mary M.

Thank you for the great course, I really enjoyed it and very much appreciated your patience and inspiration in getting a novice through that post "Amazing' state! I am now encouraged to put in more time to painting - hopefully I will be much improved when you next visit  - may you come again in the not too distant future! Christine D.

Rum Swizzle Recipe
This is from Bermuda's famed Swizzle Inn.  Ingredients: 4 oz. dark rum, 4 oz. Barbados rum or amber rum, 2 oz. triple sec, juice from 2 lemons, 5 oz. pineapple juice, 5 oz. orange juice, 2 oz. simple syrup, 4 dashes Angostura bitters, crushed ice. Add all the ingredients and shake vigorously in a container until a frothing head appears. Strain into cocktail glasses and let the fun begin. Avoid riding moped!

In search of the Muse... and a good bottle of wine.

I’ve had the good fortune to visit Italy twice in less than 3 months. Teaching was the common denominator… a group workshop in early June in Tuscany and an offer that I couldn’t refuse, to teach privately in the Apulia region this September.

Maria Santissima della Madia, Monopoli by Eli Cedrone
Courtyard of the Masseria

Apulia is beautiful, mysterious, and extremely paintable. It’s located in the 'heel' of the Italian 'boot'. We stayed at Masseria Petrarolo, a beautifully restored, fortified farmhouse dating back to 1689. It offers breathtaking views of the coast and the nearby town of Monopoli. Furnished in the Salento style, each interior was an eclectic mix that managed to be aristocratic yet contemporary.

View from the Masseria
Alessandro by Eli Cedrone
The coast is dotted with scenic towns of great historical significance. Tourists are scarce, food is delicious and wine is plentiful. Alessandro, our chef invited us to his parents home in Corovigno for lunch, where his mother prepared a feast of orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), polpetti, fruit tarts and homemade liquor. His mom and dad were delighted with the small oil sketch I'd done of Alessandro earlier that day.
Burratta, the hip version of mozzarella, seems to pop up on trendy menus everywhere these days. A visit to a cheese factory told me everything I needed to know about how it's made.

We had a private tour of the studio of Peppino Campanella, the world-renowned "sculptor of light”. His atelier is in the beautiful, old village of Polignano a Mare which rises on a cliff from the Adriatic Sea. Campanella sculpts glass with a special hammer, creating jewel-like fragments, where "solid water” is transformed into unique works of art. Here's a link to his website:

Peppino Campanella
Wine tasting in Ostuni
The White City of Ostuni
Ostuni, known as "The White City" is perched atop a hill with views of the sea and olive groves. Our brilliant tour guide Michele, took us to one of his favorite cafes there, where we sampled the local wines. 

We also visited Alberobello where the mysterious trullio, cone shaped houses, dot the hillside. But I have to say, my favorite town was Cisternino with it's lovely piazza, shops and the warm Italian smiles. 
I’m currently planning a workshop to Apulia in 2017. 
If you'd like to learn more about this magical region of Italy visit:

Join me for a new workshop in Portugal in 2017!

I'll be offering a workshop in Casais, located along Portugal’s spectacular, southern coastlineThe region offers so many wonderful scenes for outdoor painting. With its balmy climate, it's the perfect year round destination.
This workshop is designed to be a fun, stimulating and stress-free, experience for beginners to advanced students. Everything has been carefully organized with Artful Journey's so all you need to do is paint and enjoy the wonderful experience of visiting Portugal.

Painting location are carefully chosen for scenic beauty and class size is limited for plenty of one on one instruction. Visit my website for more info on this workshop:

• Includes accommodations at the luxurious Albatroz Resort* for 7 nights, all meals, airport transfers, ground transportation in Portugal, excursions and entrance fees. $2,950, double occupancy, single $600. Each daily instructional sessions includes a 2-hour break for lunch.