Inspiration and Musings

Italy - Land of Inspiration

Italy - Land of Inspiration

Trevi Fountain at Night
When the Festival of Arts wrapped its 90th season in September, I closed up my studio and headed to Italy for a much-dreamed of creative retreat. 
With an ancient town called Recanati - fittingly referred to as The City of Poetry - as my home base, I studied Italian language and culture at the wonderful Scuola Dante Alighieri, and along with students of all ages and from many countries around the world, I was able to visit beautiful sites long on my dream board.

Getting up close with the masterpieces in the museums was like walking into the textbooks of my art history classes. Botticelli, Caravaggio and Michelangelo were on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and in Rome, the Bernini sculptures came to life at the Galleria Borghese. 

The ornate decorative beauty of the many churches - in both cities and small towns - was inspiring, too. I marveled at an aesthetic of reverence in reliquaries, tombs, and shrines. Mosaics and mandalas had me looking up to the windows and down to the floors. 

Then there was the more subtle inspiration of the colors, textures and patterns. These are my favorites, and the ones most likely to find their way into my jewelry art. 

Throughout Italy, the sense of centuries is palpable and comforting in the way it is comforting to look at the stars at night. I find rest in the feeling that we are a small part of something larger than we can comprehend. 

My favorite inspiration is where time and texture come together, such as in the stone work, done and redone over the years, hiding of windows and walls no longer used, and the wabi-sabi patterns of erosion and repair on the canal-side edifices of Venice. 
Beautiful textured wall alongside Venice cana;

Exploring the movement arts, I got to put my language skills to the test when I spent a week in the hills of Tuscany dancing (my other passion) in a 5 Rhythms workshop, which I did -almost- entirely in Italian. 

My last stop was another photo off my dream board: Positano. I’d long seen images of this seaside community on the Amalfi Coast, and its beauty did not disappoint. In prior years, my post-summer season retreat has taken me to Big Sur. I was struck by the similarity of the steep, winding coastline and cliffs, as well as some parallels to Laguna Beach - including its history as an artist’s colony. 

I rented an apartment with a spectacular view and spent a week staring at the ocean, writing and drawing - in-between espressos and spritz’s - while deciding that perhaps it was time to head home.

Honestly, I thought about staying another few months. But I’m eager to get back to creating, to pour my inspiration into my metalwork and jewelry art. 

And, I’ve arrived home just in time for Thanksgiving - may favorite holiday! (Bring on the culinary arts!)


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