Monday, 1 October 2012

Day 1 - Orvieto from the Inside Out

Day1 - we had a mighty full schedule for our first day with lots of exploring the Village, introduction in the studio and time out and about all afternoon as well as a group dinner... After my first decent cup of coffee in Italy and breakfast in the Refectory... we all headed to the courtyard - which became our "communal meeting place" to discuss our plan of actions for the day.

We hit the cobblestones and headed straight for the BlueBar which became our "home away from home", our other "safe place". If we ordered our daily cuppacino here we could connect to their free "Wifie". Our connection to the outside world and our loved ones - which, I will have you know became our drug of choice for the next 9 days... hmmm Coffee and free Wiiiffiiii.
We explored the town all morning and discovered Bill and Kristi's favorite shops and secret treasures... best leather place in town, a little art shop, paper and ink store etc. and of course there was the Duomo - Orvieto's cathedral which is Italy's best Gothic church.  It's so big and I'm afraid my pictures don't do it justice at all.  Apparently, it's where Michaelangelo stopped over to gain inspiration before his commission in the Sistine Chapel.  Inside was all consuming.  I could have spent hours there.  The artwork - breath-taking and Kristi gave us the incredible history behind each painting.  I was particularly moved by the Madonna inside the one small side chapel but we were unfortunately, not able to photograph it.  It was an incredible way to spend the morning.
The Duomo - need I say any more

Wall Art

The Clock Tower - I still wanted to climb it but I ran out of time
We had some free time before we headed into the studio for our first lesson.  I headed to the Blue Bar to try and connect with the family.  I managed to have facetime with them in Rome but Kitty was too emotional to talk to me and wouldn't even look at the screen but that was 2 days ago and we were all feeling a little anxious.  Kitty had felt terribly guilt and had spent these two days begging me to connect.  When I called, Digz and Corks were home but Kitty was on a playdate.  I was so emotional when I was talking to them.  I kept drizzing.  But I did manage to show Digz and Corks the cobble streets and little artisan shops... I wasn't sure when I was going to get a gap to speak to Kitty next.
View of Misty and Dot from my desk... already messy
I came into the studio class feeling a tad overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with my abilities or perhaps lack thereof.  Overwhelmed by the incredible artists I would be working with and completely overwhelmed to be taught by Misty in real life.  I may never get an opportunity like this again.  On each of our desks was a beautiful folder that Misty had put together for us.  I was so blown away.  There were a few postcards of her beautiful artwork but the file was filled with ephermia, references and a Moleskin mini diary to record and sketch our way through our trip in Orvieto.  I was so moved and I looked up and saw that Jenny was too - she was in tears.  Our first lesson was how to cut a rubber stamp... we all came in with some patterns and designs that we had collected in and around Orvieto that morning and we got stuck right in.  We also did some very loose sketches with charcoal.  It was a tough start.  I wasn't particularly blown away with myself at this stage.
Our next outing which was a trip to the Palazo del Gusto - to sample wine and olive oils which was set in their underground grotto's.  It was wonderful.  I learnt a lot about Olive Oil and wines. I am a huge lover of Olive Oil so this was awesome.  This was followed by a beautiful afternoon walk through the golden glow of Orvieto as the sun was starting to go down.  It was breathtaking... my pictures show it all... 

#wanderingwithpassion through the streets of Orvieto


The Gordon Davies Art School - I wish I could study art here...

It was a long day and I was exhausted and I still hadn't had a chat to Kitty. I was finding it hard to concerntrate at this stage because I knew she was feeling emotional about not speaking to me yet.  I had started getting desperate messages and I was concerned that she felt punished by my silence.  I managed to sneak in a very small Skype chat before dinner but we both had to hang in there until the morning for a decent chat.  Dinner was great and I got to experience Italian Truffles - one of my best finds this trip!

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