As my time in Tuscany draws to a close, I no longer have a long to-do or to-see list. I’m spending these last weeks in the countryside with friends.
And as it often happens, when I cease to plan, organise or control, magic takes over and things fall into their rightful places.
Yesterday afternoon I facilitated a workshop based around Gelli printing, but that was only how it began. We collaborated on giant prints and voted on colour choices, stencils etc. We came up with some fantastic work, almost too nice to use as wrapping paper which was the original intention. Some of the results will be framed and next Sunday, I will make my debut as a vendor in the Greve -in-Chianti market.
We set up different stations around the house and after Gelli printing, we moved to the l area in the living room set aside for working with botanicals. Here we used hammers on leaves and seeds to release their colours and make designs on cloth and paper. The results were exciting and opened new possibilities for everyone in their art pursuits.
Dinner was an afterthought for this gathering- but remember we are in Italy so we cannot ignore it or throw something together at the last minute. Tonight a barbeque was planned (because the kitchen was in use all day) featuring pork steaks, sausages, polenta and red cabbage salad. (note that red cabbage works very well as a dye when hammered on cloth!)
After Dinner, Malo held an impromptu workshop on crocheting using steel wire. Everyone went home with a handmade Christmas ornament.
I believe today marked the end of our traditional dinner gatherings and ushered in a new era of sharing and working together to create something new. What I will remember most, is the laughter that rang out all day and into the night.
Maybe you can understand how hard it is for me to leave this environment and how I yearn to return when I am gone. In May 2017, Walt Stevenson will facilitate an art workshop, specifically, painting on silk, http://www.walt-stevenson.artistwebsites.com while I handle logistics and arrange the cultural activities.
So in three months I will return to welcome Primavera. Perhaps it will help me to consider it a short vacation from Tuscany.
Consider joining me sometime soon and I promise to create an itinerary that will delight you and your group!