A sparkling highlight of my painting year was a trip to Amsterdam and Italy with Richard. In Amsterdam, I was inspired by Van Goghs colorful paintings with their rich texture. I also visited the Dutch masters at the Rijksmuseum. The Rembrandts, Vermeers and Israels paintings exhibited masterful use of light and shadow to define form. So inspiring to see these very grand paintings with multiple figures painted in an realistic and expressive style.

Patio Retreat, 9×12, oil

After Amsterdam, we flew to Italy. I studied painting with Maggie Renner Hellmann in the Tuscan hills above Pisa, while Rich wandered and read. Lois and Bill at The Watermill, where the workshop gathered, provided excellent meals and took us to paint in unique villages, a monastery, and the Italian countryside near the Alps.

St Mark's Basilica, from the Grand Canal
Venice Night, 11×14, oil

Next we traveled to Venice, a city developed to showcase the beauty of architecture of the rich and famous of centuries past. We rode the water taxis around the island city and admired the unique design of each building along the grand canal.

Venice Night was painted from photos I took on a clear full moon night. Rich and I took the water taxi to the Lido, barrier island off shore. On our return, the lights and full moon on the white marble of Saint Mark’s Basilica glowed against the blue-black sky. (I have several paintings from this adventure, framed and ready to show!)

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