Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Colors of Umbria ~ Retreat 2012

This photo was taken by our good friend, fellow traveler, and professional photographer Rick Allred from Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were so fortunate to have him with us as a student this year. Rick brings his professionalism, his enthusiasm and his sense of humor to every situation. Thank you Rick!
This year's color fest. Enjoy!

Just a few poppies blooming in late summer. Still, enough to swoon over.

I am putting my Retreat postings on pause while I play in the city by the bay! San Francisco for a week. Yay! Wish me sun! Cheers! Victoria

The Retreat!

 Sketching under the portico at the lovely Locanda del Gallo

Sketching in the peace and quiet of the Umbrian hills.

 I'm crazy for you guys! What a great week!

 Practicing recording what we see

Immersed in the beauty of Italy, recording what makes our heart sing

 Splashing on the color!

Portable sketchbook kits; Windsor Newton Watercolor Paint Box, water container, indelible markers for detail, pencils and Moleskine Watercolour Notebooks...compact, perfect for capturing and recording our experience of Umbria!

 After painting? A fabulous lunch prepared by Chef Jimmy, of course!

Our incredible server George, Peace George!! We love you! 

What are we having for lunch? Oh, just a little something....


 Zucchini Flowers stuffed with Ricotta

Couscous with eggplant caponata...and fresh lettuces...and freshly made foccacia...and...Boun Appetito!!!

Every lunch and dinner at the Locanda del Gallo is a masterful combination of fresh, organically grown produce sumptuously prepared and luxuriously presented. This was only day one people!!

Next post, more fun at the Locanda. Ciao! Victoria

A Stroll Through Assisi

Our group of sketchers walked from the Basilica of St. Francis to the top of town at the Piazza Matteotti. One student logged 4 miles on her pedometer We were so busy enjoying the back streets and the Umbrian vista views, we didn't even notice the distance!

 View from the basilica at the Pax Bonum in the lawn; St. Francis' greeting, "Peace and Goodwill"

 Temple of Minerva with the church of Santa Maria Sopra (over) Minerva, built right over the top.

 I feel a sketch coming on!!

 Enjoy the Walk and the View!

 Me with dear friend Susan sharing the sites.

The walk to/from the Basilica of St. Francis. For views of the Basilica click here.

As lovely as it is, if you travel to Assisi, be sure to walk beyond the Basilica and the town center. I could live here, yes I could. Cheers! Victoria
Next post: The Retreat! Promise!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


During our Watercolor Retreats to Umbria we are nestled in the beautiful "green heart" of Italy. The rolling hills of the Tiber valley basin, the ancient terracotta rooftops, and the colors of the weekly market, make the local village of Gubbio a painter's dream.

Gubbio, our nearest burg is a "must see" especially on market day! A personal favorite, this sleepy picturesque town is easy to navigate, quaint and welcoming.

Sausages typical of Umbria

 Mmmmm...check out the giant chunk of Pienza!!

Cheaper (and prettier) than at home.

The perfect place to pick up jars of anchovies and tins of canned tuna!

Tourists are at a minimum here...just the way we like it.

The market has everything from bed linens to parakeets!

With students at the market, and in this case, students = mother and friend ;) ;) ;)

From the top of the Palazzo dei Consoli....

...I can never get enough of those rooftops and...

...the commanding view of the valley!

Next post:  Retreat at the Locanda del Gallo!! Ciao!

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