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Seeing with new eyesThursday, July 17, 2008 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Travel
July 17, 2008

The end of our 3 month trip to paint in Europe was made perfect by a 3 night stay at a wonderful B&B “I Castagni” (the chestnut trees) only 5 km from Milan's Malpensa Airport, but nestled in the village of Casarati Sempione, a world completely apart from the busy airport activity. We got to know Carlo and Anna Colombo, owners and their wonderful Italian family, all of whom share a great appreciation for art, music and especially good food . . . we had great dinners with them and even painted at a favorite family site on a gorgeous nearby river, the night before we left. ( highly recommended!). What we thought might be a laid-back “catch our breath” time really underscored the whole essence of this trip – to do a lot of painting and absorb as much culture as humanly possible, in 3 short months. Every minute seemed filled with the joy of discovery and the comfort of living in true European manner, with gracious style and character always present.

The paintings from this trip are headed for finishing touch-ups in the studio and the framers soon. They will be available at my studio/gallery on Lopez, especially the annual Lopez Island Labor Day Studio Tour as well as other gallery venues, which will be announced as they come-up.

When we arrived home on Lopez Island, we were both basking in a warm feeling from the trip, as well as another for this fabulous place where we live in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. I immediately set-out to paint for 2 consecutive weeks and did the four pieces here. Jet lag and all, I feel very motivated to work and quite energized!

A favorite Lopez spot
A favorite Lopez spot
Harvest time
Harvest time

I know my eyes are opened wider because of this marathon painting experience (50 paintings completed in Europe) and I plan to take that to the “studio”. What I have really confirmed is that my “studio” exists outdoors wherever and whenever I get the opportunity to paint. Being more able to see the familiar landscape with new eyes is the gift from this trip abroad and there really is no place quite like home.

The San Juan Islands paintings pictured here will be part of a larger show at Crow Valley Pottery Gallery, on Orcas Island, opening reception on Friday, July 18th (4-7) - see their web site: for details.

Low Tides reveal wonderful surprises
Low Tides reveal wonderful surprises
Summer Fields ready to harvest
Summer Fields ready to harvest

I will also have some local pieces for a big event to benefit The San Juan Preservation Trust - a paint-out and ‘quick draw' with the Plein Air Painters of Washington on San Juan Island, August 2nd. More details on that event and new gallery showings later. We will also announce a grand opening for our Windswept Studio Gallery here at 783 Port Stanley Rd., very soon!

Per adesso
Uno buono viaggio!!!

Stefano e Giuditta

Reader Comments

1. Friday, August 01, 2008 @ 5:54:34 PM by Carlo
Hi Stefano & Giuditta, Thank you for your nice words and mention of I Castagni, you made us so proud ! You have been such good persons: still we have and always will keep a beautiful memory of short time we spend toghether, and you will be always welcome at I Castagni. All the best. Carlo , Anna and Family

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