One of the things we got to do in Florence was take a mini-class at a little art school… painting into Fresco (wet plaster).
It was harder than I was expecting and after day 1, I was grumbling a bit and I was wondering if we had made a mistake about signing up for another 3 days of this. But I’m glad we pushed through.
After day one’s awkwardness and discomfort, I have to say day 2 was much better. Apollo, our Italian art teacher gave us a new recipe for our fresco surface (the sand and lime ratio) and our surface was much better and gentler to work with.. It was the first time I had painted with pigment powders and it was a new learning space for me. I have to say I’m a little smitten with the process. After day 2, things had shifted from discomfort to something we were looking forward to. Plus it was a fun way to get us into the studio each day too.
Other than that, it gave us a tiny glimpse into this process and how challenging it must have been to paint this way. All I can say is I have huge respect for what they did. I feel my heart stretched so much more in terms of understanding.
I am so grateful that Ariane and I got to take this journey together and that Jackie joined us on day 4. It was something different to do, maybe a perfect thing to do in a foreign town while traveling. There are always great gifts that come out of putting yourself out there, in uncomfortable situation that promotes growth. We really enjoyed our time with our teacher, Apollo. The art studio was an interesting space, for sure and we meet some new people from class.
My favorite was meeting a really beautiful Jewish lady from New York, we had our lunch together on our last day. I was wearing my Hand of Hamsa earrings and it sparked off a conversation between us. She was 83 and traveling alone in Florence, walking everywhere she needed to go and taking an art class by herself. After her time in Florence she was moving on to Luca to take another class learning to speak Italian. She shared about her years of travel and I was so deeply moved by her absolute courage and the gift of travel she had given herself and her family through the years. She utterly blew me away. This little story will be forever tucked away in my heart. I am so grateful for this brief encounter.
I would imagine this would be a great way to get integrated into a community if you were spending some extended time in a foreign place. I really loved that.