The Joys of Slow Painting

My wife, Barbara, and I have enjoyed plein air painting in Italy since 1994, leading our Arts Sojourn groups since 1999. When we’re not traveling with our Sojourners we always find a little time to explore on our own.
Even when we only get to spend a few days in one location we usually try and get some painting done. We enjoy working in a new location as much as we enjoy sampling the culture and cuisine.
Prior to meeting our 2019 Sojourners in Venice we spent four days in Bassano del Grappa in the northern Veneto. We loved this lively town on the Brenta River and hope to return. Although it was a quick visit we found a nice quiet spot within the grounds of an old fortress not far from our hotel.

Il Castello – Bassano del Grappa, 10AM 24Maggio
(watercolor)

Barb did this sweet little drawing in sanguine conte crayon.

Il Castello – Bassano del Grappa, 3PM 25 Maggio
(watercolor)

On occasion we’ve been fortunate enough to extend our visits – the longest being two months. Many years ago we rented a comfortable little villetta in the lovely Umbrian hilltown of Spello. We lived there for the month of October, becoming regulars at our favorite restaurants, meat markets, pasta, bread, and vegetable shops. We were also able to return to our favorite painting sites again and again; each day providing a new opportunity. The Aquedotto Comunale, at the highest point in town, is Spello’s water supply. The stone fountain runs constantly.





For us, returning to the same spot never gets tiresome, either as painters or slow travelers. Something fresh is revealed with each visit. The same subject can be experienced in new ways. This is why we seldom stay in one location for less than a week on one of our Sojourns. We want our painters and fellow slow travelers to linger and come away with experiences that bouncing from one location to the next simply can’t provide.