Early in November a spontaneous opportunity fell out of the sky on a Tuesday.
I was driving my husband to the airport for a business trip, when he received a phone call from a good friend. This friend asked if we were willing to be spontaneous, and go to an unknown secret destination, with a large group of people, who also had no idea where we were going. The kicker was that we had to be ready to travel internationally, and be in New York in 4 days. Well, you only live once, so let's get going!
Five days later we found ourselves with 85 other people, on a beautiful organic farm in the middle of Tuscany. This group of people were here on a learning and explorative work retreat to share ideas, and trouble shoot problems in their industry. They were mostly from the event industry and therefore not only knew how to throw events, but were a very outgoing and friendly group. We all found a common thread in the fact that we were all willing to take a leap of faith and spend a week somewhere in the world, with no idea or control over what that might be. I found myself eating wonderful food and experiencing conversation in new surroundings, with a large group of strangers, that immediately felt like old friends. We all were pretty much walking around feeling like we were in a surreal dream in an alternate universe.
We were asked to either offer up helpful ideas or advice in the form of a one hour session, or post questions to be helped with in regards to goals that we wanted to obtain from this experience. Being an art teacher and an artist, I decided to offer up a one hour paint session. Luckily someone was hopeful that I'd join in and brought 14 canvases and paint to help me execute this experience. After all we we in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, and despite the incessant rain, you couldn't help but be affected by the beauty around us.
So early in November I find myself guiding 13 other adults in a painting experience, far from home, on a covered patio in the middle of Tuscany. Surreal dream for sure.
So I guess I can now officially say I've taught internationally. I had 13 happy artists, with lovely sweet paintings and hopefully a relaxing experience to put in their memory banks.
As a thank you for my lovely surreal experience, I decide to paint a memory of the trip as a gift for my host. The finished piece is 24"x 36" Oil on canvas and entitled "Sunrise Sunset".
I also need to give a shout out to the beautiful farm that we stayed on. It is Diacceroni in the heart of Tuscany, which is a 250 hectare family run farm. They offer a variety of accommodations including glamping to luxury villas, and many on site experiences from Truffle hunting, and cooking classes, to horse back riding. You might even get to meet their local bee keeper, who has 300 hives. https://www.diacceroni.com/