Italian daydreaming…Spreading our Wings

Millie & I giddy after climbing over 200 stairs to the beautiful Country House in Positano where we had a magical dinner overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with friends. We were sitting in this FUN hammock admiring the view before dinner--SUCH a wondrous night!

Dear Tina & Friends,

This is the first of three in a series of reflections from my FABULOSO Italian adventure. I will be collaborating with Magnificant Millie Donovan, my good friend and travel buddy on this trip. Together we will be sharing images, insights and reflections from our journey abroad. We hope you enjoy the revelations we gained from travel and would love to hear how travel inspires YOU!

This was the first of many delicious meals in Italy. Millie & I sat outside and toasted the beauty of our surroundings at La Fenice.

Reflections from Millie’s journal:

As artists we are forever observing what goes on around us and interpreting what we see so that the world makes sense. We task ourselves with the responsibility of defining beauty and some of us are able to live that creative life, to see beauty in all things and to be able to write, sing, paint, and draw it so that it communicates and touches and connects. I knew very little about the artist teaching our Positano workshop and thus I had very little expectations for what the week was going to be like. All I knew was that I had an incredible opportunity to travel abroad with a friend and that we were bravely going to expand the scope of our little worlds with a plane ticket and possibilities.

The giant piece of linen that we all swam with in the sea and then painted on collaboratively. I loved how the umbrella's shadow cast itself on the linen.

What I did know about Sabrina Ward Harrison was that her chosen path was rich and messy, full of dimension and complexities. In her book “Brave on the Rocks,” Sabrina spoke of her previous Italian adventure. She wrote about traveling, the smells, colors, the humidity and how it affected her hair. She made lists of items she needed and even longer lists of the people she would miss. Life was and is messy! So it was no surprise to me that the very first thing we did was trek down to the sea and swim with what would eventually become a tarp to paint on then a canvas to work with. We mixed paint with our hands in the hot afternoon sun of Positano. We were encouraged to think only of the process and not the end result. We were told that by living and thinking creatively and through this messy uncensored process the art would reveal itself. The thing about revelation is that it requires patience, persistence, practice and dedication so, really, the only thing we could expect from a workshop such as this was to catch a glimpse of how an established artist works. But perhaps there are no answers, instead more questions because the process of creation is unique to the individual. We are so conditioned to have something to show or prove. We are so product driven. We have a need to check things off lists and be able to count how many things at the end of the day so that our day can be considered meaningful. How do we find meaning and purpose in our work, our life, our art? How do we live a creative life? For me, my work and my art comes from the connections I have with people, the conversations I have, the reactions I get, the people I meet, the people that decide to include themselves in my life and those that have blessed it. For me the opportunity of making connections and learning from an exchange of ideas was much more revealing than the process of mixing primary colors on linen cloth. ~Millie Donovan

This was a little window nook Millie & I created for painting in the afternoon.

There will be more goodness to share but I will leave you with these questions to ponder and perhaps comment on (we love getting comments):

How do YOU find meaning and purpose in your work, your life, your art?

In what ways do you live a creative life?

Ciao! Ciao! Laura & Millie

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2 thoughts on “Italian daydreaming…Spreading our Wings

  1. Millie and Laura- It is so fun to see some pictures from your trip. Millie I enjoyed reading a bit about your process unfolding and what you thought about the adventure to Italy. Yes, we are product driven. After all it is selling/sharing that product (art) that pays the bills. I hope I can always keep a healthy view of the artist’s path as a process and experience in the balance of making a living. Do you find this a tricky balance? Lately, I keep thinking that when I reach the end of my life, I want to sit on some beautiful porch, with a delicious drink in hand, overlooking an amazing landscape and have no regrets. When life gets confusing I try to focus in on this “no regret” policy I have going on with myself. It is a simple mantra, but can help me with daily, monthly, and yearly decisions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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