Thursday, 6 March 2014

Next Summer

   If in these weeks you are making plans for the summer, why not spend some time painting in Italy ?
Perhaps you have already heard about the summer program of the Jerusalem Studio School. The program is run by the painter Israel Hershberg who has found a painting home in Civita Castellana, just North of Rome. 

 " Civita was a Grand Tour epicenter of open air landscape painting for artists sojourning through the Roman Campagna. It has been painted and inhabited by such artistic eminences as Corot, Ingres, Turner, Granet, Michallon, Valenciennes, Dughet, Bertin and played host to the likes of Mozart, Byron, Goethe and others too numerous to list. This is the landscape that set on fire Nicholas Poussin’s and Claude Lorrain’s Arcadian imaginations as they traversed northward from Rome toward Monte Soratte through the Campagna on horseback and on foot, drawing and dreaming."

    I went last year for a two weeks residency and can't recommend it enough. I haven't really written about my time there because it was a very personal experience. What I can say though is that I understood many things about painting and about how I paint. 

The first small painting I made when I went to "my" Tuscany one month after the residency.

   I could only go early in the summer, when courses hadn't started yet, so I opted for a residency without tuition. I was normally in the studio by 7.30 and for once I didn't have to worry about what time it was and what to feed the family, I had no unsolicited contact with the outside world and I only had to worry about painting. I felt no pressure of producing anything remotely good: I had never painted outside en plein air and I knew I had to learn the ropes. 

  The JSS program offers different choices: a residency- complete freedom without tuition while enjoying time with a community of like minded artists and great excursions-, the masterclass - a very intense and focused class, ideal for the ambitious student- and the affiliate program - two weeks under the tutelage of one of an amazing line up of artists. Among these, let me spend a word for my good friend, the exceptional Roni Taharlev, whose sharp intelligence and clear vision I enjoy in an ongoing internet dialogue and who I know is an encouraging and inspiring teacher. On top of the program there is the chance of meeting many artists from all over the world as well as this year's guest of honour, Vincent Desiderio.

This is a video produced by Larry Groff ( author of the Painting Perceptions blog) with works painted in Civita last summer. Please take some time to read through the exhaustive information on the JSS website to learn more and be inspired to make a leap into " an artistic immersion of a lifetime" !







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