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.
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.
|Matthew Daub is a professional artist and university professor with works in major public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. He has been leading plein air painting workshops in Italy since 1994. |
In 1999, Matthew and his wife Barbara formed Arts Sojourn as “a vacation for artists and their friends.” The program is designed to appeal to artists of all levels as well as non-artists who enjoy the company of creative people in a slow travel format.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.