To Assisi and back, real life and not so real world…

Hotel Giotto Terrace

My Assisi visit has already come and gone. I taught drawing for the 2nd year in a row at the amazing Art Workshop International with its headquarters at Assisi’s Hotel Giotto, a short walk from the basilica and those beautiful Giotto frescoes that never fail to break my heart.

This year it was the cathedral’s Cimabue that captured me. I always recognized it was a great painting but this year I was struck by the pathos in the Madonna’s face and the equally emotive faces of the attending angels, not to mention sweet St. Francis standing by looking appropriately simple.








The art workshop is always great, attracting the best students in visual art and writing and this year seemed better than ever – and that goes for the Hotel Giotto’s food too: though I every night I swore to skip at least 1 of the 4 courses I ate every bit. 

A wonderful, stimulating and fun 2 weeks, despite half of Europe’s record-breaking heat wave “LUCIFER,” with degrees hovering around 104-106 in Italy (more in Greece and Spain!). And yet it didn’t stop us. The drawing studio was air conditioned and many of us bravely walked and saw great sights.

One day my writer pal SJ Rozan and I perused the great Assisi cemetery.

SJ Rozan & me
Assisi cemetery wall

Another night with our wonderful Italian friends Mario and Marina, we went to Norcia, one of the towns hit by last year’s earthquake, a sad, moving, inspiring visit, which reminds one that the human spirit can be strong and beautiful.

Dinner in Norcia under a tent with SJ Rozan, Barb Shoup, Marina & Mario Natali

As always my drawing students did amazing work, proving that even with an instructor who stresses process over product you can still create beautiful drawings.