Join an Artist's DreamTrip to Italy

$3,485 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 21 months
I'm inviting you to join me
on an artist's journey to Italy...

without leaving home!

If you’re getting this invite, you’re part of a selected group of people. You are a dear friend or family member, or we have shared art and creativity together in the past.

This September I will be embarking on the adventure of a lifetime and hope you’ll join me.
The reason for this journey? For many years I've helped others explore their creative interests, and I want to have even more to teach and give in the future. So I'm investing a few weeks to fill my creative pool as apprentice to a Master painter.

During the days in Italy I'll be sharing with you what I'm learning, and showing you what I'm sketching and painting, and will include you in the experience in real time whenever possible! 

It's easy to join!
If you choose to "travel with me" by investing  a small amount, there are a few benefits:
The videos from this trip may become an online class (you'll have a first-hand look!)  or you may choose to receive original work and prints. Look to the column on the right side of this page for your choices.

This upcoming  journey has been percolating for about 10 years...maybe longer.

A recent health scare (I'm fine now) made me think about people who never realized their dreams...my own parents both died very young.

It has long been my desire to 1. go to Italy, and 2. study with a master painter. My search for a certified master led me to Italy and Jerry Fresia.

Fresia is one of perhaps 3 Master Impressionists in the world that can trace their artistic "lineage" to the original Impressionist movement:
Paris of the 1880s, John Singer Sargent and Monet.  

The apprentice-master model of learning is rare these days, but that is how he learned his methods, and now he offers 2 sets of workshops a year and only accepts 8 students.
I am one of them this September.

Fresia's philosophy so closely aligns with my own - that art communicate emotion and light, and transport the viewer to that joyful place where the art was created.
Oh! you know I am so excited to learn his techniques, and am intrigued by his skill  - his work is infused with color and has a luminous quality.
So lovely.

Fresia teaches in his Bellagio studio and en plein air (outdoors) around Lake Como, Italy.  

Any artist seeks to paint beauty, and this glacial lake in the Alps of northern Italy is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. 

A trip to Italy is a realized dream for me - my heritage is Italian, and I have never visited the country. Some of what I'll be sharing with you is the reasons why I'm called to go here -  there's interesting family history as well as unexpected coincidences in recent years.

The funds I raise on this site will help me to cover tuition, room, and board, and will go towards painting/printing /materials costs as well as video editing and continued production costs when I return. I'm leaving for Italy during the first week of September and will probably close this portal soon after I return from my stay, so time is short to jump on board! 

I would be so grateful for your help, but I'm mostly grateful to be able to interact with you and experience this alongside you! I definitely didn't want to send random facebook posts out into the ether to folks who didn't care - your presence means the world to me.

With the minimum donation you’ll be a part of a very exclusive FB group where I will be sharing the adventure in real time.

In the USA it may be the middle of the night when I "go live," but recordings will stay on the page - you'll see everything if you're in the group: 

Here’s how you can join me:
Look to the column on the right to see the different levels of donation and the rewards that accompany them. Choose the one (or two) that resonate with you.

I'll be so happy to have you along
on this bellissimo viaggio - this beautiful journey!


As you all know, art for me has been a driving force for many years - and these days I'm also using my expertise to teach and inspire others to freely express themselves creatively. 

Anyone can start down the creative path - it sparks change and growth! It's a delight to see students experience not only the therapeutic effects inherent in producing art, but to also see them rise up in areas unrelated to art; qualities emerge like increased self esteem, the ability to form new ideas, and they experience bright sparks of enthusiasm for the future.
So my vision for this journey is that it will inspire you to take some creative steps of your own.

This trip will spark your imagination, show you new possibilities, encourage and instruct you.
Lets experience it together!

With love,

Grazie molto (many thanks)
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The "Monaco" question has come up many times in conversation.
Are we related? Is Prince Rainier a distant cousin?
My family questions the validity of the research in "the book," and there are many pages with reference to Monaco.
I imagine a lot more digging would be necessary to get real documentation.
I asked my grandmother about it once. The conversation went like this:
Me: Nonni, are we related to the famous Grimaldis?
Nonni: Ach, those are the bad Grimaldis. Too much money and not enough morals.
Me: But are we related?
Nonni: Could be
Me: So, if I went to Monaco with my birth certificate and visited the castle...
Nonni: You might get a cup of coffee.
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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Are you a Star Wars fan, too?
Parts of this movie took place on the beautiful planet Naboo, Padme's home.There is an unforgettable scene at the end of that movie where Anakin and Padme are married.
In that theater in 2002, I sat mesmerized at how lovely it was and had to find out where it was filmed!
Here is a photo of the house as it appeared in the movie, and then the actual Villa Balbianello in Lenno, Italy.
I'll share photos of my own when I visit there next week.
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Scottish Clans have a tartan fabric that is unique to their family (plaid pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours).
Italian "Clans" have a gold chain with a pattern that is unique to the family. This is the Grimaldi chain.
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Fortunata and Quirino
My father's parents.
The first world war brought them together - she was an army nurse and he was an injured soldier. That chance meeting probably never would have happened otherwise, because the class system in Italy would have kept them apart.
While the war was going on they figured out how to send little love notes to each other. Where she was stationed, mail would go out to Quirino's commanding officer, and they could write small notes under the stamps on those letters.
When the war was over they married, but the Grimaldis were not happy about the union - they had no respect for her and called her the "scullery maid."
He brought Filomena back home to live with his family.
The custom then was that the family estate would always be passed down to the oldest son. He would own the property, and the whole family would live there.
Quirino wasn't the oldest son, but traditions were so strong, and he hoped they would eventually accept her.
She was young and pretty and his brothers would grab her butt and try to kiss her, which made her fearful and angry and sad. The final straw was when his father made a pass at her.
Quirino knew he would never have property in Italy. They packed up their belongings, traveled to Naples, and on October 27,1920 boarded the Giuseppe Verdi bound for America. She was 23.
They started a small grocery store in New York City and lived in an apartment above it. Raised 4 children - 3 girls and one boy, my father Pasquale.
+ Read More
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$3,485 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 21 months
Level 1
Espresso! Donate $5 and Join our private Facebook group at An Artist's Journey - Impressions of Italy. You'll also get a hug for helping me get over jet lag!
Level 2
96 of 100 left
Gelato! Donate $10 and you'll receive your choice of a digital, printable scan of a painting done on site. You'll also be in the Facebook group. Wahooo!
Level 3
95 of 100 left
Vino! Donate $20 and receive your own digital "painting in progress" tutorial (May be able to talk Fresia into contributing to this). Facebook group too. Yeah!
Level 4
27 of 30 left
Antipasti! Donate $30 and receive an 8x10 print of your favorite gorgeous-o photo. I'm a-gonna takea lotta pics. You'll also be in the group on facebook. Yay!
Level 5
21 of 25 left
Bruschetta! Yum. Donate $50 and receive a matted and ready to frame print of a watercolor I create from a beautiful lake view. Ahhh. And you're IN on facebook!
Level 6
23 of 25 left
Pizza! For a $75 donation, receive a limited edition giclee of an oil I produce while in the workshop. It'll be fantastico! And you're in the group, too - cool!
Level 7
6 of 15 left
Lasagnahhhhhh! For a $100 donation you will receive an original watercolor, matted and ready to frame. You're gonna love it. Promise. Facebook group too! Whoa!
Level 8
0 of 2 left
Pesce! At this donation level you will receive an original oil study from the workshop, painted on site. Shipped to you when dry. And a skype or phone call!
Level 9
1 of 2 left
Tiramisu! Donate $1000 or more and receive a custom oil painting done in my studio when I return. You'll choose the subject photo. Phone/Skype & email, surely.
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Stanley Reahard
20 months ago
Katherine Mansouri
20 months ago
Marti Veto
20 months ago
Carol Smock
20 months ago
Paul and Tracy Grimaldi
20 months ago
Rick Johnston
20 months ago
Hilde Van den Bossche
21 months ago
21 months ago
Natasha Beloglazova
21 months ago
Linda Stirling
21 months ago
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