March 27, 2015
In 1999, a series of events inspired me to move to the charming Italian town of Panzano. Situated on a high ridge overlooking the magnificent rolling hills of Tuscany, this picturesque corner of the world became my home for a little more than a year and a half. I had been working as an actress in Montreal, when my then boyfriend – who was living in Italy – invited me to embark on a painting apprenticeship with him and the art group, Dormice. The visual arts had always been another passion of mine, but it had taken a back seat for close to a decade until this invitation. Within a couple of months I was on a plane, crossing the sea – leaving behind an apartment, an acting career, my friends and family – without a clue as to when I would return. I was 24 years old and arrived feeling excited by what this chapter had to offer. With a curious, wide-open spirit, Italy seemed too appealing an adventure – full of art and love – to refuse. It did, indeed, change my life.
And then last year, I had the good fortune to sneak a quick visit back to Italy for the first time in 15 years. A gallery in London, UK had invited me to show my paintings in an art show, as well as in a few London art fairs in which they were participating. Luckily the schedule offered up a free week in between these events, so I jumped on the opportunity to revisit Italy. Returning for a mere seven days to the land that had once been my home, to sip its beauty a second time, was bound to whet my appetite. And that it did.
And so here I am again, a third time, coming back for the next course…