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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Art adventure: The Ravine

Continuing our intrepid art adventures through the deep dark forest to the sunken ravine of Fiastra

In summer time, during a heavy storm, the ravine would gush with rain water, crashing its way to the plain below and joining the river Fiastra. 

We were rewarded with a warm sunny day and the forest was dry, in fact dangerously so for the time of year..

It is a spectacular forest; quite unique, in that it has been (deliberately) left alone by its keepers and protectors; where trees which die and fall or which are knocked over by gales, are left wherever they land and in death bringing new life and abundance to the creatures and vegetation of this incredible place. Their degeneration provides sustenance to insects, to micro organisms, fungi and lichen and creates a balanced ecosystem. Here you find every type of deciduous and coniferous tree; magnificent oaks, beech, willow, varieties of pine and of bush and proliferating undergrowth.

Walking through the forest we came to little clearing and sat in silence for a while to listen to the birdsong. There must have been hundreds of birds singing, and the symphony of sound was an enchantment. We ran our fingers through the carpet of oak leaves and dug into the pitch black humus beneath; smelt its aroma and touched the bright green lichen which grew over a little stump of rotting wood. And we wonder at the blue sky embracing the branches which soared upwards; each tree having an incredible height and competing with its neighbours for the nourishment of light.

We have read about the sense of peace that sinks into us when we spend time in a forest and how the experience empties our minds. We are the guests of life forms which have lived on this planet twice as long as us and it is a humbling experience to be in communication.

Because the light was moving and changing swiftly and because there was so much information to absorb, we found ourselves photographing rather than sketching or painting, although I couldn't resist sitting down and doing a little water colour sketch, see below,

And as you will see from the photos, there was one lower part of the forest which, and we couldn't really ascertain why, had trees which were literally blanketed with green moss, or lichen.

Almost like a soft fur and in places growing even to the size of mini vegetables.

So there you are,

Another adventure.

We were late getting back to the studio so it is only now that my fellow artists are sending to me their artwork and their poems. It is good to have such adventures into nature, where it somehow enters our beings, runs through us and manifest itself in our imagination to produce art.

At our best, we are creative creatures 

Images from the day

Duncan Campbell

moss-green fallen souls
litter the ravine’s soft floor
dead, yet still alive

Duncan Campbell


Michael Eldridge

Michael Eldridge

Claudia Renzi

Claudia Renzi

A warm welcome to all those who might wish to join an art workshop here in Italy, They are designed for folks who feel an affinity with nature and a desire to create beyond themselves;  

Our creativity workshops at Cittadella in the Sibillini mountains of Italy this summer are from May through to September. They are all in both Italian and English

The Vibrations of Nature 1, (le vibrazioni della natura) (in both English language and Italian) June 2 to 5, (Luglio 2 a 5) 2022, at Cittadella.

Le Vibrazioni della Natura 2,  7 a 10, Luglio, 2022 (in Italiano e Inglesi) a Cittadella

Advanced class, Settembre 14 to 19,  (in both Italian and English Language) 2022, at Cittadella

The Vibrations of Nature 3, September 21 to 25, 2022 (English Language) at Cittadella

contact Michael, email; for further information. 0r Tel 3283535358 (whatsapp)

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