Copyright Notice

© Copyright 2023 Brenda Swenson retains copyrights to all images (artwork and reference photographs). All images on this site are property of Brenda Swenson and may not be used in any way for commercial, financial or personal use without written consent. Brenda Swenson retains all rights to republication (printed and digital) and anything but personal viewing of artworks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Home Again, Home Again!

Room with a view!
Seems like I am either coming or going these days.  I just returned from Tuscany after teaching two workshops in 25 days. I got home just in the nick of time, too! I was blessed with the arrival of a new grandson named Caleb only 8 hours after I got home...Life is good! Everyone is healthy and doing fine.

Tuscany was beautiful, the weather was...exciting! My home base for the workshops was Lucca. We stayed in a beautifully restored Tuscan farmhouse in the hills. The first couple weeks we had thunder and lightning storms that made the earth shake and the sky come alive. I loved it! The end of October was clear, crisp and lovely. I could see and feel the change of seasons.
Our Chef Karolina
 Some people live to eat, other eat to live. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not overly motived by food. All that changed!!! We were treated to some of the best meals I've EVER had. The food was delicious, unique, varied, tasty, relaxing, and entertaining. The evening the group had a cooking lesson was a hit, too. I've never looked forward to meals like this before. I'm sure gonna miss Karolina and her cooking!

Every adventure comes its down falls (pun intended). I made the mistake of not turning on the lights and missed a step. I had the opportunity to sit on the floor a while and survey the error of my ways. I sprained my ankle and bruised my knee when I fell. I was very lucky not to  break a bone. The good thing is, if I had to be laid up for a couple days, my timing was perfect. I had two days off before my next workshop started. I moved a little slower for a few days but the accident didn't effect the remainder of my time in Tuscany. I can't express how grateful I feel. I could have seriously hurt myself or ruined the workshop for others. Attitude of gratitude!

Group in Volterra
In Volterra we had lots of opportunities to sketch and paint. It was my first visit to the hill town. The town is charming, small, perched on a hill and  with amazing views from within the walls and looking out over the valley below. 

In Lucca was attended a Puccini concert in an old church, sketched in the Palazzo Pfanner Garden and Villa, shopped, ate gelato, walked around the wall and wandered the city.

Lerici is a charming little fishing village just below the Cinque Terres, but it's not touristy or crowded! From the shoreline the view is wide and old fortress, pastel colored houses, fishing boats, villas perched on the hills... So many lovely sights filled with beauty, history, color, texture and friendly people. 

I love to sketch, paint and explore the beautiful locations of our world, be with fellow artists, experience new cultures, try new food...but it is good to be home and with my family. It's time to recharge, relax, finish paintings and spend time with those I love. The addition of our new grandson reminds me how precious life is and how quickly it passes.



  1. Your trip sounds fabulous… glad you didn't break your leg, and CONGRATULATIONS on the new grand baby.

  2. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson! Thank you for a window into your trip. Looks so beautiful. Love seeing your supply kit, too.

  3. So glad you made it home in time for the birth! It was my great pleasure to share 10 wonderful days with you and the others in Tuscany. We created memories that will last me for a lifetime. All the best to you, Brenda!

    1. Elise, We sure had a wonderful adventure in Tuscany! Glad you were a part of it =)

  4. Oh my gosh - Tuscany AND a new grandbaby - life doesn't get much better than that, and brought back fond memories for me in both categories :-)

    So sorry about your tumble - and those ancient stone steps in Italian villages and villas aren't very forgiving. I, too, have sat more times than I care to remember contemplating the error of my ways - not turning on lights, not tying shoes .... Glad you recovered relatively easily.

  5. One of the most unforgettable trips of my life was to the Cinque Terre region. This was before I ever picked up a pen or brush. What a joy it would be to be in that area again with a sketching group who would slow way down and spend some time in each place!
    Maybe sometime in the future.....

    1. Cinque Terre is a place to linger and enjoy at a slower pace. I've had the opportunity to visit many times but my favorite visit was the ime I rented an apartment in Cornilgia for a was the best!

  6. That sounds like an amazing trip. I can't wait for my next chance to eat and paint in Italy.