People don’t take trips; trips take people.
I’ve painted the villages of Italy’s Cinque Terre a number of times because A) they are stunning and, B) this region has been a special personal destination for me.
And I’ve been hearing from other people how special it’s been for them too. One woman met her husband-to-be in the village of Riomaggiore, and a few years later, they married there. Another woman told me about her honeymoon in the Cinque Terre. And a new friend said it’s to be her retirement destination in 2 years!
It’s special for me because I went on my first solo vacation there in 2006. It was a last minute decision to travel solo, as well as to join a hiking group on this sea coast. I didn’t “hike”. I didn’t like to eat fish. I didn’t like to put myself in situations where I didn’t know anyone (let alone, share rooms with strangers). It was so out of my comfort zone, but it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. After this hiking trip, I took 3 more. I’m now a big fish and seafood lover (octopus is my favourite food!!). And I’ve travelled solo multiple times since and have met so many new people that it’s always the highlight of my trips.
When I decided to draw and paint Riomaggiore from one of my travel photos, I knew I would once again be way out of my comfort zone. I had never made an ink and watercolour piece this size (11″ x 17″) or this complex. It intimidated me, so I let the drawing sit there for a year until I pushed myself last month to start painting it. Like I pushed myself to get on that plane alone in 2006!
And beautiful Riomaggiore has worked her magic again! She’s helped me complete yet another new endeavour, because the painting is finished! Who knows what she’ll inspire next!
A slideshow of the painting’s progress: