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wise spirits: Civita di Bagnoregio

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Art becomes a spiritual process depending upon the degree of commitment that you bring to it. Every experience becomes direct food for your art. Then your art teaches you about life.

—Nick Bantock

This was written while studying drawing in Civita in 2013 as a fellowship with the Civita Institute:

City of Ghosts

‘I do not believe in ghosts; however, I do believe in spirits. Spirits are everywhere; and yes, in they are in Civita too. As I began my sketching session this morning, different spirits touched upon me.

Let me tell you the rules: These spirits are those, past and present. I think of them as the grand teachers that have touched my life up to now. As my pencil or paintbrush dances along the page, words of wisdom and creativity flow: Tom: ‘keep it simple.’ Dawn: ‘think in shape.’ Astra: ‘motive.’

Many spirits flow in and out, moving me along. Most important, the spirits continue to keep me present and inside my right brain. Though Civita has reluctantly gained the nickname, ‘City of Ghosts’, I am certain Civita is instead a town of spirits, alive and wondrous. Who will be meeting me next?’

Come experience Civita with me this Fall 2019.  Let’s begin the adventure.

More information here: https://anitahlehmannteacher.com/civita-workshop/

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teacher: Civita di Bagnoregio

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A few testimonials from some wonderful students and adventurers that have participated in my past Civita Workshops.

Come experience Civita with me this Fall 2019.  Let’s begin the adventure.

More information here: https://anitahlehmannteacher.com/civita-workshop/

Dan  ‘Civita is fantastically real, an artist’s dream. The spirit of this place is inspiring, breathtaking, and immediately captivating.

Anita’s affection and respect for this magical setting made us feel at home in our studio, and with the rhythms of life in and around Civita. Her talent, patience, and caring mentorship  created one of the most fruitful artistic experiences of my life. Memorable, too, for the many wonderful friendships we created in our time together. 

‘Anita’s Civita classes provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore art with a gifted artist while living in an ancient, Italian hill town. Not to be missed!’

Pamela  ‘We spent a week with Anita in Civita and it was a truly transformative experience.  Our group were of vary levels of skill and interest and Anita adapted her teaching style to each of us in a way that made us all feel comfortable and interested in pushing our own boundaries. Anita is a great teacher uniquely able to adapt her teaching style to each students individual needs. Spend a week with her in Italy. It is a truly great experience!’

Jonathon And MC   ‘I had the opportunity to spend time in Civita, attending Anita’s second session last October.  For those of you who have never been to Civita or taken a class from Anita, I would highly recommend both.  

Civita is a breathtaking hilltop village with incredible history and charm.  What a perfect place to sketch landscape and architecture.  You stay at the Civita institute which has it’s own appeal – Magical to say the least.’

Leona  ‘Having been my very first art class, ever, I couldn’t have imagined learning from anyone but Anita.  She is an amazing instructor, architect and artist.  She has the ability to assist beginners to advanced artists.   We used a variety of mediums which helped me narrow down my favorites.  Discovering the use of charcoal, graphic, pastels and watercolor with Anita’s artistic insights provided such a wonderful learning opportunity. 

If you haven’t signed up for this Fall’s session, don’t hesitate, it will be well worth your time and money. Italy in the fall!  Couldn’t be more perfect. Ciao!’

 

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point of view: Civita di Bagnoregio

To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so, where you do not know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody or what they owe you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.

—Joseph Campbell

 

Many a day is spent in a quiet place of solitude; one of many gifts of Civita.

 This window to the world in ‘lo studio’ is magical. (One of the apartments available at the Civita Institute). Experience the mystery of clouds that wisp in during the middle of the night, listening to the late summer rains approaching, dodging the visiting bees, cool breezes comforting, sensing the warm light, the valley below extending forever and much eaves dropping to the conversation, mostly in many languages. Whether drinking coffee or sipping wine; this place is a comfortable refuge to conclude the day’s work and plan for the next, turning pages in one’s sketchbook and reflecting in writing and drawing.

Find your sacred space in Civita. Come along this Fall.

Contact me with your interest + go here

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Crossings: Civita di Bagnoregio

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One of my purposes in studying drawing in Civita was to further my teaching in the subject of abstract and begin to develop methods to understand this expressive side. Abstract drawing is the practice in which one represents their work using emotive powers, allowing the artist to fall into a meditative zone, representing ideas of the ‘unseen.’

This is how I break it down: Representational works: drawing what you see. Abstract works: drawing what you don’t see; aspects of design, feelings and emotions. I start with naming my work which conjures feelings and new emotions about the subject.

In representational exercises, I use tools to describe the subject with line, texture, value, edges, shape, color; those I see within the subject. Then, in the abstract exercise, I delve further into design notions and their relationships. I investigate and probe design concepts of movement, dominance, unity, variety, composition; those unseen within the subject. These studies and design tools aided me in the first steps of ‘crossing over’ to the evocative; mark-making about a place and time, aspects purely felt on a given subject while studying in Civita.

Are you ready to ‘cross over’ to the other aspect of drawing, to the abstract, a non-representational aspect of drawing. Let’s cross together. Come along this Fall.

Contact me with your interest + go here

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Civita di Bagnoregio: piazza (n.)

Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work. — Chuck Close

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Piazza (n.): A public square or marketplace, especially in an Italian town.

When drawing the piazza, one needs to find the right time of day. The central square becomes a clock of sorts as one becomes exposed to the sun, especially during the late summer months.

Having a keen understanding of where the sun rises and sets each day can provide you with the ultimate protection and most importantly, the quality of light one desires. 

My favorite time of day is when the shadows are long, early morning or late afternoon.

It all begins to fall into place; you see; even the church’s axis is east/west, the sunset from the bridge is breathtaking and turns the rock to gold!

And be sure to check out the children in an early, cool evening, playing soccer in the center square; the end of another great day.

Come along this Fall. Contact me with your interest +  go here

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Introductions: Civita di Bagnoregio

 

 

 

Let yourself begin anew. Pack your bags. Choose carefully what you bring, because packing is an important ritual. Take along some humility and lessons of the past. Toss in some curiosity and excitement about what you haven’t yet learned. Say your good-byes to those you’re leaving behind. Don’t worry whom you will meet or where you will go. The way has been prepared. The people you are to meet will be expecting you. A new journey has begun. Let it be magical. Let it unfold.—Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart

 

 

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When introducing students to Civita since 2013,  there is a many tale I would love to share. However, like every good teacher, I share a bit, tell them ‘come this way’ and simply discover this magical and sensational place, Civita.   ‘ Let it unfold.’

Once again I am offering two sessions:

Session 1: September 24 – 30, 2019 + Session 2: October 2 – 8, 2019

Each session will begin by observing the contextual environment of Civita di Bagnoregio and its surrounding context: learning about the ‘power of a place’ through drawing; mark making inspired by Civita’s extraordinary setting and the beauty of Italy. 

+ here’s a tip about what to bring. OK. Maybe a bit more required….

While traveling and sketching outside of studio, I have found these ten essentials so very helpful:

1. Soft pencil, HB recommended. Or a black fountain pen, such as a Lamy.

2. Thin eraser, used for drawing, typically. used for negative space, not errors.

3. Sun hat and sunglasses.

4. Small tripod travel stool, one can select a perfect spot anywhere. 

5. Soft paper, 9” x 12” minimum, format horizontal, vertical or square.

6. Time (20 minute minimum).

7. (good) Attitude.

8. Right brain thinking. 

9. Confidence.

10. Intent.

And, I found these two videos. Just the beginning, yes? ‘ Pack your bags.’

Contact me with your interest. go here

 

a glass half-full

A quick note to mark a place and time while in Civita di Bagnoregio this October 2018.

A remarkable place, that Civita. Teaching two sessions in drawing, painting and design was truly a grand opportunity. My feelings, everyday, were about how my ‘glass’ (container) was half full and overflowing. Containers became a device, an image of gathering and awareness that I continued to draw and paint throughout my stay; a symbol of abundance and generousity.

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Coming home, I recognize how fortunate I am and how the containers are brimming full.

I look forward to sharing this abundance to all my family and friends.

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Translating Landscape

Translating Landscapes

A creative adventure; a new class via on-line. So great to teach landscape (design) drawing + painting and to reach out to many. Take a look at the preview + sign up.

Warmly, Anita

https://www.carlasonheim.com/online-classes/translating-landscape/

The landscape is a gentle way of exploring the elements that are integral to making meaningful work: line, value, color, shape, edges, composition.

In this 6-lesson class, we will use our study of landscape to work at finding our unique mark, learning and reinforcing design concepts, drawing with intent, and simplifying.

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driving through paintings, at every turn

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My recent adventure, on the road, placed me into a ‘mighty fine’ place:

Pomeroy, Washington

http://www.historylink.org/File/9578

Five hours there and 5 hours back to Seattle, let me experience some beautiful country where I was ‘driving through paintings’ at every turn.

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I have new inspiration to head into studio now;  I have ‘work to do’ to describe + evoke this amazing place.

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All the design elements play out: line, shape, value, color, edges, textures + space!

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I look forward to my work shop in August, out there: letting other adventurers experience the wonder + not too far away + just around the bend. Join me.

https://anitahlehmannteacher.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/pomeroy_2018_newagenda_ww1.pdf

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