I had the wonderful opportunity to be the painting assistant for Pratt in Venice 2016, and also was enrolled in the most enriching art history course I've ever experienced. To say this trip was incredible would be an understatement. With traveling to Italy being my first time crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the trip was life-changing for me. What a great place to start in Europe: Italy! But when I landed in Venice, a place so vastly different than anywhere I've ever been before, it still somehow felt like home. I had been dreaming to paint along the Grand Canal since I was a little girl. When I set my paints and make-shift cardboard easel up in my Castello neighborhood the second day off the plane, it already felt very familiar to me. It's a strange phenomenon to literally live out your dreams. I find it hard to put the feeling into words. I miss the neighborhood vibes. We had friends amongst the locals, having access to delicious coffee, croissants, and art supplies around the corner. Happy energy is contagious.
The painting studio at Università Internazionale dell'Arte is stunning. Sitting along the water, you feel at peace. The studio has beautiful light coming in through the massive windows, and there is ample space to set up your work zone. The surrounding neighborhood is also a great place to be. It is quiet and there is so much to explore. The locals are intrigued by us artists studying their colorful homes. It is amazing to see the variety of work among the students. Everyone could paint the exact same scene, yet the outcomes would be so diverse. It is that type of environment that produces rapid learning and experimenting of new techniques. One is just as easily influenced by the work of classmates as they are by the beautiful scenes of Venice.