Every summer in some of the most wonderful villages around Rome painters are invited to come and participate in local 1-day painting competitions. One of my favorites is in a town called Subiaco, nestled in the foothills of the Apennine mountians.
This year the theme was the figure in the historical center and there is so much to choose from in painting here, one day is hardly enough.
Climbing up and down the endless sets of stairs in search of the day's painting, I found this street lined with red flags blowing in the wind: I knew immediately that this was the painting.
|early stages of the day's painting in Subiaco|
As I set to work, people living in the houses all around began to stick their heads out the windows to watch. There was a buzz in the village since it was full of painters- close to 60 people were painting that day.
One by one people came out of their houses and gathered on the steps and a little bench right next to where I set up to chat. That went on all day, people coming and going, sharing the latest news about friends and family and just enjoying the breeze on this hot August day.
In the end I didn't spend a minute alone or in silence, there was always somewhere out chatting and they offered me something every hour on the hour from coffee to gelato at the hottest part of the day. What a day!
|thanks to this family's encouragement and support throughtout the day |
and letting me paint in front of their homes.
Here they are with the finished painting
At 5 p.m. we all rushed to turn in our paintings and wait for the judges to decide.
Now I wasn't expecting much since I've been participating in these events for years and to tell the truth I rarely win. I'm just happy to be there, enjoying the opportunity to visit and paint in a special place outside of Rome and I always get to go home with a painting. This day was different.
After waiting for over 3 hours, they let the painters into the large room at the Abbey Santa Scholastica, built by Saint Benedict in 520, to begin announcing the prizes.
I didn't see my painting anywhere and I thought that there must have been a problem with the frame so they were unable to hang it. Instead, at the very end, they called my name,
I had won 1st place in the day's competition!
|receiving 1st prize from the Subiaco painting association|
We all like to win, what satisfaction after so much hard work.
More important than winning is to never get hung up on not winning and to remember that it bears no weight on your work and what you are building. Celebrating the win is great, having a moment to shine refuels something and gives more momentum to keep going.
I am honored to have won this special prize and am grateful to the people of Subiaco who all pitched in to make it such an enjoyable day for all of the artists.
|Red Flags, Subiaco|
oil on linen
I am looking forward to returning to paint Subiaco again next year.
See other recent paintings from Rome and around Italy here
Just 2 spots left in our upcoming Paint the Light and Life of Venice Workshop this October,
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