Now, one of the attractions at Villa Minghetti that I rented for two weeks for my group of painting students is the beautiful swimming pool with a view of Spicchio village and beyond in Tuscany. Last year in late October it was empty—too cold to swim. Federica suggested we come in September to enjoy it.

I decided to make an oil painting inspired by the pool, trying to follow her husband Agostino Veroni’s technique. His underpainting is a strong mid-value ochre in fast-drying acrylic. He paints or dots wet-in-wet, top to bottom of the canvas. He organizes his color and sections of the canvas by a design that he has in his mind before he begins. And he puts lots of contrast and interesting color in the foreground.

The swimming pool has meaning for our Italian friends because it is where Federica and Agostino first met each other, when he came to Villa Minghetti to repair the pool five years ago.

In my painting attempt, several more things were new to me, even though I have painted for about 20 years: a smaller canvas, a much smaller brush, and painting with fast and juicy strokes without a painting medium to make the paint flow (It wasn’t available. On our second paintings—this was my first one—my students and I tried the mixture of 30% cobalt drier and 70% linseed oil to use as a medium. Much better.); speeding it up. Veroni painted a large canvas in each of his daily demonstrations in 2-1/2 hours!

When you see the images below, please keep in mind that a photograph is a photograph, and a painting is a painting.

I am happy that our teacher in Italy pronounced my work “Good” and that I have my souvenir of this lovely place.

"Pool at Villa Minghetti," oil, 30 cm x 40 cm, by Rebekah Luke

“Pool at Villa Minghetti,” oil, 30 cm x 40 cm, by Rebekah Luke

In the garden

In the garden

Poolside

Poolside

Nighttime skinny dip, anyone?

Nighttime skinny dip, anyone?

One morning this was the view from my upstairs room of the pool and the village of Spicchio and the Tuscany beyond.

One morning this was the view from my upstairs room of the pool and the village of Spicchio and the Tuscany beyond.

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