Tag Archives: countryside

Florence, Day 20-22: From Student to Tourist — No, Make That ‘Traveler’



Since school ended, I’ve been playing teacher — or trying to, at least. I’ve been attempting to share all I have learned with my love, knowing that teaching, in fact, teaches the teacher; or better put, you learn by teaching.

We’ve visited Santa Maria Novella, the Accademia, the Uffizi, Bargello and a few other museums, and we’ve been walking the city, all of which has so beautifully taken us on this journey from the ancients (Renaissance inspiration) to the Dark or Middle Ages (Gothic) to the Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque. Florence’s art history peters out a bit after that, but does not fade completely.

If all of this art history fascinates you, welcome to my world. If it’s enough about “-isms” and history, join me as I try my best not to drown my husband in “too much” and we escape off to the countryside. From a walled city with a tower growing trees to a Vespa in the countryside, even I can only take “so much.”

Here’s a tip: Visit Florence off-season, from late October to early May. If you love art, January is ideal, and if you desire lots of sun, closer to the spring and fall. But this time of year, I have to escape on the weekends; the crowds thicken and my need for trees grows.

So this weekend, it was Lucca and Chianti. Lucca is delightful, they say; it’s not touristy, but show up on a September weekend and you won’t be alone. Delightful? Yes, but please, please take me to the countryside.

This is partly me; my heart and soul and art belong to the country. The rolling hills, the agriculture, the sound of the birds and the wide open spaces call my name. And it’s not a quiet call.

So Sunday, for my hubby’s birthday I booked a Vespa tour of Chianti. Yes, I did this last weekend but my love did not, and, after all, I am a landscape painter.

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story and leave you with this thought: Love your farmers, eat local whenever possible and breathe deep the air of nature when ever you can!



Painting of the Week: “The Cows, the Vines, the Trees and M22”



“It’s not a secret that M22 is one of my favorite places to be. For me, it is magical: It’s all about the layering of trees, the vineyards, the barns and the cattle you pass along the way. This painting combines all of my favorite things about a place that is dear to me. The colors represent an evening sky, when everything is lit in the golden glow of a setting sun and the layers of trees, silhouetted just a bit by the fading light, tend to pop out even more than usual.

“The cows are collaged in, and they are cows I actually met ‘On the Michigan Wine Trail.’ They came up from behind while I was photographing a vineyard and they were so cute; they were very curious about me and didn’t have any fear.  There are also fences crafted from sheet music, representing the melodies that play in my head whenever I’m near M22! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.”
“The Cows, the Vines, the Trees and M22”

Size: 36 x 26
Medium: Mixed media
Price: $1,000 (available at the M22 store in Traverse City)

To purchase more of Stephanie’s artwork, click here.