Master Painting Class in Italy

Welcome to part 2 of Jillian’s summer travels that inspire thoughts on meaningful art in your home and some travel envy! 

When traveling, what’s your favorite thing to do? For some, it’s casually strolling along the beach or wandering the city streets. For others, it’s eating an amazing meal at an special restaurant. For me, it’s having an experience like learning to surf or how to cook local cuisine, or in my case this summer, learning to paint from a Master teaching ancient Italian techniques.

While on vacation this summer in Lake Como, Italy, I came across this opportunity and decided to do it with my family. Located in Villa Melzi Gardens in Bellagio is the Abele Art Experience. (Click here, to learn more.)

We chose the The Colours of the Times class and met in the coolest studio.

Abele Art Experience lake como Italy


Step one was choosing which pigments to use to make paint.


Then Abele showed us how to use egg yolk and vinegar to combine with the pigments and the proper way to grind the colors to make the paint.


Abele Art Experience lake como Italy

Abele Art Experience lake como Italy


Then we went outside and set up our easels.


We learned how to find our dominant eye and positioned ourselves so that our dominant eye faced the landscape. My husband and kids are all left eye dominant so they faced one direction. I am right eye dominant so I faced the other.

Abele taught us to outline the mountains and showed us how to wash the background of the paper with a little water first. We used watercolors on top along with the paints that we made together.


It was an amazing experience and a special memory doing that all together as a family.

Now the big question is how to display this art in my home. In a casual gallery wall like the image below? Check out those adorable clips!



Or should I go the more traditional route with matching frames and the art arranged in a grid?

Photo from


Perhaps it should be hung against a dark wall so the art pops more.

Debbie Sykes Design, Photo by Dawn Smith

Or even hung inside molding and trim.

Period Homes, Inc. photo by Emily Minton Redfield

So many options. What would you do?

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