I’m so excited to bring you this time round the talented Lucky Dolan, an artist who fell in love with Cinque Terre back in the 90’s and has returned many times since. She shares with us all her memories and how this enchanting place can weave an enduring spell on your senses and imagination! To find out more about Lucky’s wonderful paintings, go to www.studiosphere.com.
The very first time I heard about Cinque Terre from a friend of mine, I had no idea of the lifelong love affair that would follow with this enchanting place. The first time, in ’94, I only spent 1 day there, certainly not enough to soak in its wonderful atmosphere and it was only in 2002 during my solo travels around Europe and through exploring Italy that I came back to give this magical area the time it (and I) deserved.
I jumped on a train from Rome to La Spezia and then on a local train to one of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore, and as we came out of a long tunnel, my heart skipped a beat and was all at once spellbound and reminded of the beauty of this very special fishing village. My trip to Riomaggiore had been on a whim and I had made no reservations for a room. It was in the first bar that I saw that the locals pointed me in the direction of Roberto, who apparently owned a lovely ‘pensione.’ I promptly left my suitcase in front of the bar, trusting that it would still be there on my return and soon negotiated with him a room facing the sea that opened onto a veranda and had an outdoor free standing shower. (You get what you pay for— and sometimes what you ask for— and here the price was right!) Luckily it was June, so I really welcomed a wash with a view!
In steep Riomaggiore, I hadn’t bargained having to climb about 100 steps to get to my room but the twinkle in my eye managed to convince Roberto to carry all my belongings, pulling my big suitcase behind his Vespa. As an artist, of course I had brought with me the whole contents of my studio and a lot more than it was wiser! And now my advice to you would be, travel light but always be full of curiosity and really observe everything that goes on around you.
I can’t begin to tell you how much this area sparked my creativity and after I returned home, I got several commissions for Italian inspired places. My main intent was to capture on canvas the essence and feel of these wonderful places and mostly I would paint from memory and impressions stirred by those surroundings. If like me you are an artist, but don’t want to be burdened by all the tools, then a camera is most definitely your best companion. In my opinion, a camera is not just a tool for keen photographers, but also a creative tool for artists, able to capture texture, colour and light. For me photos are a way of capturing a moment in time and triggering my memory and opening the floodgates of inspiration.
But it was not only my imagination that got a kickstart from visiting Cinque Terre, the freshness of the food and the warm hospitality of the people will always draw me back. No words can do any justice to what’s waiting for you there, but your memories, your impressions and experiences with the locals will linger on for years to come and capture your heart forever more!