The Golden Hour in Italy

Lavender Rain Italian Fields
Lavender Rain Italian Fields, 10X8, oil


Last week I asked, if you could travel anywhere in the world to paint, where would you go. I received over 300 recommendations. The overwhelming majority chose (and you may have already guessed this): Italy. This was a happy surprise, since I just returned from there a few weeks ago and am still dreaming of gelato, fettucini, the rich aroma of cafe espresso with brown sugar served halfway through class each day, and painting in a 1000 year old garden filled with pink poppies. I promise I didn’t intend to start that last sentence with all food references, but when you find yourself in a land where cooking is still an art form, the best course of action is to carry on bravely, prepared to juggle brush and fork as needed at a moment’s notice.

But clearly there is much more to Italy than just food. It’s heaven if you love to chase the light with a paintbrush. There is a hazy, golden quality to the atmosphere there that is hard to describe. When I talked about this with my hosts and with local Italians, one theory offered was that the numerous hills and trees provide a surface that reflects up in the atmosphere, bouncing reflected light down from the clouds in softer patterns across shapes, buildings, and distant fields. It should be disclosed there were no meteorologists present, plus there had been quite a bit of wine and grappa consumed prior to this conversation. If you’re a meteorologist, maybe you already know the answer, so please share. Enquiring artists’ minds want to know! Here’s a picture from a sunset sunflower vista to give you an idea of the beautiful glow. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture at dusk in Italy is worth a million – enjoy!


PS – I have a BIG announcement and here’s a hint – it’s all about Italy! We’re returning to the Le Marche region in October 2018 for a painting workshop during the annual truffle festival, so my five star eating/painting/shopping tour will be a VIP foodie/shopping/painting tour. Sant’ Angelo, our home for a week in Le Marche, is the heart of truffle country. You may want to start training now by diving into pasta with truffle oil, and finish that nicely with a gelato chaser or three!

Share a comment right here on my blog post, and you’re entered to win a fine art print of Lavender Rain Italian Fields! Congratulations to last week’s winner, Sue Lorenz, a shipment went out today to Miss Sue containing a fine art print!

PPS – See all the sights of my recent trip to Italy in my new monthly online class, The Joyful Brush, I want to take you with me in Petal Perks! Learn more here…


Italian Sunflowers Nancy Medina
Italian sunflowers at sunset

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Nancy Medina

Nancy is a master signature artist and instructor with over 1800 online students from around the world. She has worked with Disney, served on the art faculty of the Dallas Arboretum, and teaches workshops in France, Italy and across the US. More about Nancy

Reader Interactions


  1. you have such a wonderful way with words Nancy, your description of Italy filled my heart with joy and vivid images of the perfect setting – art, friendships, food and wine and beautiful vistas – nothing else needed! 🙂

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