Elizabeth Cochrane studied Art at Manchester Polytechnic and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She came to Tuscany in 1995 and organized watercolor painting courses in Cortona. Elizabeth is primarily a landscape painter working in oil and watercolor. She found the light and the rhythms of the Tuscan landscape a perfect environment for her work. She has been exhibiting and selling her paintings for over 15 years and her work is now in private collections worldwide. She lives in the center of the village and her studio can be visited by appointment. Tel: 0577-845226. Address: Via del Castello 37, Montisi. Learn more about Elizabeth on her web site.
TRANSFORMING THE REAL LANDSCAPE INTO A LANDSCAPE OF THE MIND
"For years I tried to freeze in pictures moments and places. Everything can enter pictures, images but also your thoughts and desires. These were moments in which I dedicated more time and more space for painting, to represent a sign or an idea on a grand scale, to allow myself to expand it on the page or on the canvas, and to live within the colour for a day." Studio: Podere La Chiusa, Monterongrifoli, 53020 San Giovanni d'Asso, Tel: 339 8194163
Liz Graham-Yooll has painted and lived in Tuscany for many years. Whatever painting subject she might pursue, her pleasure is still in setting up an easel in the middle of a field and working en plein air. Not only has she taught watercolour painting, but she has also worked as a guide for walks in Tuscany and she knows the local countryside like the back of her hand. Walking with a sketchbook is a way of combining her two great pleasures and a chance to share this with like minded people. Visitors are welcome to her studio, by appointment. Podere la Fratta, Montisi. Tel: 0577 845211. Visit her website, small works blog, or arrange some lessons combining painting, walking and sketching here.
Kennedy Harpsichords is a small workshop in Tuscany building harpsichords and clavichords after 17th and 18th century historical models. Their instruments can be found throughout the world and heard on more than 100 recordings. All instruments are built using only those materials and methods which were standard practice in those centuries. This includes wooden jacks, string material composition reproduced after original samples by Oxford University, and when available, Swiss spruce soundboard wood dating from 1650–1775. Instruments are normally quilled in delrin but may be bird quilled by request. Any decoration is possible. Some of the world's best artisans are still at work in nearby Florence.
Visit their web site and stop in next time you're in nearby Castelmuzio.
Sue Kennington completed her MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College London. Her work focuses on issues of atmosphere and contemporary sensibilities. She was in the newcontemporaries show at the Tate Gallery Liverpool in 1996, and went on to have her first solo show in London in 1997. Inspired by the work of Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky, she was initially drawn to this area in 1994. She now works in both London and the Crete Senesi, and finds that her work is informed by the dichotomy between these worlds. Her work is in a number of private and public collections, and she continues to exhibit regularly in both countries. Visit her website.
"I've always liked to work with quite solid materials and also solid forms. Much of what we can see of the art of the ancient past is like this, and it's always been a great source of inspiration to me. In any case, most of my sculptures are constructions. Often, the idea underlying these constructions isn't clear at the beginning, but instead evolves during the making of the piece. There is an initial stage when the sculpture is a kind of game, much like the games young children play; a speculative period when one tries to animate simple objects and make them interact. At some point I discover an idea to link the various parts together. If I can find a way to synthesize this sense of play with these rather solid forms, the sculpture then takes shape." Contact details: David Mackie, Pod. Picciolo, 53020 Montisi (SI), +39 0577-845-225. .
"With its steep hills, the 'crete senesi' is for me one of the most beautiful and one of the most unusual landscapes in Europe...The 'crete senesi' is a fertile desert. At the end of the summer when they work the burned earth, the hills look like dunes...This land has changed my way of thinking. The heat disperses petty and superfluous thoughts. You are obliged to work more freely..." – Reinhold Traxl, "Excerpts from the story of my life"
Hangar lx-art, 53020 Montisi (Si), tel. & fax: +39 0577 845232. Visitors strictly by appointment. Web site.
This is one of a series of still life paintings combining statues and other objects from various cultures with flowers and studio knick knacks on a table top. The votive theme accounts for the shrine-like format, while the pictorial space is structured improvisationally, resulting in a vertical and interiorized sense of scale, which makes this wunderkammer an invitation to a world apart. By contrast I am at present concentrating more on immediate impressions from the surrounding landscape, but still with the intention of taking a certain figurative direction in painting to a perhaps illogical conclusion. Tel: 389 2790502 Email:
The art of marionettes goes back to Greek and Roman times. Francesco Trecci trained in Turin with one of the classic masters, Franco e Massimo Gambarutti. I began to see that I could distill a marionette figure into signature components and the movement that suspends them in space and animates them to tell 'the story' through a kinetic sculpture. My sculptures rely on sprung steel to suspend the elements and together, the story is told. Sometimes the slightest touch of the sculpture itself will animate the structure for several minutes—bringing it to life. Share my inspiration by visiting my studio and small gallery on the main street of Montisi. www.francescotrecci.it