Lake Diaries – Day 1
Art to Heart’s next spring art week will take place on Lake Como so I am spending a few days in the area researching possible venues, accommodation and to get a feel for the place. In Como’s tourist office I enquire about art material suppliers and I am directed to the Bottega del Colore in Largo Miglio 3 beside Porta Torre.
I enter the small shop which is jam-packed with stuff but my attention is immediately taken by a display of jars containing a wide range of colours that are lining the shelves behind the counter. Two men in their mid-fifties are dealing with the customers and when I ask about acrylics one of them turns to the jars behind his back and introduces their very own brand. The paints, he explains are made for them especially by a small local company, motivated by their desire to supply an excellent product that is: extra-fine with a high concentration of pigment, that provides excellent cover and light stability. The price is really good value, he continues, because they don’t have to pay for advertisements and product positioning, they do it for passion and the love of art!
When I congratulate them for such an undertaking they want to prove their commitment. The second guy, a former art teacher in the Como’s art school, produces from under the counter a folder that contains reproductions of his father’s artwork, mainly religious commissions for churches and murals for local communities. “My father has a real passion for colour” he says “he always mixes his own and always encouraged me to keep up the tradition”.
At this stage I am so moved that I feel like hugging him impressed by such a commitment and I am ready to buy the full range if it wasn’t for the baggage restriction on the return flight. So I buy one jar only to test it back home and promise to return in the spring to stock up for the course.
Outside the shop my two cousins Denise and Vanda have patiently been waiting from me, but they understand that Art needs its own time. They are going to be my companions and guides over the next few days and are open to new experiences. Together we walk over to the funicolar railway that links come to Brunate since 1894. In less than fifteen minutes we are at the top where we can enjoy the breathtaking views over Lake Como and the surrounding mountains.
The sky is blue and the weather is warm so we sit out on the terrace at the Bar Stazione to enjoy a simple but delicious lunch. The next few days promise to be good too.