Having survived a very eventful first half of the year that included highlights like my graduation with a Bachelor in Arts and my participation in the New York ArtExpo 2017 as well as in the SUNY Annual Art Exhibition 2017, a couple of weeks ago I headed to Florence, Italy, to join a landscape painting workshop with my fellow artists.

On arrival in Florence, all the wonderful memories of the last year immediately hit me because I painted so many lovely landscapes here last year, many of which were selected for the SUNY exhibition a couple of months ago:

As I hoped, this trip has been equally prolific in terms of advancing my painting skills and creating a variety of new oil landscapes, but this time the trip was more than that. Suddenly I realized how important it is to use all of our senses – to feel the sun warming our skin, to stop for a few seconds to listen to the wind and to cicadas in the evening, to listen out for the lovely local shepherd dog barking in the distance not out of boredom but out of happiness…

Florence is a perfect place for letting go of the everyday treadmill of life, getting off it for a while, and to just feel, see, hear, taste, and touch. This has changed my perception of the landscapes I was painting, which has hopefully translated in my art:

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting a number of wonderful places, for example, the Lars Thorsen’s studio in Florence and meeting this incredible sculptor there, as well as visiting the Villa Reale in Monza, the Palazzo del Bargello in Florence, and the sculptor and painter training studios at the Florence Academy of Art – what a treat!

My husband Paul helped throughout in spirit and hands-on, and now we are packing and heading back to Milan, and then from there to visit our dear friends Angelika and Ernst in Switzerland, to enjoy the wonderful views of the magnificent Lake Maggiore and to paint some more landscapes there!

Last but not least:

  • Saatchi Art have listed two of my paintings, The Bill Cunningham Corner and The Dreamer (both exhibited at the New York ArtExpo 2017):  https://www.saatchiart.com/laurenstrock
  • FineArtAmerica are now using my artworks to create lovely customised gifts: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/lauren-strock.html
  • I now have an Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/laurenstrock/
  • I have a dedicated Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/laurenstrockart/

Thank you all for all your support and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, listen to the rustling of leaves, watch the clouds in the sky, and touch the rain when it runs down your umbrella for inspiration!