Local artist sets off for Italy, Croatia

Duane Hicks

After travelling to Greece two years ago, and then Greece and France last year, local artist Connie Cuthbertson has gone to Italy and Croatia to take photos, sketch, and paint, as well as work on her first book.
Cuthbertson departed last week to spend three weeks in Italy, then will head to Croatia with a group of artists for another two.
“The Italy portion of my trip is going to mainly revolve around writing,” she noted. “I want to start my own book.”
Cuthbertson said her intent is to develop a coffee table book with glossy images of paintings and sketches from her travels, as well as poetry and writings describing her artistic journey.
She’s hoping it to be an inspirational book, which might entice others to think about creativity and what they can do “to make their lives whole.”
“My goal is to, within two years time, have a book published,” she remarked. “That’s a pretty lofty dream, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
“And then, at that time, with my travels and my artwork and the launch of the book, I’d like to have an exhibit kind of tied together, then.
“It’s a bit more involved than what I did for the Greek exhibit [from two years ago], but it has a few more layers to it, as well,” she explained.
Cuthbertson’s journey is starting in Venice.
“That’s the only hotel I’ve booked so far, and that leaves me flexible as to where the wind takes me ” she reasoned.
“I just find I am more creative, and everything flows better with my writing and my painting, if it’s not quite so structured,” Cuthbertson added.
“I am hoping to make it down as far as Sorrento, and spend maybe a week, a week-and-a-half in that area. They’ve got a lot of hiking opportunities around there.
“Then I’ll make my way back up to Rome—I am still a tourist, I have to see the tourist spots, as well,” she noted, adding she’d also like to get to Florence, which is known for its art and architecture.
“When I get over to Croatia, it will be with a group of people and it is more of a structured environment, but the blend of the two is like a good balance, I think,” she remarked.
Cuthbertson said she and the other painters will be spending most of their time in Korcula, an island on the Adriatic Sea.
“The same artist friend I went to Greece with, she was heading up a group there,” she recounted. “I knew I was going to be in Italy, so I figured I couldn’t be in Italy and her in Croatia, and not get together.
“I wanted to go to two different countries I hadn’t been, whereas the last two years I had been to countries I’d been to already.
“This time now, it’s like a whole new chapter, and I wanted new countries and new experiences,” she enthused. “I am just excited as heck. My cheeks are so sore from smiling all of the time.
“I love my home and my town, but this travel spurs me forward—I learn so much more in a shorter amount of time, comparatively.
“And I meet some amazing people along the way, too.”
Cuthbertson reiterated that she intentionally hadn’t planned out her journey too much since she feels she’ll learn more by talking to locals than from travel websites.
“It’s certainly going to be an adventure,” she said. “I am so excited.”
Anyone with Internet access will be able to travel along with Cuthbertson as she will be keeping a blog on her website at www.conniecuthbertson.ca
She admitted she probably won’t be updating it every day, but will try to post a photo or write an entry every few days or so.
“[People] can add their two cents worth, or just watch along and see what I am up to,” Cuthbertson said.