"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Monday, September 20, 2010

You can eat this place up.

"Olive Garden"
By James Swanson/ Traveler Jim M.
11"x 14" Oil on Canvas
Welcome to Day Seven, of this 14 day Travel paint Special Edition of the Artist and the Traveler. This special project needs an special guest, meet our guide Traveler Jim M.
Travelers Jim M and wife Cathy
In 2007 Jim and his wife Cathy took a 14 day trip to Northern Italy following the trail of PBS travel show host Rick Steves' Italian journey to see the real Italy.
This Trip of Jim and Cathy's just gets better and better. From Venice, to Padua, To Ravenna, to Assisi. to Montone, to Orvieto, and now Agriturismo what more can we see? 

How about learn about olive oils! From how it's made and to how to taste test it, another great day for Travelers Jim and Cathy in Italy.
From Traveler Jim's Journal: Stephano’s English is excellent, although he continually says pastry instead of paste referring to the olive “mush” created by the olive pressing process.  We learned about different types of olive oil, extra virgin, virgin olive oil and olive oil stanza (and there are many more types). 
 We also learned about “first press” or “cold pressed” (these are the same thing).  Although a lot of olive oil in the US comes in clear bottles, heat and sunlight break it down, so it’s best to store the oil in dark colored bottles.  Before lunch, we had a “tasting” of the various types of olive oil.  Tasting any type of oil may not sound appetizing, but stay with me… You take about 2 tsp in your mouth, swish it around, and then breathe in and out forcefully through your mouth to taste the character and quality of the oil.  As unlikely as it sounds, you can really tell the difference between the types (and you can wash it down with wine).  In the future, we vowed to never buy anything but extra virgin, cold pressed oil from Italy.
Traveler Jim's photo of Agriturismo that I will be working with.
Traveler Painting the "Olive Garden"One of the reasons that I chose this photo to paint, is the colors. I liked the cool blue sky against the warmth of the land and olive trees. I also thought the composition was interesting. The way the foreground trees are there, but the focus is the scene behind them. 
Here we go, off to the Olive Garden.
Details from the painting
Framed and ready to go.
"Olive Garden"

By James Swanson/ Traveler Jim M.
11"x 14" Oil on Canvas
Another fine day, another oil painting. It's what I liked about Jim and Cathy's trip,  they saw and did so many different things. But Jim, what is the difference between extra virgin and virgin olive oil.
One week gone from this trip, but another ones in our sites. 
This is day Seven, of this 14 day painting journey of Northern Italy, here are the links to see the rest Venice, to Padua, To Ravenna, to Assisi. to Montone, to Orvieto.
Or go to The Artist and the Traveler.org to see them, and many more place and stories. New Travelers and stories are always welcome too! Until next time, Ciao!


  1. A question for me. Feels a bit like a test. The main difference between extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil is the taste. Extra virgin just tastes better - at least thats what we learned. This is probably because Italy has standards that require extra virgin olive oil to be less acidic than virgin olive oil. But beware, the US does not require following these standards. So, almost all olive oil in the US is labeled as extra virgin.
    -- Travler Jim

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.