Meet the Italophile – interview with Zane

Late November, shorter days and colder weather, but when I and Zane chat about Italy, we can feel Italian summer in the air!  Zane is a painter and there’s a lot of Italy into her work, which I really love. She has decided recently to make Italy her home and I am really happy that she agreed to share her expat story with us!

Signore & signori, please welcome Zane

a girl who paints Italy!

  • Do you remember the moment when you fell in love with Italy?

I remember that I loved Italy from early age of my childhood and always wanted to live here 🙂

  • What is your first Italian word you have learnt?

It was at the age of 9 or 10 when I read a lot of children books, including some translated from Italian language where I found and learned my first Italian words – “piccolo bambino”.

  • When did you come up with the idea of living in Italy?

All my life I wanted to move to Italy because I was fascinated about every little thing that was related to Italy. After my first vacation trip to Italy in 2008, I started to study Italian in Dante Alighieri language school in Riga. I always kept in my heart the dream of living in Italy. I was only waiting for the right moment and the opportunity to move to Italy came this year in the middle of summer.

  • Does the fact that you live in Italy help you with your work as a painter? Are your paintings inspired by Italy?

Italy and painting are two of my biggest passions in life. It’s been like this for all of my life, it comes from my soul, from deep inside of me… As a result of a natural interaction between these two parts of me – I started to express my passion for Italy in my artworks. I do it with pure love and dedication, painting Italy inspires me a lot and I’ve noticed that other people feel this positive energy that shines through my paintings. And what is more important – it makes me truly happy 🙂

Now when I am also physically here, in this beautiful country, I started to create my artworks with new energy. I get a lot of inspiration from every corner of an Italian town, from every sound of campanella, from each shade of sunshine in the fontana of the central piazza, from the vibrant chiacchierate in Italian , from a lazy cat sleeping in front of an old pozzo, from il dolce profumo della pasticeria that wakes me up at 6.30 am each morning and il tramonto that colours the village roofs just like in the fairy tales….  All these things seen with my own eyes and felt in my Italian heart become a poem painted on canvas.

When you create your artworks do you use reference photos or sketch from life?

I love plein air painting – painting outdoors, in nature. I am interested in catching the moment, how the sunlight is changing, how the lights and shadows are playing…It’s an amazing feeling. This is something I have experienced and learnt during a landscape painting courses in Pigna village in Liguria. When the weather is not so good, I keep painting in my studio. For inspiration, I use my own pictures that I’ve taken during travelling around the world and especially during my Italian trips.

Where and how to find an inspiration? What advice would you give to other artists?

In my case the inspiration is around me, especially when I am visiting new, beautiful places. In my opinion artists need to travel as often as they can. They need to meet another artists, collaborate, explore the world  – all these things are creating a great energy and provide you with a plenty of inspiration.

How can people find your artworks?

You can find my paintings available for sale on my new website: zanezeltina.com

We will do live artshow on my Instagram page very soon. You will be able to meet me and participate in my presentation. 🙂 Please stay tuned and follow me @zanezeltina_art for more information.

  • What is your secret of speaking Italian so well?

Studiare e parlare con gli italiani. 😊 ( You need to study a lot and speak with locals as much as you can!)

  • Do you think it’s important to speak the local language?

I speak Italian language and I learned it before moving here, I wanted to be well prepared for life and work in Italy. I think it is very important to speak the local language if you want to live in this country. I even think it is nice to learn local language even for travelling, so for living in another country – it is a must. 😊

  • How would you describe living in Italy in 3 words?

Più bella cosa!