I had the honour of working closely with Italian artist, Francesco Lauretta, these past few months as I finished up my masters degree at SACI. Francesco pushed me to do nothing less than my best, but also encouraged me to celebrate and to be proud of my own work when it was completed (something that's hard for me to do). I speak very little Italian and he speaks just a little English, but yet somehow we managed to find a common language in art.. And though he we often used google translate in our meetings, I think I learned more from this man in one semester about art than any other period in my life. He is a poet in his writing and in his paintings and when you spend time with him you find yourself falling into a love affair with art over and over again. The last month that we worked together he painted this portrait of my daughter, Aria. To see more of his work go to http://www.francescolauretta.it/it/personali/ .