Okay, meeting this artist was seriously a highlight... my grandmother always gives money on my birthday, and I set that amount aside to do a seminar with this artist (will be a later post... be prepared for much gushing...)
Her daughter, Francesca, came with her from Italy to translate, which made the demo a little interesting.
There is really no way to explain or describe the beauty of Patrizia's work... seriously, here's a fast Google search for images. She's painted pieces for Arabian sheiks, and for the princess of Thailand.
But here's a small taste of the demo she gave on using powdered gold (YES, actual powdered gold...) to create this unique effect:
...oh, but one more thing, getting a black background like this requires 'grounding' (there are different techniques, but she sponged it on in several layers), and black is normally thought of to be nearly impossible to paint on because it's super susceptible to flaking off in the kiln... so usually, black is the last colour you paint on a piece, and almost never paint on top of it. I just wanted to specify how extraordinary even the background is...