Chianti Brushstrokes

DATES: 06/16/2018 - 06/23/2018
LOCATION: Tuscan Renaissance Center
PRICE: $2,895.00

Mostafa Keyhani is a painter who lives and works in Toronto. His works are collected both in Canada and United States.

Artist statement:
His work is essentially in the field of modern impressionism. Light plays an important role in his work, as well as the movement of colors. Mostafa’s work is about capturing the essence of certain light through effortless brush strokes and movements. He is known for his use of thick sculptural paint and strong, spontaneous brush work. He continues to work with subject matters that best capture the essence of abstract or modern Impressionism.

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Selected Public Collection:

Canadian Parliament Building,Ottawa,Canada
St Micheal’s College,Colchester,Vermont

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

Galerie Christin,Toronto,Ont,Canada 2014
Canadian Heritage Art Company,Toronto,Ont,Canada 2008
Gallery on Fifth,Naples,FL 2004
Gallery on Fifth,Naples,FL 2003
Xanadu Gallery,Scottsdale,AZ 2002
Zantman Art Galleries,Carmel,CA 2001
Zantman Art Galleries,Palm Desert,CA 2001
Zantman Art Galleries,Carmel,CA 2000
Smith Gallery,Stutgart,Germany 1996

Selected Annual Group Exhibitions:

Westmount Art Gallery,Toronto,Ont,Canada 2016
Canadian Heritage Art Company,Toronto,Canada,Ont 2015
Spring Auction Exhibition,Salmagundi Club,NYC 2014
Galerie le bourget,Quebec,Canada 2013
Canadian Heritage Art Company,Toronto,Canada,Ont 2010
Canadian Heritage Art Company,Toronto,Canada,Ont 2008
Jones & Terwilliger Galleries,Palm Desert,CA 2007
Westmount Art Gallery,Toronto,Ont,Canada 2006
Salon International 2004,Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art,San Antonio,Texas 2004
Los Ranchos,El Presidio Gallery,Tucson,Arizona 2004
Tucson plein Air Painters Society Distinguishrd Artist Member Show 2004
Hilton Head Nat’l Juried Exhibition,SC 2003
Main Street Gallery,Perry,FL 2003/2002
Green House Gallery of Fine Art,San Antonio,TX 2003/200
Salmagundi Club,Fall Auction,NYC 2002
Zantman Art Galleries,Carmel,CA 2002
Canadian Women’sCommittee,Ont 2000
Oil painters Of America,Palm Desert,CA 2000

Awards and Honors:

First Place (Joseph hardley SCNY Award), Salmagundi Club, NYC 2014
Third Prize (Abstract&Exprimental), International Artist magazine 2014
Joseph Hartley SCNY Awards, Salmagundi Club, NYC 2005
Jane Impasto Award, Salmagundi Club, NYC 2004
Second Place Los Ranchos,El Presidio Galley,Tucson, AZ 2004
Third Place, Tucson Plein Air Society, Yucson AZ 2004
Honorable Mention, Salon International Museum of Fine Art, San Antonio, TX 2003
Honorable Mention Hilton Head Art League, SC 2003
Award Of Artistic Achievement, Naples, FL 2003
Third Place, View Point 2003, Cicinannati Art Club, OH 2003
First Place (Silvio Vaeria SCNY Award), Salmagundi Club, NYC 2002
The Best Street Scene, Tucson Plein Air 2001

Current Galleries:
Galerie d’art Le Bourget
Jones & Terwilliger Galleries, Carmel & Palm Desert, CA
Lu Martin Galleries, Laguna Beach, CA
Westmount Gallery, Toronto, ON
Win Henstock Gallery, Toronto, ON

Weeklong Plein Air Painting Workshop in the Heart of Tuscany

Join renowned artist Mostafa Keyhani for an intensive 10-day plain air painting workshop at a restored monastery just outside of Siena, Italy.

About The Workshop…

Mostafa’s description:  I work only plein air style which means outside, on streets with cafe or near old buildings and architectural landmarks or Tuscan vineyards. The process starts with a one to two hour demo (depending on the subject) that I do to give students an idea of what we are about to do. We focus on brush strokes, value, perspective, composition, color mixing, how to keep colors fresh, drawing and perspective, color theory, and more.

Chianti demo by Mostafa

After the demo the students sketch a few drawings and then take 2 to 3 hours to paint the same subject matter while I go around with personal instruction and give feedback.

We typically use oil paints but the students can choose any medium to work in:  pastel or acrylics etc.

I will lecture about taking photos as a base for successful paintings, and we will venture out together to take those photos. Then they will learn how to sort, edit and ultimately paint from these using a tablet, laptop or computer. Either professional cameras, iphones or iPad cameras will work for this.

I also emphasize sketching.  I suggest that students carry at all times an 8”x10” sketch book and pen or pencil (b,b1,b3,b5,b7,b9) or even charcoal while we are doing other activities to always be able to make a sketch.

Mostafa painting on location

Painting in the courtyard of San Fedele, by Mostafa

Activities:  Our daily painting excursions will be combined with other adventures such as:

  • visiting medieval Siena to sketch, take photo’s, wander and shop
  • tasting the wine that is growing all about us in a local Chianti winery
  • exploring other small hilltowns (Radda, Vagliagli, …) to paint on location or just relax at a cafe

We’ll use San Fedele, a historic monastery, as our home base, returning each evening for a home-made Tuscan meal and good company. Stay with the group or go off on your own. Our purpose is to paint, explore and enjoy the beauty of Italy.

Price: $2,895* p/p; non-participants $2,595

Optional Supplements:

  • $550 for single room-limited availability
  • $250 p/p for Jr. Suite (minimum 2 persons)

*Early Bird Discount of $200 if registered by March 15, 2018.

Cafe, by Mostafa


  • 7 nights – shared double room in restored monastery (single rooms available for a supplement, see above)
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily plein air classes and critiques
  • Excursion to Siena
  • ½ day excursion to nearby hill towns (Monteriggioni, Radda, San Gimignano, etc.)
  • Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on arrival Saturday
  • Transfer to bus/train station in Siena on final day

~~ The first 6 students who register will receive
an original 11×14 demo painting by Mostafa ~~

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch (lite lunch will be available for 15 euros on days we are not out on excursion)
  • Art supplies
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing

To Register: just click on the Sign Up Now button. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to secure your spot in the workshop. Payment can be made on line with a credit card, or you can follow the instructions to send in your registration and payment by mail. Once we receive your deposit we will send you a formal Registration Confirmation with further information about the program. You will receive 2-3 other correspondences by email prior to the workshop with information about Italy, a supplies list and an electronic invoice for the balance. Final Balance is due by April 15th. Any time prior to your arrival, if you have questions about anything regarding the trip or the program, you can contact us by email or phone and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Contact us for more information: or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.

Borgo San Fedele

— San Fedele is a restored 12th century monastery floating in the Chianti hills —

T©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-001he Il Chiostro at San Fedele is the combined skills of Linda and Michael of Il Chiostro joining together with Nicolo and Renata of San Fedele to produce a unique and inspiring environment rooted in the traditional Tuscan values of beauty, great food, an appreciation for nature and the value of community.  The monastery, dating back to the 12th century, was meticulously restored using traditional building methods and all original materials. Today, the monastery remains true to its original spirit, rich architectural detail. The 16 rooms and suites where participants are housed have lovely modern bathrooms, screened windows, air conditioning, period furniture, wi-fi internet service, satellite television and minibar, all designed to perfectly complimentthe medieval surroundings.

The original soaring chapel is now used as a large art studio or workshop space. The monks’ refectory, where a lost 16th century fresco was uncovered during renovation, is now the dining room connected to a state-of-the-art kitchen and the old stone cantinas where they stored their wine have been transformed into studio and classroom space.

For information about the history of this monastery, Click here to go to San Fedele’s web site…


Rather than  hotel, San Fedele is classified as a historic residence in Italy.  That means that it is an intimate setting, preserved along strict historical guidelines to preserve the spirit of the setting.  The owners are on site to oversee this unique combination of historic landmark and modern day comfort.

Accommodations are spacious shared double rooms or junior suites. Each room, because it was converted from the original structure of the monastery without altering the building, is unique in shape. Furnishings and decor were selected to coordinate with the historic, subdued feeling of the monastery, but in a comfortable, modern style. All rooms have two beds that can be separated into twins or combined into one large matrimonial. There is a sitting area, refrigerator, DSL wi-fi, television, air-conditioning, heating, modern private bathroom with shower and hair dryers.

lester-lefkowitz-room3 lester-lefkowitz-room2

There are a limited number of single rooms available at a supplement of $550.

2 Jr. Suites for a minimum of 2 people are available for a supplement of $250 per person.

Night shot piazza©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-010© Lester Lefkowitz 7184-022Archway from rose garden and breakfast buffet in the refectory (photos by Lester Lefkowitz)

Terrace-MJossThe back of San Fedele is surrounded by a large al fresco dining terrace with the original terra cotta tile designs reproduced down to the smallest details. The terrace overlooks the same organic vegetable and flower garden tended by the monks for centuries. Beyond are the rolling Chianti vineyards that make this part of Tuscany so breathtaking.

Other common spaces include a large classroom carved into the rock of the ancient wine cellar, an expansive private piazza, a 16 x 7 meter swimming pool and sprawling landscaped grounds on a rolling hillside.

To San Fedele-LMFlorence will be our meeting point on the first day of the workshop. A van will pick up the group at the train station at about 3:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

We recommend that you fly into either Florence, Pisa or Rome (Milan is a bit too far away). Florence is closer but it doesn`t have an intercontinental airport, so there are no direct flights from the US. You would have to change planes in a larger European city. From the Florence airport you must take a shuttle bus (Volainbus) into the center (20 minutes).

There are more scheduled flights from the US to Rome, many of them direct. From Rome, you will need to take a train to Florence (about 2 1/2 hours).
Important! In making your return flight arrangements, if you are flying home on Saturday after the workshop, try not to book a flight too early. From our location allow 1 ½ hours to get to the Florence airport or 3 ½ hours to get to the Rome airport.

For suggestions about getting to Rome or Florence, accommodations or other logistics, please consult ourTraveling to Italy link. Renting a car from all the major rental agencies is possible if you prefer to be more independent during the week.

Fall vineyards

Fall vineyards


Borgo San Fedele sits conveniently on a country road connecting the charming medieval walled town of Radda and the village of Vagliagli. Other nearby hilltowns include Castellina-in-Chianti, Monteriggioni and Volpaia. It is about 45 minutes from San Gimignano and Volterra. Many of these towns have roots in the earlier Etruscan civilization that permeated this area prior to the Romans.

San Fedele is located about 12 km northeast of Siena and 45 km south of Florence.

The Food

For us at Il Chiostro, helping our guests to experience the traditional food in one of the earth`s richest, most sensual areas is our pleasure. The Chianti region of Tuscany is Italy’s famous wine and olive oil producing region. Here we want to expose you to the wonders of simple Italian cooking known in the area as cucina povera. Our chef Andrea is a Tuscan native who uses recipes from his mother and grandmother to bring the tradition of not only Tuscany, but specifically the Chianti region, to the table each evening.  We use seasonal, organic products, locally produced by small farms and family shops. Our chef searches for the best of Tuscany to serve you. Tuscan cuisine is a simple art that has been refined over the centuries to surprise our palates while the red chianti wine comforts our souls. Come explore what food can really be all about.

© Lester Lefkowitz 7184-057Candle Light Dinner2-CharlesAnderson
About Your Il Chiostro Hosts
Linda and Michael, and their program managers will host your program in Tuscany. They have been organizing workshops in Italy since 1995 and each person brings a special talent to the program. You can read more about them by following the About Il Chiostro link. At the Tuscan Renaissance Center, the owners of San Fedele, Nicolo and Renata, live on site. They will be available throughout the program to talk about the history of the monastery, the renovation and this area of Tuscany they call home.

In addition to your workshop
Optional activities offered with this program will focus on the cultural, gastronomic, historical and artistic heritage of Tuscany. This area has been an inspiration to countless people for centuries. What Tuscany offers its visitors is truly astounding:

Bell tower-smallArt – San Fedele is located conveniently between the cities of Medieval Siena and Renaissance Florence packed with some of the most famous masterpieces in the world.

Wine -You are in the heart of the Chianti region, synonomous with the most famous wine that Italy produces. But the innovative Tuscan vintners are also producing Super Tuscans, red varietals that are quickly ascending the ranks of world-class wine.

History – this area was settled by the Etruscans centuries before the Romans were a civilized society. Their necropoli dot the fields throughout the area. Nearby towns like Radda, Vagliagli and Castellina date from the early Middle Ages. Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. San Fedele witnessed most of this from its panoramic perch atop the hillside.

Foodcucina povera is the typical Tuscan cuisine that has become popular around the world. The recipes are simple, emphasizing local and seasonal products: porcini mushrooms, salumi, legumes, vegetables, pasta, bread and game meats. Visiting an outdoor food market, you will understand the wisdom of this very healthy cuisine.

Crafts – perhaps the harmony of the landscape has been the inspiration for many local craftsmen. Exquisite hand-painted ceramics are the prime example, closely followed by mosaics, leather, woodworking, and textiles.