Drawing and Painting in Venice

DATES: 09/24/2022 - 10/01/2022
PRICE: $2,895.00

Louise Freshman Brown is a painter and mixed medium artist whose works have been featured in exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. Solo exhibits include: Piirto Gallery, Helsinki, Finland, Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL, The Deland Museum of Art, DeLand, FL, Monique Goldstrom Gallery, NYC, City Center Theatre, NYC, Albertson-Peterson Gallery, Winter Park, FL.

Group exhibitions include Galleria Retro & Arte, Venice, Italy, Advice Konsthall, Sollentuna, Sweden, Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington, DC, Women’s Art Cooperative, Van Nuys, CA, The William Whipple Art Gallery, Marshall, MN, New York Academy of Art, NYC, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, FL, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami, FL, Park Plaza Castle, Boston, MA, Childs Gallery, NYC, Linda Hayman Gallery, Boca Raton, FL, and the Polk Museum, Lakeland, FL. 

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Her works are in over 500 private, public and corporate collections including the Voorhees Museum, NJ, Queensborough Museum, NY, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, AL, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, NY, Montgomery College, MD, Syracuse University, NY, The Federal Reserve, The Cleveland Clinic, Vistakon, Bank of America, Florida East Coast Railway,  Prudential Securities, The Haskell Collection, City of Orlando, SuperStock Inc., Pan Am, Orlando International Airport, Tupperware International Headquarters, Southern Bell, John Schreiber Group of New York, and Bankers Trust of New York. She completed major commissions for Mayo Clinic, Merck and Co., IBM, Holland and Knight, Orlando, FL, North Carolina National Bank, Tampa, FL, Embassy Suites Hotel, Memphis, TN, Arvida Corp., Ponte Vedra, FL, The Marriott, Jacksonville, FL, Shell Oil Co., WTOC-TV, Savannah, GA, Lenox Hotel, Atlanta, GA.

Freshman Brown is from Oneida, NY and received her B.F.A. in Painting and M.F.A. in Painting/Printmaking from Syracuse University. She is a Professor of Art at The University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL where she has been regularly awarded for excellence in teaching and scholarship. In 2005 she received the Outstanding Scholarship Award and in 2007 the Distinguished Professor Award. For the past thirty years, she has conducted workshops and lectures nationally and internationally.  Louise has taught nearly 20 workshops with Il Chiostro.

Develop your skills though experiencing drawing and painting processes.

This workshop will encourage students by introducing practices that examine and experiment with various materials, subject matter and techniques. The importance of composition, color, and exploring novel means of expression will be stressed. Students will have the opportunity to draw from architecture, still life and the people of Venice.  There will be considerable structure in the processes during group sessions along with independent time to work.

Venice Collage, by Louise Freshman Brown

Individual instruction will be stressed and critiques will be often.

  • Drawing methods include: study of line, mass, gesture, space, light, and color.
  • Painting methods include: mixing & applying acrylic paint, watercolor or pastel, using mediums, capturing the Venetian light and color, and focusing on composition.
  • Collage session for all interested

Participants will also paint on site.

Sample day:  Breakfast; drawing/painting session, explore techniques to be used in studio or on site – 3 hours; break for lunch; draw in studio or on site – 3 hrs.; break, dinner, free time.

Field trips:  Although everything in Venice is right outside your door, we will take a few side trips that are optional (Venice seasonal exhibits, Peggy Guggenheim Museum, a guided tour of painters) and draw at selected sites (Burano, etc.)

Accommodations: The week will be spent near Campo Santo Stefano the historic San Marco area, right near the Accademia Bridge. When you register you can choose either a single or double room with ensuite bathroom in the ex-convent where our studio is.  Rooms are clean and comfortable, but basic.  If you would prefer to find your own accommodations in a nearby hotel or AirBnB, no problem.  Just click that option on the registration page.
We’ll enjoy traditional cuisine at local restaurants or prepared by our personal chef. It will be an ideal place to improve your painting skills.

General Activities: Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day followed by dinner with the group.  After that, most activities for the week will be organized around the individual workshops but all participants will come together for meals and events like the guided walking tour of selected highlights of Venice. Then, at the end of the week all the artists will stage an exhibit of their work to share their visual impressions of enigmatic Venice.

Venice, acrylic on linen by Louise Freshman Brown

Dinners: During the week we will have 5 dinners together. To experience a good cross-section of typical Venetian cuisine we will sample diverse neighbor-hood trattorie and Michael and Linda will host our group for two home-cooked meals with ingredients we find at the outdoor market. Two nights of the week you will be on your own to follow your nose to restaurants or concerts or the opera or whatever else might pique your curiosity. There is plenty of time for independent exploration.

Venice Collage, by Louise Freshman Brown

To participate in any of our Il Chiostro programs, we require every participant be FULLY VACCINATED against Covid-19.  There are no exceptions for any reason.  We realize that nothing is 100% certain to prevent the virus, but our goal is to reduce the risks for the group as much as possible.  We cannot be responsible for, nor do we have the resources to take care of anyone contracting Covid in a foreign country.

Price: $2,895 p/p, non-participant fee is $2,595
Non-painter partners/friends are always welcome.

  • single room supplement, add $475 (limited number available)
  • Find your own accommodations, reduce fee by $800.  (Click the “Accommodations” tab above for some of our nearby suggestions.)


  • 7 nights at ex-convent – double or single (with supplement) room with ensuite bathroom and shower (Note: departure is after breakfast on the final Sunday.  The last class activity will be Saturday evening.)
  • Daily breakfast and 5 dinners at local restaurants, including wine
  • Workshop tuition, daily classes
  • Studio space for class
  • Selected gallery visits with Louise (depending on current exhibits, selected from Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Fortuny museum, etc.)
  • Optional art and culture walking tour
  • Optional excursion to the colorful island of Murano

Price does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Museum entrance
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Workshop materials
  • Local transportation: vaporettos, water taxis

Mixed media collage, by Louise Freshman Brown

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 August 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: info@ilchiostro.com or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.

For our week in Venice we will be staying at the renovated monastery of Don Orione Artigianelli directly on the Giudecca Canal.  The complex is built around a series of quiet cloisters where the only sound is of the bells ringing on the hour.

Rooms are single or double, simply furnished, but each with its own private, modern bathroom.

Breakfast is served each morning in the dining room on the main floor.  We will use one of their conference rooms as our studio.

Convent Alternatives:

If you would prefer to find your own accommodations in Venice, that is not a problem.  Just select Program only-no accommodations when registering and the room fee will be deducted from your workshop fee.  There are many options for hotels or AirBnB apartments that you can research.  Here are some of our hotel suggestions with web sites and number of stars.  They are all in the Dorsoduro section on the same side of the Accademia Bridge as the convent.  Contact them directly through their web sites:  [NOTE:  our studios for classes will be located in the convent so you might want to stay nearby.]

Very Near the Convent

On the Zattere

On Side Canals

Near La Salute:

Inexpensive alternative (save money – less expensive than the convent):

  • Casa Accademia, ex-convent beside Hotel American (not to be confused with Pensione Accademia above), 45 euros/single, 55 euros/ double, cheap, convenient: casaccademia.it

To arrive either you can fly directly into Venice or into Milan and then take the train to Venice. Specific arrival instructions will follow, but from the train station you can take the vaporetto #2 and get off at San Samuele.  From the airport you can take the Alilaguna ferry (Orange Line) and get off at the Sant’Angelo.  In either case, we’ll send you easy walking directions so you won’t get lost.  Remember that Venice is a walking city, so pack light because you will have to pull your luggage down the alleys and over the bridges – there’s just no getting around that.

Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day, followed by dinner with the group.

Departure is after breakfast on the final day.  If you are flying out that day you might try to arrange your flights for 11am or later to avoid getting up at the crack of dawn.

If you have time you might want to explore the Lakes district or enchanting towns like Bergamo or Verona, the site of Romeo and Juliet, before you arrive in Venice. This will give you plenty of time to recover from jet-lag before you settle in at the convent and start your workshop. Besides, Italy is not something that should be experienced in a hurry. Its charms need to seep into your skin while you linger at a café or amble through a piazza.

Venice, city, empire, wonder of the world, is one of the most visually stimulating places on Earth. Stripes of canals, Byzantine mosaics glittering in the sun, window cases of blown glass, leather-bound books, plumed masks, woodcut puppets. Each step through the crooked passages is a delight. Spend a week (or two) probing unknown corners. Stay long enough to lounge at a café. Get to know the old woman at the vegetable stall. Return to that tiny mask shop again and again. Photograph it. Artists and writers have been interpreting Venice since it was born in the lagoon centuries ago, from the Grand Canal to the tiny sculptures above the doorframes. Get lost in the sensuality.

Because Venice is such a visual feast that is a collection of its past, our program offers weeklong workshops in painting or photography. Participants coming from the different disciplines will capture and be stimulated by the passion of Venice.  Throughout the week the groups inspire one another to see in new ways and to experiment with their work in a city that has awed writers, painters, colonels and kings.

Bartosek-rialto sunset

Rialto Sunset by Cindy Bartosek