En Plein Air-Painting Under the Tuscan Sun!

DATES: 05/25/2019 - 06/01/2019
LOCATION: Tuscany, San Fedele
PRICE: $3,395.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
VISIT WEBSITE

Award winning artist, Jennifer McChristian, was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be an artist. Upon completing high school, McChristian began her art education at Dawson’s College in Montreal, Canada. In 1986, she and her family took permanent residency in California, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree with Honors from Otis Art Institute in 1990.

McChristian was employed as a full-time animation artist and worked on projects for various animation studios including Disney and Nickelodeon. She has continued her studies under the tutelage of renowned artists Robert Blue, Karl Dempwolf, and Steve Huston. Her inspirations consist of notable artists such as John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Nicolai Fechin and Cecilia Beaux. McChristian primarily paints in oils and occasionally watercolors and gouache. She has an affinity for painting ‘en plein air’ and also enjoys creating studio works using her outdoor sketches as inspiration.

Painting is somewhat of a spiritual experience for me. Although challenging at times, the end result evokes within me a sense of elation, nostalgia and harmony. -Jennifer McChristian

Read More

Since 2000, McChristian has devoted herself to painting full-time and actively participates in art events and community building programs. She conducts an ongoing, uninstructed figure drawing workshop three times a week out of her spacious studio (that she refers to as her ‘sanctuary’) located in the heart of Los Feliz Village, CA. In addition, McChristian teaches plein air painting workshops in various locations throughout the United States and abroad. McChristian also finds the time to pursue other artistic interests such as classical ballet. She believes learning is a never-ending process and continues to develop and refine her artistic talent through workshops, research, travel and frequent excursions to museums and galleries.

McChristian recently received  ‘Donor’s Award of Excellence’ from the Oil Painters of America 21st National Juried Exhibition. She was also featured in the July 2012 American Artist magazine,  Southwest Art’s October 2009 publication and American Art Collector’s February 2010 issue. She is a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America (OPA). Ms. McChristian is currently represented by Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado, Peter Barker Fine Art in Rutland, England and RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas. She currently resides in Glendale, CA with her husband Ben Fried, and a magically inclined calico cat named Bamboo.

Join us for a magical week of painting the rolling hills and countryside of Tuscany!

Learn to paint ‘en plein air’ under the balmy Tuscan sun just as the Renaissance masters did, and then visit the museums and churches of Florence and Siena where their original paintings and murals can still be viewed!  Visit the famous Chianti wineries and vineyards, and taste the world renowned dry red wines the region is named for!

In this workshop we will use the classic Tuscan hills – the same you can see in the paintings of Da Vinci and Michelangiolo – as our subject matter while exploring the lush, rolling Tuscan landscapes and Chianti vineyards in a romantic, once in a lifetime painting excursion!

Demure Damsel, oil painting by Jennifer McChristian

The aim of this workshop is to instruct and guide students to interpret the landscape in terms of paint, using light and color to create form. Color relationships, design/composition, simplifying, and the benefits of painting outdoors will be discussed, as well as how to design and build a painting that carries an emotional impact. We will focus on values, shapes, edges and color as well as paint handling and materials.

Green Door, Tuscany, oil painting by Jennifer McChristian

Ms. McChristian will offer a brief demonstration each day and advice on a one-on-one basis in the field.  Additionally, there will be class discussions and critiques of work so that participants will learn from individual instruction as well as each other.

We’ll have  studio at the monastery to work independently or finish up the paintings we started on location during the day.

 


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

  • Day trip to Medieval Siena to sketch, take photos, explore and shop
  • Excursions to nearby hilltowns like Radda, Castellina, Monteriggioni, etc.
  • Visit to Chianti winery for a tour and tasting
  • Variety of plein air locations to paint landscapes, villages, and the Tuscan light
  • Discussions of Tuscan cuisine with our chef

After excursions or painting on location, we’ll return each evening to relax in our 1,000 year old monastery to enjoy the surroundings, have a glass of wine and an informal critique of the day’s work. Then we will move to the dining room (the authentic refectory where the monks used to assemble) to enjoy our local chef’s authentic, home-made Tuscan meal, recapping the day’s adventure with good company.


Price: $3,395 p/p based on double occupancy

Optional Supplements:

  • $550 for single room
  • $250 p/p for a suite (min. 2 persons)

Includes:

  • Shared double room in restored monastery
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily painting classes and critiques
  • Excursion to Siena
  • ½ day painting excursions to nearby plein air settings and hilltowns (Monteriggioni, Radda, Volpaia…)
  • Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on arrival Saturday
  • Transfer to bus/train station in Siena (not Florence) on final day

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch (lite lunch will be available for purchase at San Fedele on days we are not out on excursion)
  • Art supplies
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Gratuities

Stone Sanctuary, oil painting by Jennifer McChristian


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:  info@ilchiostro.com 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 —

©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-001Il 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 compliment the 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…

lester-lefkowitz-room1

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.