Exploring through En Plein Air in the Cinque Terre

DATES: 05/16/2019 - 05/23/2019
LOCATION: Cinque Terre
PRICE: $2,950.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
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Tonja Sell is a Wisconsin native and daughter of glass artisans and attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where she studied fine arts, drawing, and illustration.  Tonja met her husband and business partner Matthew at M.I.A.D.   After time in Arizona, the couple returned to northern Wisconsin where they have been raising four children, building their home, and teaching studio classes near beautiful Lake Superior.

Tonja has a vast range of creative experience.  She works in several different mediums, including all paint and drawing, printmaking, ceramic sculpture, blown glass, and more.  She loves trying new things and learning through experimentation.  She teaches in her Wisconsin-based art studio, online, and across the United States, Australia​ and Mexico. She and Matthew currently host international art adventures to Italy and Spain.

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Tonja has been represented by galleries across the country and her work is in multiple private collections nationally and internationally. Her experience with many materials allows her provide a unique learning experience.

I love teaching, exploring and making new discoveries both on the canvas, and in our great big beautiful world!  I look forward to sharing this with my fellow artists, students, explorers.
-Tonja Sell

If you have the opportunity to take a workshop with Tonja – don’t hesitate, just do it. Yesterday, I finished up 3 crazy-fun days with Tonja in Austin, TX. Beyond having a blast, I learned how to incorporate new tools into my work and how best to achieve shadow, form, and light. Tonja’s teaching style is warm, engaging, and informative. Prepare yourself for some tried and true art knowledge bombs. Tonja talks easily about methods and techniques she has tried and perfected. For an artist of any level, this kind of information can save you a ton of time and heartache. My classmates included a wide range of experience from well-seasoned artists all the way to weekend art warrior types. Tonja seamlessly guided us in a way that spoke to directly to each of us and where we were at in our own art experience. Through encouragement and demonstration, she pushed us past where we may be struggling. Her critiques were helpful and easy to understand. I’ve taken what seems to be a gazillion workshops, but this one is simply a stand out. Highly recommend.
– M.C., Student

Join Tonja for a week of useful & fun art instruction, touring, and great food!

This trip begins in the picturesque town of Monterosso, Italy (the largest of the five towns of the Cinque Terre).  We will be staying in a beautiful, small family-run inn overlooking the Tyrranian Sea.  On our daily outings, we will paint & sketch “en plein air” in the breathtaking landscapes and villages of Italy’s northwestern coast. Instruction will continue in the casual studio of the inn: a lovely place to work with a full view of the sea.

Painting en plein air

This workshop is for all skill levels, from those desiring to learn how to paint outdoors, to the experienced artist wanting one-on-one instruction. I will share daily demonstrations, including gestural sketches and studies. You’ll gain a better understanding of color, value, composition and techniques through individualized personal instruction.  I will help you to capture the essence of the Cinque Terre, while working in the medium of your choice on the terrace, garden, or in the various towns. I believe drawing is a foundational and vital skill each artist should work to develop; I include drawing basics and beyond in all of my classes.

 

Our Cinque Terre adventure includes the development of a travel journal where you’ll learn to capture the essence of your experiences using simple materials like pen & ink, watercolor, and colored pencil.  You will  practice and refine your sketching while creating a sketch journal full of beautiful memories.

Painting in the garden at La Cabana

Artists may choose to paint on location, take photographs while exploring, work in the gardens or  terrace, or any combination of the above. This is a trip where your personal goals help determine your focus.  You may paint and explore as little or much as you like.  Daily demonstrations and one-on-one personal attention and guidance make this an art adventure like no other.  I work to specifically tailor the creative experience to each group of artists; teaching sessions are determined by the goals and character of the group itself.  There is something for everyone, from beginner to the professional artist.  I encourage you to bring materials that are practical for travel,  and not too burdensome to carry on our walking tours along the Cinque Terre towns, but you may bring any art supplies that you are comfortable using (we will be taking a train to our daily outing locations).

Watercolor pastel-study on location

In painting, I use Inktense pencils, ink pens, acrylics, watercolor, pastel pencils, oil pastels/oil sticks, colored pencils, and mixed-media.  You may choose any materials you prefer.

This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels.

Note:  There are only 7 available rooms at the hotel, so reserve your spot soon!

This trip is for you if:

  • You enjoy exploring and making beautiful memories with other creatives!
  • You LOVE fresh Italian food – enough said!
  • You are open to trying new things, experimenting with visual media, and recording your experiences visually.
  • You want personal guidance in the development of your work from a working, professional artist and teacher.
  • You just want to explore new and amazing places in the safety and company of creative people with or without and camera and sketchbook.
  • You want to take advantage of this opportunity to tour other parts of Europe or Italy, before or after our time together!

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

  • train pass to visit other towns
  • optional boat trip to Porto Venere to sketch, shop, have lunch or cappuccino in the cafes
  • free shuttle service from the hotel to the main town
  • pick up in Florence on the first day

The Cinque Terre – is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. “The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. For more about the Cinque Terre, the Lonely Planet gives a nice description with photos: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/cinque-terre

The Food – We will have 5 dinners organized together at local restaurants and trattorie.  We’ll sample the pastas, seafood and specialties of the area.  Wine is included in all meals.  Lunches and 2 dinners will be independent for you to explore the local cuisine on your own.

Given its location on the Mediterranean, seafood is plentiful in the local cuisine. Anchovies of Monterosso are a local specialty designated with a Protected Designation of Origin status from the European Union. The mountainsides of the Cinque Terre are heavily terraced and are used to cultivate grapes and olives. This area, and the region of Liguria, as a whole, is known for pesto — a sauce made from basil leaves, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts and pecorino cheese. Focaccia is a particularly common locally baked bread product. Farinata is also a typical snack found in bakeries and pizzerias — essentially it is a savoury and crunchy pancake made from a base of chick-pea flour.


Suggested Supply list
(think small and portable):

-Watercolor travel palette
-Brushes (fill-able water brushes are handy)
-Journal suitable for sketching using mixed-media
-Permanent ink pens
-White out pens- like the Jane Davenport:
-Paint Over Pens
-Derwent Inktense Pencil Set
-Colored pencils
-Oil sticks
-Pastel pencils
-Fluid or High Flow Acrylics, I suggest a limited color range and small sized bottles.

 

It’s been an age since I felt so moved by a fellow artist. Tonja’s gallery is multi-dimensional, an emotive visual dialogue sweeping you away into it’s lush rich colour and texture dancing across the canvas.  So painterly and boundless yet superb attention to classical figurative detail, harmoniously captured in centre stage with piercing soulful personality emanating from the portraits featured.  Complete compositions yet retaining the vibrancy of sketched studies. Inspiring this fellow artist to muse again.

-V.P. , Student 


Price: $2,950 p/p, non-participant fee is $2,650 (Non-painter partners/friends are always welcome.)
Options:

  • single room supplement – $475 (limited number available)
  • larger room with terrace and hot tub – $250 p/p supplement

Includes

  • Shared double room in Hotel La Cabana in Monterosso (singles available for a supplement)
  • Daily traditional breakfast
  • 5 dinners with wine
  • Daily painting classes and critiques with Tonja
  • Train passes for exploring other towns
  • Boat trip
  • Pick up from Florence train station on arrival day (on the departure day we do not return the group to Florence, as many people will want to go off in other directions.  There is a convenient train station in the center of Monterosso that connects with every major line in Italy.)

(Note: departure is after breakfast on the final day.  The last class activity will be Wednesday evening.)

Price does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Workshop materials

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.

Cabana-5 TerreOur small hotel La Cabana sits on a small hill that divides the historic center of Monterosso from the new part, Fegina.  It is a typical Ligurian farmhouse that has belonged to one family for generations. The vines and the olive trees that they have cultivated form the backdrop to the rooms that have been recently refurbished with the utmost respect for the environment and the traditions of the Cinque Terre, but without forgetting modern comforts.

Cabana roomThe 9 rooms are furnished with antiques, parquet floors, curtains, and finishes intended to frame the unparalleled panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea. It is an oasis of relaxation completely surrounded by greenery and silence with wonderful vistas and gardens to paint.  Our group will take over the entire hotel for the week.

To get down to Monterosso you can take advantage of their free shuttle service or, if you are up for it,  walking down is not difficult and takes less than ten minutes. It’s a nice walk down that offers beautiful panoramic views. On the descent, you will pass the ancient 11th century castle (today houses the cemetery of the village) and wind through olive trees until you reach the historical center of town. Coming back up, the shuttle might be a good idea!

For more information, visit their web site:  http://www.lacabanacinqueterre.com/en/index.php

cabana-breakfast-room1

Breakfast room

cabana-common-room1

Reception

cabana-driveway

Entrance to La Cabana

cabana-garden1

Garden overlooking the town

cabana-terrazza3

The terrace

cabana-vista-west

View from the terrace

shuttle

La Cabana shuttle

The Cinque Terre are in the section of Italy known as Liguria on the western coast.  The main city of Liguria is Genova.  These 5 towns were traditional fishing villages, cut off from the mainland by a steep range of mountains.  For centuries they were only accessible by the sea.

For our program, we will meet the group in Florence on the first day.  From there a private bus will take the group to our hotel in Monterosso-al-Mare.

To visit the town from our hotel there is a regular shuttle bus.  The towns are small with narrow roads, so the shuttle will leave us off in the newer section, then we will walk through a short tunnel to the historic center of town where most of the shops and restaurants are located.

To go between towns (Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia or Rio Maggiore) there are local trains connecting all of them.

AHoltzman-Boat

5 Terre fishing boat, photo by Andy Holtzman

The Cinque Terre – is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. “The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside.

For more about the Cinque Terre, the Lonely Planet gives a nice description with photos: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/cinque-terre

The Food:  Given its location on the Mediterranean, seafood is plentiful in the local cuisine. Anchovies of Monterosso are a local specialty designated with a Protected Designation of Origin status from the European Union. The mountainsides of the Cinque Terre are heavily terraced and are used to cultivate grapes and olives. This area, and the region of Liguria, as a whole, is known for pesto — a sauce made from basil leaves, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts and pecorino cheese. Focaccia is a particularly common locally baked bread product. Farinata is also a typical snack found in bakeries and pizzerias — essentially it is a savoury and crunchy pancake made from a base of chick-pea flour. Epic porcini mushrooms are presented in a wooden box for you to chose for grilling with olive oil and garlic.

AHoltzman-photo 2  AHoltzman-Seaside Restaurant