NEW ZEALAND – Plein Air Painting

DATES: 03/18/2019 - 03/27/2019
LOCATION: New Zealand
PRICE: $3,850.00

Pat Fiorello is a professional artist and seasoned instructor whose work has been exhibited in over 75-juried shows and more than a dozen solo exhibitions. She is known for her romantic landscapes, garden and floral paintings, in both oil and watercolor. Pat has a love for Italy, in part stemming from her family heritage, and is author of the book, Bella Italia, Italy through the Eyes of an Artist containing over 80 of her paintings of italy in both oil and watercolor.

A very popular instructor who has led classes and workshops for over 20 years, Pat has taught in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe including painting workshops at Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France. She is a long-time instructor with Il Chiostro, having taught many workshops in Tuscany and Lake Garda over the past 10 years. She receives high marks as a patient, encouraging and fun instructor who communicates clearly. Pat is committed to students learning and growing along their own personal artistic path while experiencing the joy of painting and discovering new places with the eyes of an artist.

Read More

Pat is a Signature Member and past President of the Georgia Watercolor Society and her work has been in “Splash 11- Best of Watercolor” published by North Light Books.

Feedback from past students is available at:  Recent article on Pat in Atlanta`s Simply Buckhead MagazineEat, Paint, Love

Bella Italia, Italy through the eyes of an Artist by Pat Fiorello

Pat Fiorello has been teaching painting at Il Chiostro for several years.  This book contains over 80 of her paintings of Italy, including many from places which will be familiar to Il Chiostro alumni:  Lake Garda, Tuscany, Florence, Siena, and Venice.

Fiorello invites readers on an irresistible visual journey to share in her most vibrant memories of Italy—its grandeur and splendid views of sparkling blue lakes, breathtaking hilltops, quaint villages and sunlit gardens. Because of her reverence for exquisite light and color, the works of art emanating from Fiorello’s easel beckon viewers to open their eyes more fully, and to breathe in all the enchanting sights—near and far—that the world has to offer.
Michelle Morton, Morton Media Arts

For more information about this book and to order copies, go to:

Article reproduced from American Art Collector:

Sorry – this class is full.  Please contact us to get on the waiting list.

Combine the excitement of New Zealand with an opportunity to paint breathtaking vistas, landscapes and flowers

This is part of the new Il Chiostro – Upside Down! series which mirrors our popular Autumn Arts Festival in Tuscany. This March series is held at harvest time in wineries in the southern hemisphere.  In 2017 we kicked the program off to great success in South Africa. In 2018 it was sensual Argentina.  Our 3rd Upside Down program is in New Zealand where we’ll spend 10 days in the Hawkes Bay area of the North island. For non-painters, we also offer a travel photography workshop with Chris Corradino.

View up the river from Black Barn, photo by Brian Culy

Enjoy 10 days painting in the most exotic country in the world – New Zealand! 

This program will immerse you in the natural beauty of the Hawkes Bay, NZ – rivers, dramatic mountains, the sea and gardens.

Country Escape, by Pat Fiorello

We will paint on location each day, primarily on the grounds of the Black Barn vineyards where we are staying which has breathtaking views in all directions. We will also go on a few field trips to nearby towns, set up in a local sculpture garden, visit the spectacular Cape Kidnappers point and photograph the bay from the heights of the Te Mata Peak. In case of inclement weather there is studio space available.

Special emphasis will be given to simplifying what you see in front of you and designing strong compositions for your paintings. Attention will be given to loosening up to capture the essence and sense of place as well as instruction on value and mixing colors. Program will include a combination of short demonstrations or lessons, individual student painting time with instructor guidance as desired and critiques throughout the week.

March is an ideal time to visit New Zealand: the weather is mild, autumn colors paint the landscape, and the grape harvests are underway at the world-class wineries.

Pat demonstrating the garden

Additional Activities:

During the program we will have daily painting opportunities as well as excursions selected from:

  • sculpture garden visit
  • wine tour and tasting of the Black Barn vineyards and cellars
  • walking tour of the art-deco town of Napier
  • Maori cultural presentation and visit to authentic meeting house
  • visits to village of Havelock North, Te Mata Peak and Ocean Beach
  • local farmers market in botanical gardens
  • traditional high tea in Havelock North
  • pre-dinner cultural discussions
  • special dinner at the acclaimed Black Barn Bistro
  • Sunday traditional barbecue
  • Optional – Cape Kidnappers Gannet bird colony tour (priced independently)



River Room

A casual breakfast will be served in the each morning or you can prepare your own quiet coffee in the kitchen of your villa.

Dinner, with wine from the vineyard, will be prepared for us each night by our private chef in the River Room.  Dinners will be served family style and will feature local and seasonal products.

Lunch is independent.  This is your opportunity to sample the cafes and restaurants we’ll find on our excursions.  For the days when you are staying at Black Barn, there will be an informal sandwich bar available for purchase.

Coffee and wine will be available for purchase throughout the day at the bar.

The harvest at Black Barn, photo by Brian Culy

Price: $3,850* p/p ($3,550 for non-participants)

* Early Bird Discount of $100 if registered by October 1, 2018

  • single supplement $650 (limited number available)


  • Room (double or single) with private bathroom in shared luxury villa-9 nights
  • 2 meals per day (dinner with wine and breakfast)
  • Workshop tuition -daily painting classes with Pat
  • General activities (as noted above)
  • Transportation for all excursions
  • Transfers between Napier and Black Barn Vineyards

Departure is on Wednesday morning March 27th.

Price does not include:

  • Airfare*
  • Museum admissions
  • Photo supplies, laptops or other equipment for workshops.

*We will meet the group in Napier, which has an airport.  Or you may choose to arrive in Wellington or Auckland and travel around prior to the program.

Waterfall, oil painting by Pat Fiorello

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 New Zealand, a supplies list and an electronic invoice for the balance.  Final Balance is due by January 15.  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.

Payment Plan:  if you would like to spread your payments out from now until March, click on this link Payment Plan Template provide the payment information and email it back to us.  We’ll automatically charge your credit card each month and then charge the remaining balance on March 1st.

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

Imagine setting up your easel here!

Riverside Lodge, living area, photo by Brian Culy

For Il Chiostro’s 9-day program on the north island of New Zealand, we will be located at the Black Barn winery, a charming boutique vineyard lodge situated in Hawkes Bay. There are stunning views from this hilltop location and a mild micro-climate that is perfect for growing their grape varietals, as well as for touring the area.

We will be staying in Black Barns’ Riverside Lodge residences, all conveniently clustered together; we will use this campus for our painting and photgraphy studios and for most meals. The Riverside Lodges are a collection of 2, 3 or 4 bedroom luxury villas, each with a kitchen, living areas and outdoor spaces. Each bedroom within a villa has its own private bathroom and maid service is provided throughout our stay.

Riverside Lodges from the river, photo by Brian Culy

Riverside, set between the river and the sea, is in a spectacular location perched right above the water on the eastern side of the Tuki Tuki River. Straight ahead is an awesome view of the Eastern facing slopes of Te Mata Peak. Riverside lodges are just ten minutes drive from the village of Havelock North and its captivating cafes, shops, restaurants and beaches.

The closest airport to Black Barn is in Napier, a beautifully preserved art-deco coastal city on Hawkes Bay.


This Il Chiostro-Upside Down program will take place on the North island of New Zealand. Specifically we will be in the Hawkes Bay area on the mid-eastern shore of the island. Auckland is the largest city to the north and Wellington is on the southern end of the North island.

Where in the World Are We?

On the first day of the program, our pick up point for the group will be in the town of Napier (about 3 hours north of Wellington, 5 hours south of Auckland). From Napier, it is a 45 minute drive to Black Barn Vineyards, our home for the next 10 days.

Where Do I Fly Into?

Depending on your travel plans, we recommend either flying directly into Napier or into Wellington and then making your way up to Napier for our first meeting. Wellington is a larger city, so if you plan to arrive a couple of days early, there would be more to do and see there. You can catch an intercity bus from Wellington to Napier.

Remember when arranging your travel, it is not necessary (or even cheaper) to arrive and depart from the same airport.  For instance, you could fly into Napier and out of Auckland.

What About Exploring the Rest of the Country or Even Australia?

Since New Zealand is quite far away for most participants, we expect that many of you will want to extend your stay either before or after the program. We’ll have many excursions during our workshops, but they will be confined to the North island. So plan to explore the South island* – and beyond – on your own.
* this is where most of theLord of the Rings trilogy was filmed.

To help you with your flights and any travel around New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Hawaii or even Bali Ha’i(!) …  before or after the program, we can recommend our travel agent Nancy Schaffer of Travel Solutions. She is familiar with our trip and has helped many Il Chiostro participants in the past. Contact her directly at:

(508)-836-0143 or



Our program will be housed at Black Barn Vineyards in the Hawkes Bay area of the North island.  This is the prime wine producing area of the country and is teeming with vineyards and wineries.  Among those are towns, beaches, cities and many cultural sites.  Here is a partial list of what is nearby:

Napier – A national disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world! In 1931, a massive earthquake rocked Hawke’s Bay. Rebuilding the town began almost immediately, and the new buildings all reflected the architectural styles of the times – Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and in particular, Art Deco.

Local architect Louis Hay, an admirer of the great Frank Lloyd Wright, had his chance to shine. Maori motifs were employed to give the city a unique New Zealand character – for example, the ASB bank on the corner of Hastings  and Emerson Streets features Maori koru and zigzags. A walking tour of Napier will be part of our itinerary.

Havelock North– Quite close to Black Barn, Havelock North has a natural, tree-lined charm — a pretty country town known for a thriving arts community, honey and friendly country style restaurants. Nearby Te Mata Peak delivers panoramic views of the region.

Martinborough– Martinborough is famous for its 20-odd vineyards (Pinot Noir is the specialty grape), most within walking or cycling distance of the wine village square. A bit closer to Wellington to the south, it’s packed with colonial charm, and criss-crossed with walking and cycle tracks. Check out some other things to do and fantastic places to eat.

Wellington– Wellington is the very cool capital of New Zealand, famous for its vibrant creative culture fueled by greatfood, wine, craft beers, coffee bars galore and ongoing special events.

Te Mata Peak – One of the most loved and visited places in Hawke’s Bay — a historical and cultural treasure. Standing almost 1500 feet above the Heretaunga Plains, Te Mata Peak offers visitors stunning and varied scenery, unique topography, geology, flora and fauna and a wide range of recreational activities.

Cape Kidnappers – An extraordinary sandstone headway in Hawke’s Bay that projects out from the stunning North Island coastline into the sea. It was named by Captain Cook after an attempt by local Mäori to abduct one of his crew. The Cape Kidnappers is home to the largest and most accessible gannet seabird colonies in the world.