Painting & Pictures in Tuscany

DATES: 06/09/2018 - 06/19/2018
LOCATION: Tuscan Renaissance Center
PRICE: $2995.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS:
VISIT WEBSITE
(Fran Mittelstet)


VISIT WEBSITE
(Carol Spohn)
Fran Mittelstet
Carol Spohn

Fran Mittelstet:  I took my first painting class in 1972 and soon was teaching. I did tole painting in oils and oil landscapes for several years switching to watercolor in the early 90s. I have been teaching at decorative painting conventions and painting clubs for about 10 years. I enjoy teaching beginners as well as more advanced painters. By taking seminars I try to keep learning new techniques and ideas to share with my students. I live in the Nashville area with my husband, a dog and 4 cats.

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Fran Mittelstet:  I took my first painting class in 1972 and soon was teaching. I did tole painting in oils and oil landscapes for several years switching to watercolor in the early 90s. I have been teaching at decorative painting conventions and painting clubs for about 10 years. I enjoy teaching beginners as well as more advanced painters. By taking seminars I try to keep learning new techniques and ideas to share with my students. I live in the Nashville area with my husband, a dog and 4 cats.


Carol Spohn’s painting journey started in 1989 when she learned to paint with acrylics during her lunch hour at the office where she worked.  If not for the step-by-step process of decorative painting, she would not have been introduced to the world of painting.  In 2000, Carol started painting primarily in transparent watercolor and her teaching career was launched.  Carol is an Ambassador for Mission Gold Watercolor by Mijello and paints primarily with watercolor accented with multimedia.

Carol’s workshop is a perfect opportunity for the beginner painter as well as the experienced painter to learn techniques enabling them to complete successful paintings.  Carol shares her step-by-step approach to painting with students of all levels.

The creative backgrounds in Carol’s paintings set her artwork apart from other artists.  Her use of color and textures invite you into her joyful paintings. Each lesson is designed to introduce the student to a new technique or way of looking at art.  Students paintings are successful when they “trust the process” of Carol’s methodical instructions.  No two paintings are alike, and that is a good thing!

Carol recently retired to be a full time artist and instructor.  Painting is her joy and often times, her therapy.  As much as she enjoys painting, Carol’s first love is teaching painting to others.  Carol is a popular instructor at decorative painting conventions sharing her joy of painting with watercolors and other media to students throughout the North America each year.

A lifetime resident of Minnesota, Carol lives in a 100+ year old house in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband Coz and their two cats, Mickey and Bailey.

Spend time exploring, shopping, taking pictures and plain air painting!

This Italian workshop will be full of fun and surprises as you explore a variety of watercolor procedures and techniques.

We will enjoy the magic that is Tuscany with its relaxed atmosphere, wonderful vistas and delightful people as we tour local hill towns to take photos that can be used  for references, sketch or paint plein air. In our studio, watercolor and mixed media paintings will be taught step by step with an emphasis on elements commonly found in Italy to enable you to continue painting Tuscan scenes at home. We will give you tips on taking photos to be used as references for painting when you return home, so that you can take a bit of Tuscany away with you. A variety of opportunities to sketch or paint plein air will be provided.

You will learn to see the local landscape as well as discover new ways to see and capture mood and emotion as we paint local scenes from villages to vineyards. You will fall in love with Italy and understand why people love it so!

The workshop will be taught by both Fran and Carol together.

Geraniums by Fran Mittelstet

Tuscan Poppy, by Carol Spohn

Tuscan Poppies, by Carol Spohn


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 personal chef

Geranium Urn by Fran Mittelstet

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.

Saturday, June 16th – Our adventure continues with an optional 3-day extension (June 16-19) in  Florence, Italy – the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to masterpieces of art and architecture.    We will go by our private coach to the lovely Residence Michelangiolo, a charming villa on the fashionable Viale Michelangelo, within walking distance to the historical center of Florence.   Included to participants of this optional part of our trip will be the Florence Card (which includes the bus and most museums and churches).  We plan to try to include some sketching and light painting fun at the Michelangiolo, to enhance your experience in Florence.

At the end of these 3 days participants will leave independently from the Florence airport or train station.


Welcome to dinner, by Kathy Hawkins

Price: $2,995 p/p based on double occupancy

Optional Supplements:

  • $550 for single room-limited availability
  • $250 p/p for Jr. Suite

Optional Florence 3-day extension:  Add $750 (total: $3,745 p/p)

  • Single supplement in Florence: add $150 ($700 for both programs)

Includes:

  • Shared double room in restored monastery (singles available at a supplement, see above)
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily painting classes
  • 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 or Residence Michelangiolo in Florence on final Saturday

Flowers by Carol Spohn

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

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.

Relaxing in the Chianti vineyards, photo by Lester Lefkowitz

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…

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.