Pastel Painting in Tuscany

DATES: 06/10/2023 - 06/17/2023
LOCATION: Tuscany, San Fedele
PRICE: $3,695.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
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Liz Haywood-Sullivan, PSA-MP, IAPS/MC, has led popular workshops for Il Chiostro in Italy since 2017. She is dedicated to working exclusively in the pastel medium and is a sought after instructor and judge for pastel societies and arts organizations around the world. Liz authored the popular book Painting Brilliant Skies and Water in Pastel. Her award-winning pastel paintings have been featured in numerous books and magazine articles, and have appeared in national, international and museum exhibitions worldwide. Liz is a President Emerita of the International Association of Pastel Societies (2013-2017) and is the current president of the North River Arts Society in Massachusetts.

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Liz Haywood-Sullivan Artist’s Statement

All my life I have been an observer. Light is my muse and will stop me, literally in my tracks. Don’t drive too close behind me during the magic hour when the sun is setting! I am also drawn to the interplay of man in the environment, of man-made edges against the chaos and beguiling beauty of the natural form. My life’s work is to record these observations. So much of what catches my eye and imagination is ordinary and taken for granted. I truly believe that it is through the artist’s hand that the beauty of the world is revealed.

Teaching is a very important part of my being an artist. My teachers shared their wisdom with me, shaping and informing my artistic vision. Now, as I pass this wisdom on, I have discovered that my attempts to put into teachable words about what and how to paint have made me not
 only a better teacher but a better artist. What I love about teaching is that each day brings new challenges and new opportunities. Traveling with
 a workshop of artists allows for wonderful art moments beyond the daily painting sessions, be it in the evenings during casual conversation over a glass of wine or meal, or during a walk as day breaks. How fortunate are we to have the gift and the ability to express ourselves through our artwork?

Springtime in Tuscany painting pastels with Liz 

Immerse yourself in painting the light and timeless Tuscan landscape that is quintessential Italy. Tuscan light has a unique quality and each day brings different opportunities to observe and paint how it illuminates the landscape – from historic red-tiled villages to distant vineyards and olive groves.

Tuscan Vineyards, pastel by Liz Haywood-Sullivan

This workshop is geared for intermediate and above levels, and is designed to improve your ability to observe, draw and paint what you see. I work in pastel and will conduct daily demonstrations in the pastel medium, but the concepts I teach are universal and other mediums are welcome. Details include:

  • Working in the stunning Tuscan landscape offers a perfect opportunity to work on locating compelling compositions, and how to use your drawing skills to make your paintings better.
  • Painting with proper values and understanding aerial perspective techniques are cornerstones of good landscape painting and will be a focus of our work.
  • We’ll discuss plein air techniques and share travel and portability advice.
  • Plenty of one-on-one instruction at your easel, plus interesting painting tips and techniques.
  • Sketchbooking will be an important part of this workshop. There will be opportunities to travel light with sketchbook in hand to nimbly capture images and ideas for further exploration when you get home.

This exciting workshop is designed be an immersive experience with a three-part focus; painting, sketching, and Italian culture. In addition to creating our own art, we will enjoy Italian cuisine and history, including time on your own for sightseeing and shopping at our various destinations.

  • 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

Once you register I will send a detailed materials list and will be available online to answer your questions.

NOTE:  there will be a maximum of 10 students in Liz’s class.


Medieval Siena, photo by Linda Mironti

Additional Activities: Your week of immersion in art will be interspersed with other fun activities and visits to towns and villages to experience local markets, museums and shops. 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.

San Fedele at night


Price:

$3,695* p/p based on double occupancy ($3,395 for non-painting partners)
Optional supplements:

  • $575 for single room-limited availability
  • $275 p/p for Jr. Suite

*Early Bird discount of $100 if registered by January 1, 2023.

Tuscany, pastel by Liz Haywood-Sullivan


Includes:

  • Shared double room with ensuite bathroom in restored monastery (single rooms available for a supplement, see above)
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily painting instruction
  • Excursion to medieval Siena
  • Excursions to nearby hilltowns for sketching, photography, shopping, etc. (Monteriggioni, Radda, Volpaia…)
  • Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on first Saturday
  • Drop off in Florence on final day

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Come paint with Liz among the vineyards and olive groves in Tuscany!

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.

Common/Studio space in the ex-chapel

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 $575.

2 Jr. Suites for a minimum of 2 people are available for a supplement of $275 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.

The upper pool at San Fedele

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 is a Tuscan native who uses recipes from her 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.