The Light and Color of Tuscany in Acrylic and Oils

DATES: 10/07/2023 - 10/14/2023
LOCATION: Tuscany, San Fedele
PRICE: $3,695.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
VISIT WEBSITE

Steven S.Walker has been creating inspiring works of art for corporations and private collectors for over twenty years.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in illustration. He would later earn his masters in fine arts from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Since making the switch over to being a fine artist in 2008, Steven has been included in several local and national juried competitions including the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional, Salon and National exhibitions , Richeson 75 Landscape Competition, Plein Air Salon, the International Salon and the Art Renewal Center. Steven has also managed to have several solo and group shows over the years.

Most recently Steven’s career has included plein air events  including Plein Air South, Forgotten Coast Plein Air, Door county invitational and the Olmsted Invitational (which earned him artists choice and a judge’s award from the editor of American Art Collector magazine).

Steven continues to work hard on the advancement of his career, with the assistance of his lovely wife Evelyn and daughter Poppy. Currently, his work is represented in Kentucky, Washington State, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia and Oklahoma

“ If you want to know my secret, ask my wife and daughter…they are the real heroes in my success  story.”

Steven S.Walker has been creating inspiring works of art for corporations and private collectors for over twenty years.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in illustration. He would later earn his masters in fine arts from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Since making the switch over to being a fine artist in 2008, Steven has been included in several local and national juried competitions including the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional, Salon and National exhibitions , Richeson 75 Landscape Competition, Plein Air Salon, the International Salon and the Art Renewal Center. Steven has also managed to have several solo and group shows over the years.

Most recently Steven’s career has included plein air events  including Plein Air South, Forgotten Coast Plein Air, Door county invitational and the Olmsted Invitational (which earned him artists choice and a judge’s award from the editor of American Art Collector magazine).

Steven continues to work hard on the advancement of his career, with the assistance of his lovely wife Evelyn and daughter Poppy. Currently, his work is represented in Kentucky, Washington State, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia and Oklahoma

“ If you want to know my secret, ask my wife and daughter…they are the real heroes in my success  story.”

Come, celebrate and paint the beauty of Tuscany while staying in a remarkable,
restored Italian monastery located in the beautiful hills and wine country of Italy.

Spend a fabulous week of creativity and painting in San Fedele, Tuscany with award winning artist, Steven S. Walker.  You will be surrounded by visual eye candy that speaks to the soul.  Participants will paint mostly in plein air as well as working in their sketchbooks. We will also have a protected covered area to paint if the weather is inclement.

While students have the option to work in either acrylic or oil, Steven’s lessons will focus on design and use of color than the actual paint medium. Steven will address techniques used in both mediums… as Steven likes to put it 

“Painting is painting.” 

All in a Day’s Work, oil painting by Steven Walker

The class will explore color theory and how to achieve brilliant light effects through paint.  Steven will give several demonstrations throughout the week covering subjects like brushwork, design, color mixing and atmospheric perspective.  All levels are welcomed as Steven caters to the student and their personal goals with emphasis on individual growth.

Each student will work at their own speed. There will be times when the atmosphere inspires you to paint. But if you decide to grab a glass of wine and watch Steven paint, then that’s perfectly fine as well.  If you want to sketch and take photographs, then have at it.  This course is about you and your experience in Tuscany.  Steven strives to maintain a stress-free atmosphere.  No pressure, no grades, no worries.

The Morning Wait, oil by Steven Walker


Class Procedures
Depending on outdoor conditions, we will either meet in the studio or travel to a predetermined location in the surrounding countryside and neighboring villages to paint ancient architecture and timeless beauty. Steven will give several detailed demonstrations and explain procedures and approaches.


Plein Air Painting Class Materials

Paint: Colors apply to traditional oils, water soluble oils and acrylics

To make traveling easier, small tubes of paint and small panels should be considered. This is a very basic palette. Add to it, as you like:

Transparent Red Iron Oxide or Burnt Sienna

  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium Red Light or Napthol Red
  • Cadmium Orange or Permanent Orange
  • Cadmium Yellow Deep or Hansa Yellow Deep
  • Cadmium Lemon or Hansa Yellow Light
  • Viridian
  • Cobalt Blue
  • French Ultramarine
  • Titanium White or Titanium White Alkyd (fast drying)
  • Any other colors that you may want to use. 

(If you can avoid it… NO student grade paints) 

Bethesda, by Steven Walker

Brushes 

A variety of Bristle and Synthetic flats or brights

Synthetic Rounds numbers 1, 2 (for detail)

Small palette knife

Painting surface

I recommend painting on Ampersand gesso panels or high quality canvas panels.  Ampersand Gesso panels, because of their durability or Canvas Panels, because of their light weight.  Bring sizes that you are slightly bigger than what you’re comfortable working with.  I believe it is harder to work on smaller paintings than larger paintings.

Solvents/Mediums

Solvent Free Fluid for oil painters

The Bridge at Ross, oil on panel by Steven Walker

Olive Oil but I’m pretty sure Tuscany has plenty of that.

Water for acrylic painters…I think we can find some of that there too.

Other Considerations/ Materials:

  • Small paint cups or tins for clean solvent or medium with covers are good for transporting
  • Palette knife for cleaning palette, mixing color and painting
  • Container with seal-able lid for rinsing brushes.
  • Thin disposable rubber gloves or hand barrier cream.
  • Optional travel size umbrella, chair/ stool
  • CAMERA
  • Sketch book
  • SUNSCREEN! Bug spray
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Small backpack/book bag to free up hands. You need to carry everything in one trip (plus a wet painting).

All levels are welcomed. The demonstrations are in oil, however, artists who work in acrylics and pastels are also welcomed, as Steven is fluent in all mediums.


Additional Activities: Your week of immersion in acrylics/oil 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

Tuscan Landscape, photo by Lester Lefkowitz

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:

$3,695* p/p based on double occupancy; (non-painters $3,395)
Optional supplements:

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

*Early Bird Discount of $200 if registered by February 1, 2022

Tuscan window, photo by Chris Corradino

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 classes and critiques
  • Excursion to Siena
  • ½ day painting excursions to nearby plein air settings and hilltowns (Castellina, Radda, Volpaia…)
  • Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on first Saturday
  • Transfer to either bus/train station in Siena or return to 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

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 August 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.

Zephyr (Infinite), oil painting by Steven Walker

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.