Plein Air Painting in Tuscany
Kathy Rennell Forbes is an accomplished international artist and art instructor. Her representational paintings are in private and corporate collections around the world, to include the French Olympic Committee in Paris, the Hotel Intercontinental in Buckhead-Atlanta, Telstra in Melbourne Australia, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Atlanta and Universal Studios in Los Angeles. She currently teaches art classes in the Atlanta area (Chastain Arts Center, Kennesaw State University, Studio Z) and conducts travel art workshops around the US (Georgia, Florida, Maine, Tennessee) and Internationally (Cuba, France, Italy, Spain).
The artist recently conducted watercolor demonstrations at the High Museum of Art and Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Kathy creates, instructs and exhibits her oil and watercolor paintings at ‘Studio Z’ in Atlanta’s Westside Arts District.
You can follow Kathy on FaceBook at: https://www.facebook.com/KathyRennellForbesArtist
Simplifying Your Landscape Painting
We will focus on how to see and transfer the gorgeous Tuscan scenery onto your paper or canvas. We will focus on shapes, values and composition with several thumbnails, before we begin painting in the medium of your choice.
Kathy will conduct daily watercolor demonstrations and give individual guidance to each student. She will offer both individual and group critiques, depending on your preference. Your painting studies, sketches and photos will provide continued painting inspiration back home. All levels are welcome. Non-painting participants are also welcome at a discounted rate.
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 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.
Price: $2,800* p/p based on double occupancy; (non-painters $2,500)
- $550 for single room-limited availability [There are no more single rooms available.]
- $250 p/p for Jr. Suite
* Early Bird Special – $100 discount if you register by November 1, 2016.
- Shared double room in restored monastery
- 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 (Monteriggioni, Radda, Volpaia…)
- Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on arrival Saturday
- Transfer to bus/train station in Siena on final day
Does Not Include:
- 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.
Borgo San Fedele
— The Tuscan Renaissance Center is located at San Fedele – a restored 12th century monastery floating in the Chianti hills —
The Tuscan Renaissance Center 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…
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
The Tuscan Renaissance Center 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.
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.
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:
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.
Food – cucina 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.