Watercolor and Oil Painting in the Chianti Hills

DATES: 06/03/2023 - 06/10/2023
LOCATION: Tuscany, San Fedele
PRICE: $3,595.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS:
VISIT WEBSITE
(Susan Blackwood)


VISIT WEBSITE
(Howard Friedland)
Susan Blackwood
Howard Friedland

Born in Chicago, Susan Blackwood comes from at least six generations of artists. Her family history has been dated back to Rembrandt`s parents. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University and extended her watercolor studies with Irving Shapiro at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Susan has studied with nationally known artists: Morgan Weistling, Matt Smith and Carolyn Anderson.

Read Susan’s blog post Cocoons – Artists Chrysalis in Oil Painters of America blog.


Howard Friedland – Born in Bronx, New York. Howard has lived in Miami, Florida, Albuquerque and Taos, New Mexico, Bozeman, Montana and now resides and works in Bella Vista, Arkansas with his wife, artist Susan Blackwood. 

He studied fine art and commercial art at New York’s High School of Music and Art and attended college at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science in the department of Art and Architecture in New York’s Greenwich Village. From there, he became an Art Director at major advertising agencies on Madison Avenue in New York.

Howard has painted and taught extensively in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Arizona, New Jersey, Kansas, Florida, Mexico, France, Italy, England, Spain, Portugal and China.

Read More

More about Susan…

Blackwood started painting watercolors professionally in 1972. After 32 years as an award winning watercolorist, in 2003 Susan added oil painting to her list of mediums. Since then, her oils have also been heartily received by patrons, galleries and museum shows, winning many awards. In 2010 she received the Best of Show at the American Women Artists National Juried Show in Dallas, Texas. In 2012, for her achievements in oil paintings, Blackwood was awarded Signature Membership in Oil Painters of America.

Selected Awards and Honors: 


  • Best of Show American Women Artists National Juried Exhibition
  • Awarded Signature Membership in Oil Painters of America
  • Best of Show WomanArt West
  • Best of Show Tucson Art, Tucson, Arizona
  • Best of Show Vail Art, Colorado
  • Best of Show Boulder Art, Boulder, Colorado
  • Best of Show, Castle Rock Art,
  • Artist of the Year, Fort Collins, Colorado

In 2010 Somerset Fine Art selected Blackwood to be a featured artist and began publishing and marketing nationally and internationally, giclees of her oil paintings of children.

For almost 40 years, Blackwood has taught and painted watercolors and oils in colleges and workshops around the country, overseas in Pakistan, the Bahamas, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. “I love to paint and I love to teach! It is a thrill for me to help artists find their own voice in any medium”.

Blackwood and her husband, artist Howard Friedland, have both been featured in the Master Painters of the World section of the International Artist Magazine and frequently featured in many of the National Art Magazines.

Currently her paintings are in 7 galleries across the U.S., in addition to both museum and corporate collections.


Artist’s Statement:  In the midst of a clambering third world market place in 1975, unable to speak the language…I became aware of the importance of the common bonds that universally unite us all. The necessity to communicate these visions, feelings and emotions became paramount. Art became my language.
I have chosen as my subject matter the simple, beautiful touching moments that are common both in nature and in the life of every person. These are the moments that often pass without notice and are the very ones that lend continuity to our lives and contribute to its richness and depth. These moments are the language I use when I paint.

As in any meaningful conversation, the structure of the message must be clear. Thus, my color, brush strokes, textures and composition are carefully chosen, like essential words, to convey to the viewer the message that I wish to impart. My studies of classical art techniques began when I was a child and will always continue as I strive for better clarity and higher achievement.
As words are carefully chosen for a poem, I, too, limit my brush strokes and detail to relay just enough to give the viewer my thoughts and involve their imagination. I purposely leave areas of my paintings in mystery for the viewer to become engaged in the story. I strive for each painting to be a poem rather than a novel. Some of my loose paintings are like haiku poems that are simple impressionistic vignettes. While some of my paintings are like sonnets, more spelled out in detail. Through the medium that I have chosen, I strive continually to develop a rich and colorful dialog in a language that will reach any heart.

 


HFriedland-Painting in VeniceArtist’s Statement: “The challenge for me is always to see the world with fresh eyes and respond spontaneously to the beauty before me. It’s possible to lose the impact of my initial vision out of doors due to the continually changing light. For this reason I strive to capture as quickly and accurately as possible the visual sensations that I have of the subject. I study the color relationships and try to note them as best as I can. Back at my studio I use these “on the spot” studies for larger paintings. I also take some photos for additional information, however I’m careful not to copy the photograph (too much information could dilute my first impression). Therefore, I also have to rely on my memory to recall the mood that I wanted to express. Some painters prefer to render a picture tightly to a literal level of finish. However I prefer to paint only enough for the viewer to get a clear vision of what the subject is and suggest the rest. When the painting is viewed close up you can see the many colorful brush strokes, as you step further away the brush strokes disappear and your eye pulls the whole painting together. That is what the magic of painting is about for me. This allows the viewer to use his or her imagination and participate in the painting”.

Recent Awards and Honors:

2019
Invited to join several prominent Chinese American and American painters to paint and exhibit in China as a cultural art representative from America
2018
Master Status OPAM Honored by Oil Painters of America  
2017
Awards Judge at Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition
Panelist on Group Discussion at American Impressionist Society Show
2016
Second Place and Artists Choice Awards, American Impressionist Society National Show, Howard Mandville Gallery, Kirkland WA.
Demonstrator/Lecturer, Plein Air Convention – Tucson, AZ.
Honorable Mention, Oil Painters of America National Show Paint -out
2015
Honorable Mention, Oil Painters of America National Show Paint-out
Finalist  – Plein Air Salon –  Dec./Jan. On-line Juried Show
Best of Show Award Signature Division, Oil Painters of America Fall On-line Showcase 
Demonstrator/Lecturer, Plein Air Convention, Main Stage, Monterey CA.  
2014
Finalist, Raymar 6th Annual Fine Art Competition     
2013
Finalist, Raymar 7th Annual Fine Art Competition – April
Best of Show Plein Air Sunset and Animal Painting Awards – Oil Painters of America Salon, Crooked Tree Art Center
2012
William J. Schultz Founder’s Award of Excellence, American Impressionist Society 
Finalist, Raymar 6th Annual Fine Art Competition  – November, September, August, July, June and April
2011
Finalist, Raymar 5th Annual Fine Art Competition
Best of Show Landscape, Icons of the West Show
Judges’ Honorable Mention, Salon International –  Greenhouse Gallery
2010, 2009
Jurors Top 50 Award, Salon International – Greenhouse Gallery 
Best of Show Gold Medal National Award of Excellence, Oil Painters of America National Show 
2007, 2005
Best of Show for Signature Member, Oil Painters of America, Central Regional Show – Southwind Gallery, Topeka, KS.

Additional Honors

Howard has also been awarded the Best Landscape medal at the “Icons of the West” show at the Dana Gallery in Missoula Montana. He and his wife and their studio in Bozeman Montana have been featured in numerous art magazine articles including the June/July 2015 issue of Plein Air Magazine, Art of the West Magazine and American Artist Studio Edition. Howard has painted, taught and exhibited extensively in numerous states in the U.S. as well as Mexico, France, Italy, England, Spain,  Portugal, Croatia and China. Friedland’s work is featured in many private and corporate collections around the world including museums in China. Howard was invited to join renowned Chinese American artist Zhiwei Tu and several prominent American and Chinese master painters to paint and exhibit large plein air paintings created in China in 2011 and 2014.
In 2019 Howard was invited again to paint in China. This time with a different group of Chinese American and American artists to paint and exhibit in China. The group consisted of 10 plein air painters including Jason Situ, Mian Situ, Calvin Liang, Scott Burdick, Ken Cadwallader, Lin Zheng, Alfred Tse, & Jay Hiangyuan.
He has a teaching DVD, “Painting the Landscape Loosely but Accurately” released this year from Bella Muse Productions. A list of awards and accolades can be provided by email: hfriedland@q.com

 

Susan and Howard will offer 2 concurrent painting sessions throughout the program

Click here for a video about the workshop prepared by Susan and Howard.


Susan’s sessions: 

The Heart and Soul of Your Paintings or “Make ‘em Cry” 

Responding Emotionally with Paint
– Watercolor and Oils – 

Morning Delivery by Susan Blackwood

My passion is to put my feelings into my paintings using strong values, color harmonies, clear compositions and by expressing a feeling of light in paint. I want to pass these concepts and techniques on to you, by teaching you to identify your emotional response to any subject and then how to express it with your medium.  You will learn to interpret each subject according to how you personally respond internally. Through plein air painting, we will explore a variety of techniques and approaches to starting a painting. Design, composition and color harmonies will be taught in order to strengthen your paintings and take them to the next level. I will be teaching watercolors and oils. Each medium have their own special plein air requirements and techniques. Whether you are new to drawing and painting or a seasoned experienced artist, I will also teach you to sketch your way through Tuscany with exercises designed to strengthen your drawing skills and fill your sketchbooks with memories of Italy. All levels and painting mediums are welcome, though I will be painting in watercolors and in oils. Once you have reserved your spot, a complete list of suggestions of traveling equipment and supplies will be sent to you.


Howard’s sessions:

“What to do Between Glasses of Wine”
or “Grab your gear and lets capture the Light of Tuscany”
– Painting in oils –

The Tuscan Valley near Castellina by Howard Friedland

In this workshop we will explore the landscape, villages and light of this classic region of Italy to find wonderful motifs for our canvases. The hardest part will be choosing from the myriad opportunities of subjects available to us. There will certainly be “eye candy” in every direction just begging to be painted.  Whether you are an experienced painter or are opening up your first tube of oil paint, I will work with you at whatever level of experience you have. You will learn the “tried and true” techniques that have been used by the best landscape painters in history. Discovering the unique Tuscan color palette will be high on our agenda. I’ll teach you how to create a sense of place and time that will move the viewer. We will achieve this goal by focusing on the beauty of line, tone and color.

Chapel Entrance, oil painting by Howard Friedland

My personal approach tends to be more on the loose Impressionistic style of painting. No matter if you love to paint “Realism” or prefer to be more of an “Impressionist” or even an “Expressionist” there is a lot of information that will be offered to take you to the next level of proficiency. If you prefer to paint on your own without my input that’s OK too! Practical hints about the best lightweight outdoor painting equipment and materials to travel with will be sent to you before you travel. I’m looking forward to painting magical landscape with you – then let’s have a glass of Chianti to celebrate!


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:

$3,795* p/p based on double occupancy ($3,495 for non-painting partners)
Optional supplements:

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

*Early Bird discount of $200 if registered by March 1, 2023.


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 or bus/train station in Siena 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.

Howard painting in the Tuscan vineyards

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

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.