Watercolor Journal in Venice with Sharon Pitts

DATES: 09/30/2018 - 10/07/2018
PRICE: $2,795.00

I have been painting in watercolor since 1980. I began painting with acrylic on canvas and when I started to play with watercolor I was transfixed by its luminescence. From then on I focused on watercolor and experimented with its transparency and luminous color combinations. I continue to learn watercolor techniques that come from nature studies and from the fascinating accidents that often occur when working with watercolor. I have learned that working with and accepting these unexpected occurrences with watercolor are what give my work its vitality and originality.

Over the years I have exhibited my work in group and solo shows. My work is in many private and corporate collections.

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Several years ago I began teaching watercolor workshops, which have ranged from Prince Edward Island, Canada to Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico. Recently I have taught three wonderful painting holidays to the south of France.

These trips have been extremely valuable to develop a connection to new places to paint but mostly in terms of allowing students a new way to “see”. These trips have also become a major part of my inner self that I tap into every time I paint, wherever I am.   I know that this becomes a special benefit for every person who experiences the personal growth that comes from taking a painting workshop.

For further information feel free to email Sharon Pitts at paintergirl@comcast.net

Bring your watercolors to timeless and sensual Venice!

This class is currently full.  If you would like to be put on the waiting list, please contact us.

Immerse yourself in the centuries old charm of this city of the world by observing and painting the canals, eating and drinking like the local folks and giving yourself plenty of time to explore those intriguing corners and alleyways.

This workshop will encourage each student to capture his/her observations, thoughts, feelings and ideas about the experience of being in this unbelievable place. Venice probably shouldn’t even exist anymore – but it does!  Students will work with a book of watercolor paper to produce a personal journal of their trip. Each person will be encouraged to paint their impressions of Venice from intimate images of the colorful squares to the quiet back canals and hidden gardens.

“This is as good as it gets!”  2011 participant

Venice Grand Canal Cloudscape, photo by Andy Holtzman

Paintings will range from small sketches to complete works. There will be an emphasis on creative thinking to help students paint their own unique impressions of the area. We will incorporate our thoughts and feelings about our surroundings by making notes along with our paintings in our watercolor journals. We’ll have a studio for classes when we are not painting outdoors. Each person will return with a beautiful, personal painted record of their time in La Serenissima – Venice.

Venice canal, photo by Linda Mironti

Accommodations: The week will be spent in the a brightly renovated ex-convent near Campo Santo Stefano in the San Marco sector. When you register you can choose either a single or double room with ensuite bathroom in the complex where our studio is.  Rooms are clean and comfortable, but simply furnished.  We’ll enjoy traditional cuisine at local restaurants or prepared by our personal chef. It will be an ideal place to improve your painting skills.

General Activities: Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day followed by dinner with the group.  After that, most activities for the week will be organized around the individual workshops but all participants will come together for meals and events like the guided walking tour of selected highlights of Venice. Then, at the end of the week all the artists will stage an exhibit of their work to share their visual impressions of enigmatic Venice.

San Marco Cafe Tables, photo by Harvey Stein

Dinners: During the week we will have 5 dinners together. To experience a good cross-section of typical Venetian cuisine we will sample diverse neighborhood trattorie and Michael and Linda will host our group for two home-cooked meals with ingredients we find at the outdoor market. Two nights of the week you will be on your own to follow your nose to restaurants or concerts or the opera or whatever else might pique your curiosity. There is plenty of time for independent exploration.

Reflections, photo by Denise Riesen

Price: $2,795 p/p
Non-painter partners/friends are always welcome for a reduced fee of $2,495
Options: single room supplement – $475 (limited number available)


  • 7 nights at refurbished convent – double or single (with supplement) room with ensuite bathroom and shower (Note: departure is after breakfast on the final Sunday.  The last class activity will be Saturday evening.)
  • Daily buffet breakfast and 5 dinners at local restaurants, including wine
  • Workshop tuition, daily classes
  • Guided art history tour of Venice
  • Selected excursions with class

Price does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Workshop materials
  • Local transportation: vaporettos, water taxis

Salute, photo by Lester Lefkowitz

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.

For our week in Venice we’ll be staying at the renovated convent Domus Ciliota near Campo Santo Stefano in the San Marco sector of Venice.  It is a short walk to the Accademia Bridge or to Saint Mark’s Square.  There is an abundance of cafes, shops and restaurants nearby.

Rooms are single or double, clean and simply decorated.  Each room has a modern private bathroom with a shower.  There is a small lounge area on each floor.

Breakfast is served every morning in the dining room beside the sunlit courtyard.

Our studio for the week will be the spacious ex-church of the convent.

To arrive either you can fly directly into Venice or into Milan and then take the train to Venice. Specific arrival instructions will follow, but from the train station you can take the vaporetto #2 and get off at San Samuele.  From the airport you can take the Alilaguna ferry (Orange Line) and get off at the Sant’Angelo.  In either case, we’ll send you easy walking directions so you won’t get lost.  Remember that Venice is a walking city, so pack light because you will have to pull your luggage down the alleys and over the bridges – there’s just no getting around that.

Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day, followed by dinner with the group.

Departure is after breakfast on the final day.  If you are flying out that day you might try to arrange your flights for 11am or later to avoid getting up at the crack of dawn.

If you have time you might want to explore the Lakes district or enchanting towns like Bergamo or Verona, the site of Romeo and Juliet, before you arrive in Venice. This will give you plenty of time to recover from jet-lag before you settle in at the convent and start your workshop. Besides, Italy is not something that should be experienced in a hurry. Its charms need to seep into your skin while you linger at a café or amble through a piazza.

Venice, city, empire, wonder of the world, is one of the most visually stimulating places on Earth. Stripes of canals, Byzantine mosaics glittering in the sun, window cases of blown glass, leather-bound books, plumed masks, woodcut puppets. Each step through the crooked passages is a delight. Spend a week (or two) probing unknown corners. Stay long enough to lounge at a café. Get to know the old woman at the vegetable stall. Return to that tiny mask shop again and again. Photograph it. Artists and writers have been interpreting Venice since it was born in the lagoon centuries ago, from the Grand Canal to the tiny sculptures above the doorframes. Get lost in the sensuality.

Because Venice is such a visual feast that is a collection of its past, our program offers weeklong workshops in painting or photography. Participants coming from the different disciplines will capture and be stimulated by the passion of Venice.  Throughout the week the groups inspire one another to see in new ways and to experiment with their work in a city that has awed writers, painters, colonels and kings.

Bartosek-rialto sunset

Rialto Sunset by Cindy Bartosek