You and Me in Italy - Bella Toscana - Next September 2020

Hey, come on over, I’m saving you a seat!! You’ll love it here!

Hey, come on over, I’m saving you a seat!! You’ll love it here!

Do you have certain favorite movies, like “Under the Tuscan Sun”, “Letters to Juliet”, “Room With a View” perhaps, that make you dream of living in Italy? ….dreamed of being a painter in Italy? Perhaps it is impossible to pack up your house and move to Italy permanently, for ten whole days next year, you CAN do this!

What? You say you can't draw or paint? That's why I'm there, I can teach you, even if you are a brand new beginner. Even if you haven't made an attempt since grade school when Miss Gulch told you to "give it up". If you already have painting experience, allow me to be your guide and mentor to grow your skills.

I've been invited to teach in Italy next year - 2020 September 2-12th are the dates. My friend Lisa Statkus's travel & paint business is: Lisa's Gryphon Art and Travel https://www.lisastatkus.com

I met Lisa during a 2013 workshop in France where she was working on the staff at another art travel business (and she bought one of my oil paintings during that trip). At that time she was in the process of establishing this business. I spent a month teaching in France this summer (2019) with Lisa as our coordinator extraordinaire! She is awesome to work with - and knows this area of Italy very well from her previous years of staying there.

Our location is in the beautiful and inspiring area of Tuscany in Italy, where we’ll be staying in a villa in the village of Contignano, within the Val d’Orcia area of Siena!

“Knock, knock”; “Who’s there?” (your name goes here)….come and join us in Italy next September 2020!!!

“Knock, knock”; “Who’s there?” (your name goes here)….come and join us in Italy next September 2020!!!

I’ll get you started on your art journey, or grow your watercolor sketchbook skills if you are an experienced artist. I’ve started off many brand new beginners (who are now becoming experienced artists) and helped experienced artists expand their skill sets in valuable ways. I truly love getting to work with everyone in our small groups to grow this love of painting….and love of life! Lisa, our trip planner, and I coordinate my lessons with our touring so that each day is enhanced by seeing the wonders of this incredible place and recording it watercolor and ink in our journals!

My ‘superpower’ is teaching others how to simplify complicated things like this view. How do you fit a VAST view like this into a ‘little bitty sketchbook’? I’ll show you how! You’ll come home with your best travel treasure EVER- your own watercolor sketchbook - made by YOU. You’ll love getting to look at it again and again….unlike many of our photos, that sit in our phones or computers. Teaming up with Lisa, our trips are life-changers!

My ‘superpower’ is teaching others how to simplify complicated things like this view. How do you fit a VAST view like this into a ‘little bitty sketchbook’? I’ll show you how! You’ll come home with your best travel treasure EVER- your own watercolor sketchbook - made by YOU. You’ll love getting to look at it again and again….unlike many of our photos, that sit in our phones or computers. Teaming up with Lisa, our trips are life-changers!

Among the places we’ll visit is Pienza, a lovely, small walkable village where they shot a lot of the film series, “The Medici”, starring Dustin Hoffman. This is close to where they filmed “Gladiator” with Russell Crowe….amazing views from the city walls, and lots of nice, lovely shops for things….and cheeses!!

only in Italy!!

only in Italy!!

We’ll also visit Radicofani and the restored castle, the first Medici roadhouse, and the charming village there. Radicofani is the area where Ghino del Tacco lived and roamed. He was known as Tuscany’s own Robin Hood.

Montepulciano is known for it’s great wines, which we’ll visit once (or twice). We’ll visit the beautifully restored church of San Bagno, as well as make a visit to the stunning private Mediterranean garden of a friend of Lisa’s close by! I love having that kind of access….and being in a small group allows us to do things like that! I’ve found my travel is so much more meaningful when I get to know people who actually live and grew up in the area I’m visiting. It really strengthens my connection to these places.

An artistic delight awaits on market day!! Your eyes and taste buds will be delighted! There is something so wonderful about produce grown in good soil!

An artistic delight awaits on market day!! Your eyes and taste buds will be delighted! There is something so wonderful about produce grown in good soil!

Other places on our agenda:

  • the ancient Roman baths where Caesar visited in Bagno Vignoni and we’ll visit San Quirico d’Orcia.

  • perhaps we’ll take a dip in the natural hot springs of Bagno San Filipi, a hidden treasure.

  • a beautiful, serene monastery near Montalcino…possibly with a concert of Gregorian chant.

  • Etruscan ruins in Chiusi.

  • Bagnoregio, a hilltop village of great charm and views.

oh my, could you imagine this as your daily commute?

oh my, could you imagine this as your daily commute?

Orvieto with it’s amazing cathedral holds some of Lucca Signorelli’s most incredible work. But the town also has good shopping and eating….and - underground caves! The Sienna region, where they run the famous Palio horse race every year, is a great place for shopping, especially for leather. We’ll make a stop at the art supply store, too!

Traveling light as a painter means there is likely to be room in your suitcase for other treasures to bring home.

Traveling light as a painter means there is likely to be room in your suitcase for other treasures to bring home.

Our home away from home is a villa in the village of Contignano (roughly 200 people). It’s been in the family for three generations, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There’s a swimming pool (so bring your suit). Great vista views from the village to behold…as well as territorial views from the villa and pool. The farm specializes in grape, olive, and grain production. Having breakfast on the terrace is a great way to start your day.

Village of Contignano behind Giuseppe’s olive orchard. Oh I’m seeing so many painterly views!

Village of Contignano behind Giuseppe’s olive orchard. Oh I’m seeing so many painterly views!

If you see yourself here in this place, like I do….you’ll definitely want to know all the rest of the details, including, what’s included, what I’m teaching, price and all of that. First, I’d like you to hear from the attendees at our two sessions in France this summer (scroll down to below). Then I want you to mull this over carefully, I want you to get out your planner, your calendar, and mark those dates on your calendar (September 2-12, 2020), and then…I’m going to let my subscribers in on a special, “Black Friday in September” deal that opens this Friday evening and runs for 48 hours. It starts just after midnight at 12:01 Sept. 28th and runs through 11:59pm Sept. 29th. The discounted amount is $500 less on a double occupancy rate per person for paid in full registrations and $400 less on a single paid in full. This amount represents about half the cost of airfare! So this weekend is your chance to claim your spot. Here’s where to go for all of Lisa’s travel site, where to register to travel to Tuscany with me.

-Roxanne has a gentle and joyous way about her that is contagious. She shares her painting experience generously and in a way that painters of all levels can grasp. I feel I’ve made a lifelong friend. She is a jewel in both personality and in her teaching skills. Her way of making me feel valued and guiding me in learning was such an encouraging experience. -Barbara G. TX

- My expectations have been exceeded! The balance of lessons at the chateau and on location, touring time, and meals have been expertly achieved. Lisa, you have a gift for bringing people together and providing them with a creative environment and the opportunity to create without us having to be concerned about anything. Painting and touring each day, then being served a beautifully prepared meal made me feel like I was begin given a gift…no distractions, just create like we were made to do. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us. - B. G., TX

-Roxanne is the best teacher I’ve had. She is wonderful, very calming and explains things so well. This trip and all it has contained has been the greatest blessing to me. - Vicki R., TX

- Roxanne has a gift of teaching well. Her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge were contagious. She never hesitated to share, explain, or encourage each one of us. She was also able to meet each student where they were in experience and encourage growth in their quest to improve. She was also able to explain different techniques in a manner that the student could grasp, explaining “why” as well as the “how”. Her attitude is loving and caring, NOT arrogant or condescending. She laughed at her own mistakes and showed us how to fix them, which is invaluable! Roxanne never hesitated to share/teach even on our excursions. Cynthie H., TX

- Roxanne’s lessons were well-thought-out and presented in such a way, that even though I’ve studied with her before, I was still learning new things and ways to improve. My favorite thing was the format of the lessons interspersed with our day trips. -Deb D., CT

-Roxanne is exceptional. Every time I asked her for help on a drawing, she not only answered me specifically, but went on to explain the principles involved so the knowledge could be applied on other artwork. -Jennifer C., TX

-Roxanne is a natural teacher, kind, supportive and uses wonderful word illustrations. I’ve learned a tremendous amount but also realize how much more I can learn. Roxanne has planted the seed from which I hope to grow. Karen H., TX

-Roxanne is a warm, supportive and gifted teacher. As a beginning artist, I would recommend any workshop she teaches. Her lessons are designed for success. For experienced artists, Roxanne shares her considerable knowledge in a variety of interesting ways. There is something for everyone! Lisa is a delightful wonder woman! Every aspect of this workshop was carefully thought out and executed with perfection. - Karen H., TX

-Roxanne’s lessons were broken down into digestible portions. They were very clear and easy to follow. She gave us “tools” that we can take home with us and use when we get home - the learning will be ongoing after the trip is over. MH, TN

-Thank you for the best travel experience of my life - and you can quote me!! I loved the entire experience! I adore Roxanne! She really is one of the best painting teachers I have studied with! Always encouraging, and I so appreciate the one-on-one attention. MAH. -CT

I’ll send out an email reminder on Friday, so you don’t forget. Also, if you have a friend that might be interested, please pass on the word, they can sign up for my email notifications, too - to get the latest news on classes and painting trips.