Creativity Retreat in Tuscany

Join me for a Muses of Tuscany Retreat Fall 2017

October 2017

Saturday, September 16 – Sunday, September 24, 2017  

Saturday, September 30 – Sunday, October 8, 2017

Florence Sunrise by Dorothy Fagan
Florence Sunrise


I invite you to join me and Chef Danilo Becattini for a very special retreat. We are here to inspire you ~ with art, heart and creative cooking ~ one-on-one.

Adopt the Heart and Soul of Tuscany
on this One-of-a-Kind Creative Retreat.

Tuscan retreat
Meet Danilo Becattini, chef and Dorothy Fagan, muse extraordinaire! He is the ever-ready bunny, wound up and living it!


Meet Danilo Becattini, chef and muse extraordinaire! During my retreat in 2015, the Becattini family adopted me. Their friendship, love, and the beautiful landscape reconnected me heart and soul.

Now Danilo and I are teaming up for a one-of-a-kind creative retreat in the heart of Tuscany in the fall of 2017.

Select from a complete menu from pasta making to painting, watercolor and oil to journaling dreams, exploring, writing, cooking . . .

Tuscany retreat
Plein air painting near Pelagio with a 360 degree panorama is amazing! And imagine a restaurant in the middle of it!

Whether your creativity lies in the kitchen, the wine cellar, the paint brush, or in your dreams; I know your creative spirit will enjoy our small group sessions, ala carte, in your own unique pairings.

The Perch by Dorothy Fagan
The Perch, detail
  • 8 Days & Nights
  • Mountain Top Tuscan Village
  • Private Creativity Sessions in Painting, Cooking, and/or Dream Journaling
  • Daily Demonstrations in Plein Air Oil,  Watercolor Journaling & Italian Cooking
  • Plein Air Oil Painting Lessons
  • Watercolor Journaling Lessons
  • Tuscan Pasta Making Lesson
  • Festive Tuscan Dinner Parties
  • Chianti Regional Wine Tastings
Tuscan retreat
Chef Danilo Becattini teaches Tuscan pasta making with his own gusto. You’ll not go home sad or hungry!


Everyone is an artist in Danilo’s Italian kitchen.

Danilo teaches Tuscan Pasta and Pizza making in small groups of three or four. Everyone is invited to share in their culinary creations.  I even learned to make Tiramasu, Yum!

tuscan retreat
Tiramasu with a twist


If you enjoy walking, there are trails to a nearby vineyard. Take the train to Florence for the afternoon. Or drive to a nearby monastery or vineyard. Assisi and Cinque Terre are also day trip distance and well worth the effort.
watercolor journaling
Watercolor journaling is a quick and easy way to capture inspiration while waiting for Chianti to be served!


With no one looking over your shoulder, try watercolor journaling or get expertise on plein air color mixing. Set your own direction, pace, and interests.

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy this inspiring retreat.

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How Tiny Watercolor Postcards sent My Dream Cascading Down a Mountain

Holiday by Dorothy Fagan

Can you feel the sheer joy and happiness radiating from Holiday?

I painted it from memory and a tiny watercolor postcard I painted during the first few days of my residency in France. It captures what I went to France to discover ~ new direction for my art and heart.

Avignon Market Square
This is what it looked like in the cafe in Avignon the day I painted the postcard.

How I got to that cafe table in the south of France with the love of my life ~ is still amazing to me.

When I applied for my residency in France, I knew in my heart I’d completed what I’d been doing for the last ten years. Painting earth, sky, water on the coastal marsh near my home in Virginia since 2000 ~  I was ready for something new!

watercolor postcard for Holiday
This is the 4″ x 6″ watercolor postcard I painted at the cafe while my husband and I waited for our baguettes and ham.

But what else would I paint?

I had no clue. After painting landscapes for forty years, I never dreamt of painting something like this!

Cascading Dreams
Cascading Dreams

My little story, Embrace the Mountain, explains what fueled my passion for painting.

A tiny snippet from my dream journal exposes how huge my motivation for painting had become. And how such a tiny watercolor postcard uncovered the first clue in setting my dreams cascading down the mountain.

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7 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity & Create Fabulous DIY Wall Art

Discover Your Own Heart Colors.

Create Fabulous DIY Wall Art.

Creativity CAN be nurtured! Try my best tried and true methods for nurturing creativity and letting your color genie out. Use my 7 methods of nurturing your Creative Spirit. Have fun with your own personal color harmonies. And create fabulous designer canvas wall decor.

Discover your Heart Colors with DIY wall art inspired by my original Tuscan Landscapes & Villages.

DIY Canvas Decor
Painting with acrylics, paint markers, or oils is fun with this bright Fiesta undertone. The bright Vermilion peeks out from between colors to pop snippets of vibrant energy into your finished painting ~ be sure not to cover it all up!
  1. Use Color Underpainting     The technique is  one I’ve used since I first began painting. Fresh out of art school, I created outline drawings on colored canvas. This is a technique I still use today. The colored canvas peeks out between the colors to give vibrancy and a foundation for the finished painting.
DIY Canvas Decor
Joyful Sundown is based on a watercolor painting I made during my Tuscan residency. Try using Lilac Gray for acrylics, oil, paint markers or pastels.
Tuscan Sunset
“Tramonto sul Oliveto” (Sunset on the Olive Grove) is the watercolor inspiration for the “Joyful Sundown” DIY CreativSOUP. It is featured in the CreativSOUP Coloring & Creativity Book as well.

2.  Use Your Own Heart Colors   To find out what your heart colors are, begin by selecting your favorite colors. Your heart knows which colors these are. Don’t listen to your head telling you what you SHOULD pick! Listen to your heart! Hint: Think of grabbing your favorite color blouse so you’ll feel wrapped in fabulous all day. 

3.  Take a Step Back   As you paint each color, take time to step back and view your piece from across the room. It helps to have your palette set up across the room from your painting. That way you will not forget to walk away and see your painting from a distance!

4.  Take Your Time & Breathe!   Take a deep breath while you are across the room and feel how the colors are balanced on the painting. Have a cup of tea and let the colors steep into your psyche. The momentary abandonment of what you thought you were doing will give your Creative Spirit an opening to insert inspiration in your flow. Hint: This is the MOST IMPORTANT one ~ don’t skip it or save it for later. This one can change everything! Do it now! I spend as much time in the studio looking at my paintings as painting.

Tuscan Village DIY Wall Art
Tuscan Village “Villa Fiore” in Snorkle Blue, Fiesta Red, Lilac Gray, Limpit Shell or Black & White.

5.  Try Transparent Paint or Markers   You can see in my inspiration painting for Villa Fiore, I used a white background with transparent watercolor. If you are using transparent paint or markers ~ thinly applied watercolors, acrylics, oils or gel pens ~  select one of the drawings on white or light gray paper. If you’ve never painted with transparent paint ~ try it ~ it could change your life!

6.  Try Opaque Paint or Markers   If you are using opaque paint or markers ~ heavily applied acrylics, paint markers, oils, pastels ~ try one of the colored drawings with contrasting lines. Imagine how your colors will look with the contrasting color peeking in between them! If you’ve never painted with opaque paint or markers, try it ~ it could change how you see the world!

  1.  See my collection of DIY Tuscan Landscape and Village Wall Art   Mix and Match colors, images, and sizes to create your own unique wall art grouping with your own personal heart colors.

Shop for DIY Tuscan Landscape and Village Wall Art in my CreativSOUP Studio

Tuscan Village DIY Wall Art
Watercolor painting inspiration for “Villa Fiore”