Press Release: See Inside the Creative Process


Tuscany Retreat Inspires Paintings and Passion for Artist Dorothy Fagan

See inside the creative process as watercolor sketches are transformed into large oil paintings.
Nov 17-19, 24-26, Dec 1-3
10am ~ 4pm

Inviting creative muses to join her on a retreat in Tuscany, Fagan sought to absorb the Tuscan lifestyle into her art and life. She engaged friends in sharing their views of Tuscany. The result can be seen in the warmth and vigor of her newest paintings, vibrantly colored landscapes painted with jewel tones, pastels, and earthy textures.

She returned to Tuscany this fall with more friends. The group participated in traditional Tuscan cooking lessons with Chef Danilo Becattini, plein air painting, watercolor journaling, poetry writing, drawing, hiking, and visiting artisan studios.

“The heart connection with others opens the channel of creativity. Even without language, we were all moved deeply by 88 year-old Dario and his wife Rena. His sparkling blue eyes translated into sparkling turquoise skies in my paintings. It’s magical how people can bring out the rainbow of colors in each other.”

Dorothy Fagan
Dorothy Fagan will show how small watercolor sketches and plein air paintings are translated into large oil paintings on Sunday, November 19 at 1:00pm.

Oil paintings and watercolors from the retreat are on display this winter at Fagan’s Hallieford studio by the pond while she works on her book, “Muses of Tuscany.” Visitors are invited to see how these small watercolor sketches and plein air paintings are translated into large oil paintings. Fagan will present a studio talk and invite questions on Sunday, November 19 at 1:00pm.

The Muses of Tuscany exhibit and talk is open to the public free of charge Nov. 17-19, 24-26, and Dec. 1-3 from 10am – 4pm at the artist studio, 110 Skipjack Lane, Cobbs Creek. For more information call 804-366-0990 or visit

Dorothy Fagan’s Studio is part of the newly forming Middle Peninsula Artisan Trail Network, which seeks to enrich the quality of life for people in Mathews, Gloucester, Middlesex, and Essex counties. For info about the Virginia Artisan Trail visit


Studio Exhibition & Sale Opens November 18

50 Watercolors 50 Oil Paintings inspired by my retreat in Tuscany

Living in the tiny hilltop village of Poggio Alla Croce for two months, I have been able to focus on painting. Exploring color for the pure pleasure of feeling its flow and vibrancy is a treat. I hope you will join me in my studio in Cobbs Creek, Virginia. Come experience the color and joy of a retreat in Tuscany!

Vineyard Vista c 2017 Dorothy Fagan
Vineyard Vista from my Balcony, watercolor, 5″ x 8″
Balcony View c 2017 Dorothy Fagan
Balcony View, watercolor, 5″ x 8″
Lago Maggiore, watercolor, 5" x 8"
Lago Maggiore, watercolor, 5″ x 8″
Val d'Arno Vista c 2017 Dorothy Fagan
Val d’Arno Vista, watercolor, 9″ x 12″
Two Quilts, c 2017 Dorothy Fagan
Two Quilts, oil on linen, 14″ x 11″
Red House, c2017 Dorothy Fagan
La Rossa Casa, oil on linen, 14″ x 11″
cloud painting c2017 Dorothy Fagan
Saturday Perfection, oil on panel, 8″ x 10″

Live to Paint

Colors of the lights over Florence twinkle. Like a jeweled necklace, she sparkles along the western horizon. I stand with my coffee in the dark studio trying to memorize the hues in the sky above her.

How would she even fit on a canvas, I wonder? The mountains embracing her stretch as far as I can see. Up to the moon in the south, tree silhouettes stilletto the ridges.

A few low wispy clouds catch golden light from her glow. Hanging above them, a shadowy mist.

When I first came to Tuscany I painted to live. Now I live to paint.