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.
MEET THE MUSES
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 . . .
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.
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
ITALIAN COOKING LESSONS
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!
WALKING & TOURING
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.
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.
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.
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!
But what else would I paint?
I had no clue. After painting landscapes for forty years, I never dreamt of painting something like this!
My little story, Embrace the Mountain, explains what fueled my passion for painting.
A tiny snippet from my dream journal exposes how uch a tiny watercolor postcard set my dreams to life.
This technique is one I’ve used since I first began painting. The colored canvas peeks out between the colors to give vibrancy and a foundation for the finished painting.
2.Use Your 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!
Take a deep breath while you are across the room and feel how the colors are balanced on the canvas. 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.
5. Try Transparent Paint or Markers
You can see in my inspiration painting for Villa Fiore (bottom pic), 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.
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 canvas 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!