Creativity Retreat in Tuscany

Join me for a Muses of Tuscany Retreat Fall 2017

October 2017


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.

Village on the Hill
Village on the Hill is where we’ll stay, a quiet village nestled between Florence and the Val’d Arno River.

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.

Villa Rossa by Dorothy Fagan
Villa Rossa, oil painting inspired by The Red House on the hill.

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!

Break of Day by Dorothy Fagan
Break of Day, prints available

But what else would I paint?

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.

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 uch a tiny watercolor postcard set my dreams to life.

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7 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

Creativity CAN be Nurtured

7 ways to do it

Let your color genie out.

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

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.

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.

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. 
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.

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!

Find my DIY Tuscan Landscape and Village Wall Art in

Coloring Poster French Landscape
Coloring Poster French Landscape

 CreativSOUP Studio

4.  Take Your Time & Breathe!  

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.
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 (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.

French Village Coloring Canvas
French Village Coloring Canvas

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!

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

7.  Try one of my DIY Tuscan Landscapes or Villages  

Mix and Match colors, images, and sizes to create your own unique wall art grouping with your own heart colors.

Get my CreativSOUP Adult Coloring & Creativity Book on Amazon.