PLEIN AIR TUSCANY
Painting Journeys into the Heart of Tuscany
PAINTING, FOOD & PLACE
April 21st-April 28th 2022
October 9th-16th 2022
EIGHT SUPERLATIVE DAYS PAINTING IN TUSCANY
Imagine a week of exploring the backroads of Tuscany. A week dedicated to progression in your art. A week exploring the intimate hill towns of central Tuscany. Set in the sublime landscape of the Asciano, it is a landscape of great beauty. Your week is complete with fantastic and inventive meals, a bounty of wine, art history, and exploring the charming corners of Toscana.
Since 1986 Garrett has taken to exploring the most remote and obscure roads, valleys and towns of Tuscany. Garrett's appreciation of everything Tuscan is infectious. Soon you'll be throwing some new italian phrases around.
“If you can’t live longer, live deeper.”
— Italian proverb
The workshop includes seven days of instruction. There will be one to two painting sessions per day. The program size is intentionally limited to a maximum of 13 students. This is intended to create an intimate learning environment for participants to flourish no matter their level of experience.
Taught by artist and teacher Garrett Speirs with over 32 years of experience painting Tuscany. Garrett first traveled to the region in 1986 as a student and became an observer of "everything" Italian. He has returned to Tuscany to paint every year since.
Explore the backroads of Tuscany with plein air painters Garrett Speirs &
We start each day with an important painting concept. From practical ways to begin a painting to more complex concepts about using optical color in plein air painting. Demonstrations on painting clouds, how to include architecture in your landscapes, and color mixing.
Our locations are chosen from years of experience painting in the beautiful Tuscan hills. Sites change depending on the weather, wind direction, time of day, and subject we are interested in.
All our locations are just a short drive from our farm-stay within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Val D'Orcia. Two modern vans take us to our locations to paint and visit local towns.
Meet our energetic hosts Alessandro and Fabrizio. Their team of Vicenzo, Danela, Massimo, and Filippo will no doubt become friends. Their warmth is infectious and will leave a changed person then when you arrived.
Our historic property is set upon on of the most idyllic location, far from any paved road.
Rooms are country chic and provide characteristic atmosphere of a typical Tuscan home. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms.
-ahh the food
Our morning starts with a warm smile and "ciao" from Massimo. Massimo's fame comes from his beautifully crafted cappuccinos. Two magnificent tables are filled with a bounty of fresh baked goods, fresh local fruits, jams, honey, fresh yogurts and eggs to order.
Filippo is our young and gracious chef. So much creativity in a culture where the kitchen is so tied to tradition.
It's the little things that make each night an opera of flavors. Most of us have had amazing vanilla gelato before, but have you had vanilla gelato with olive oil drizzled on it, topped with cracked pink peppercorns? And the culinary surprises happen every night!
After many courses you will leave for the comfort of your bed. Readying for the next day of painting, observation, and adventure.
Bread is made weekly in the traditional wood oven by Filippo and Alessandro. Made as it has been for generations.
FROM FARM TO TABLE
HYPER - LOCAL INGREDIENTS
Ingredients here are the very definition of farm to table, "hyper local food." The pasta is made with wheat they grew, the meat is meat they butchered and raised, the eggs are from 25 feet away from the kitchen, the honey they serve are from hives they own. All presented with care and love.
Evenings begin with aperitivo & amuse bouche
And ends predictably with a perfect multi-coarse meal
Filippo and his professional team present Tuscan food at its best. Fresh ingredients combined with creative and adventurous courses combine to make dinner one of the highlights of the day. The multi course meal usually leaves us raising the white flag, "I can't possibly eat more!" Then dessert makes its tempting entry and the white flag of retreat is withdrawn.
A WORRY FREE WEEK
SO WHAT'S INCLUDED?
Accommodations for 7 nights at one of Tuscany’s most beloved places: a fully-staffed, historic farm-estate. Comfortable, stylish rooms all with private bathroom. The hospitality is next-level.
7 days of gentle guided instruction from Garrett Speirs. Typically two painting sessions a day at handpicked and amazing locations in the Tuscan countryside. Daily critiques and discussions on painting plein air.
All sumptuous, amazing meals for the week except for two lunches out. Tim Mosby delivers wonderfully crafted lunches to you in the field while you paint. Wine & beverages are included with lunch and dinner!
Daily guided excursions to villages, abbeys, historic sites, famous paintings, and many of the region's most beautiful towns. Historical discussions are included for those who are interested in art history.
Two vans will transport us to our painting locations and the gorgeous towns for shopping and strolling between painting sessions.
Pick up at Rome Fiumicino Airport on April 21, 2022 at 10am. Please book your flight accordingly. If necessary consider staying near Rome airport the night before our pick up date.
On our journey to Tuscany we will make a stop in the fantastic Medieval town of Orvieto. Our time there will include lunch in a Michelin recommended Trattoria and an interpreted visit to the famous Duomo with the incredible Last Judgment in the San Brizio Chapel. What a highlight for the first day!
Community painting materials: such as select oil colors and acrylic paints, paper towels, odorless turpentine, and baby wipes.
A gratuity for the staff at our farm-stay. You're welcome to give a little more if you choose.
Advise with travel plans and what best to bring, a pre-trip welcome folder with art terms, formulas for painters, and Italian essentials for visitors to Italy.
A pre trip "orientation" at my studio in Santa Ynez, for those who can attend.
Individual pre-trip drawing lessons and instructions done remotely with each student. Post trip critiques available for students upon return.
AND WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
Airfare to Italy
One lunch out (and lunch out if its a rainy day)
Return transportation to airport
April 21-28, 2022
October 9-16th 2022
Maximum number of retreat participants: 13
All prices are per person.
Superior Room Double occupancy with private bath - $3340
Superior Room Single occupancy with private bath - $3940
A $900 deposit is required to confirm your spot on the retreat.
The remaining balance is due by February 23, 2021.