Art Retreats to Italy

I made the effort to invest in myself and my art practice last year and went on a painting retreat to Italy with Karen Bishop. It was a wonderful week of daily adventures, new sights, all-day painting and drawing. Every day we had excellent food–I mean every meal was amazing and lunches are 2-hours long. Despite wine and cocktails, I did several paintings over the week and took a lot of photos for future reference.

A small village on a hilltop with cobblestone streets and amazing views from every window.

The community is less that 1000 people so no worries about tourists or crowds. This is rural, outdoors, and laidback. Our Friday night art show included a visit from the mayor and a local reporter who captured the only thing I said well in Italian, “Verde, verde, verde!” (Green, green, green!).

Watercolour Paintings on Yupo created by Kim Fjordbotten Spring 2023

Making the trip was worth it. I highly recommend Hotel Leone in Montelparo because they take care of everything for you. Food, accommodations, busing, tours, and other outings. Spouses and friends are welcome to partake in the adventure and their price is adjusted if they do not take the course.

Next year, there are four Edmonton-based artists/instructors leading art retreats. So you can travel to an exotic location and carry a bit of home in your pocket. Or you can travel alone, or not be alone, because there will be like-minded people making art with you. The hotel is small, accommodating only about 15 beds so you will get ample attention from your instructor and close-up, over-the-shoulder view of art techniques. The studio space is practical and well-outfitted, and of course, there are great views just outside the door. And a cappuccino on the balcony is perfect!

Pick the Date or Pick Your Favourite Instructor

Learn more about each retreat by clicking on the image. Madeline runs the hotel and is responsive to questions. Contact her through their website (link at the end of this post). You can also reach out to the instructors with questions regarding the art instruction part of the retreat.

Painting Holiday in the Heart of Italy – all media

with David Shkolny

May 10th – 17th, 2024

Capturing the Italian Countryside En Plein Air Painting and Drawing – all media

with Oksana Zhelisko

May 17th to 24th, 2024

Capturing Italy in Textured Acrylics

with Samantha Williams – Chapelsky

October 27th to September 4th, 2024

Go with the Flow: An intuitive approach to en plein air watercolour painting

with Karen Bishop

November 25th October – 1st 2024


View all Painting Holidays

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