Denise Tipka in front of her works during the last crit.

Another participant from Minnesota. Denise Tipka was the “sponge” of this Fall Studio Italia painting workshop. She listened, tried everything; she was open-minded and she let go… and her paintings took flight. Upon my return to North America, I wrote to her, “the secret is to paint every day, even if it is five minutes a day”. She is a promising artist, and we are looking to seeing her again, but in Provence in 2024. (Walk the Arts)

I will never think of art the same way again!

by Denise Typka

Already a month since my return from a fun-filled art-learning experience in Tuscany, Italy!  The workshop went far beyond what I even imagined, or hoped it would be. The roughly eight hours per day for most days of art instruction gave me a new perspective on my art:  where I was and where I wanted to be, the past and the future. But, together as a group, we were living in the present.

From the very beginning, Yves, our instructor, carefully watch over my canvas, from the sketch to the painting process. All the time he told me what I was doing right, and what I could do differently. His nudging pushed me out of my comfort zone into a new way of both “seeing” the gorgeous Tuscan landscape and “applying” the paint to my canvas. 

During our daily plein-air painting sessions, he inspired me to break out of my overworked, detailed painting style and to momentarily abandon my paintbrush. Who knew using a palette knife could not only be a fun tool for painting but also would allow me to create my unique painting style! The same picture painted with a brush, then repainted using only a knife was a giant learning leap for me.

Yves’s art history and theory lessons sprinkled during the workshop reinforced the painting instruction and gave context to our group discussions. Learning which artist developed which technique and during which time frame certainly gave me a new perspective of art appreciation. This helped me tremendously during our Uffizi visit in Florence; I finally understood the famous paintings at which I was looking. Now, I can differentiate a Trecento painting from a Seicento (Baroque) work of art.

And let’s talk about the food! Monica’s gracious hosting with her extraordinary four-course meals (with all the wine) were so delicious that, upon my return to Minnesota, I immediately bought two copies of her cookbook. Her wide array of dishes gave me the opportunity of new culinary experiences. I can truly say I enjoyed everything she prepared! Moreover, she made the house we were staying in feel like home and we were all glad to return to it. At the end of every day, we were all wondering what Monica was going to serve for dinner; what an exciting anticipation!

Walk the Arts (Yves and Monica), because you created such a welcoming atmosphere, we students were very relaxed with each other and became friends.  We shared many conversations ¾some related to art and some not.  We laughed a lot together and more importantly, we learned about each other’s art and gained mutual admiration. Even the spouses who were not art students were considered part of the group and gave their honest and valuated opinions at the end of the session during our “Crit”.

Thank you so much for a truly life-changing experience for me.  I will never think of art in the same way again!



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Who are we

We all make art! It is part of culture. It is deeply rooted in human nature as a way of communicating with others. We all need to tell our stories because it is stories that link us all. We are all one, one creative mind! Though, all unique and equipped with unique ways of expressing ourselves. We live in constant search of that unique liberating voice. At Walk the Arts we aim to facilitate our art makers to explore new territories. Our painting classes and art history trips on three continents are meant to be rounded art experiences among small groups of like-minded adults. We offer an environment that fosters creativity. As we always say, art as religion is just a matter of faith. This blog is about living fully the experience of art, about finding our single artistic path, about the joy of art-making. We believe that making art accessible to all will lead to a betterment of our society.


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What is “metaphysics”?


Since the advent of History, there has always been metaphysics: the Greek, the medieval, the rational, the modern. Each of these metaphysics answers to the other. The metaphysics of Plotinus responds to that of the Stoics, as that of Spinoza responds to that of Descartes, etc. (p. 80). Metaphysics is a deep reflection on things.

I return to visual art, especially to the matter of the intelligible aspect of painting: doesn’t Monet’s thought meet that of Turner, Picasso’s to Cézanne? Doesn’t Monet’s thought respond to Turner’s, Picasso’s to Cézanne’s? Shouldn’t we feed our own work of art from a greater one, which has withstood the test of time? Would metaphysics be evolutive? Would my current work necessarily prevail over the one of yesteryear?

Are We Jugglers of Life?


I am currently in Colombia on a beach, far away from the crowds because of the pandemic. And every year that I am on that beach, Picasso’s painting Les pauvres au bord de la mer (title in French) comes to my mind. More than a century passed by, and we still witness the same inequities. I keep thinking about them, the reason I wrote, during the pandemic, a novella on our society today’s conditions of which I am sharing this dialogue.

“Perseverance” is the key to all successful artists


Perseverance is the key to all successful artists.

I always ask my painting students to memorize … “Until then, we will not rest or falter. Hand in hand with others thirsting for a better life, no matter how long it takes, regardless of support or persecution, we will joyfully respond to a savage need for liberation”.

Studio Italia, a painting vacation with…


If our art workshops focused mostly on painting techniques, then why traveling to Italy and spending money when you could stay at home and learn everything you need through the Internet for free?

We can’t wait to see you again!


Travelling to Italy to paint and eat! This is what we want! We are optimistic about our upcoming art workshop in Tuscany, Studio Italia 2021 (October 1–10).
In a nutshell; we cannot wait to meet everyone, to see you again, to have this morning coffee together in Tuscany, to do art as a group, in brief, to fully enjoy life all around a gourmet meal with excellent wines.

Art and Neurosciences


When a subject becomes familiar, the brain activity shuts down like when viewing a lovely chickadee painting…

Can we talk about the neuroscience of art? This is the question that French neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux addresses in his beautiful book The Beauty in the Brain or La Beauté dans le Cerveau (Odile Jacob, 2016). Prof. Changeux describes how the human brain behaves when making or contemplating a work of art. To make a long story short, he argues that the neural bases of aesthetic pleasure are the product of the link between cognitive and emotional brain functions, in other words, the harmony between reason and emotion. Moreover, he gives some tips on how artists can maximize the impact of their works on their audience.

Evolving in art is just a matter of faith; only believe!


We refrain from teaching painting techniques easily found on the Net. We prefer taking the necessary time (36 hours) to fully involve the participant in reflecting on her or his art — including all levels, all media […]
Rest assured that having attended one of our online classes, you will be more confident in taming the landscape in your own way while on a plein-air painting workshop.

May I see the instructor’s works?


So why do we attend a painting workshop In Tuscany, Provence or South America? We attend a workshop to learn from each other, to share our passion, to live an art experience and to enjoy the power of knowledge through creation. This is what we offer at Walk the Arts.

Plein Air Painting = Trapping the Moment


Here’s a curious paradox: stopping time by painting quickly. Can one set a trap to catch the moment’s impression? Can the artist’s canvas trap the beauty and the wonder of observed events which melt all too quickly in the flow of time? Can time be halted? Yes, says Michael Findlay, obviously, this is what artists do…

Let Go! The Artist’s Way of Cooking

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Ten years ago, here in Tuscany, we decided to write a recipe book but with so many good cookbooks in the market, we needed to propose a new idea. We had to find a modus operandi close to who we are and what we do as visual artists. The answer was in front of us and painting gave it to us: art and color!

Travelling with meaning : a painting workshop in Italy


More and more travellers from the developed world are looking for meaningful travels. We are aiming for journeys that allow us to learn something new, to deepen our culture, to enhance our lives. Purpose, inspiration and self-discovery are now vital elements in our traveling choices. Probably, this is why our quality painting workshops offered since 1997, have become more and more popular.

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