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Painting Workshops | Italy | Art Courses | Tuscany | 2022
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Painting in the Val d’Orcia – Studio Italia

What does Studio Italia offer that you cannot find on the Internet?

OK! During the last few days, we have received a few phone calls and emails asking the same question about our painting workshops in Tuscany: “do you teach the following techniques…?” or “I want to learn this technique…”Of course, we teach techniques! But since teaching painting tips and techniques take only a few minutes (let’s say 10) and our workshop lasts 10 days (14,400), we have to offer much more than mere techniques. Moreover, we are in the era of the Internet. Offering a painting workshop today is not the same as it used to be in 1997. We all have evolved. For example, if you type on YouTube, “oil painting techniques”, you will get 267,000 results; “encaustic techniques” > 12,600; “How to paint a landscape” > 179,000; and wow, look at this one: “How to paint an Italian landscape” > 8,360. And many of these videos include step-by-step tutorials on topics as specific as “how to achieve heavily textured paintings” or “glazing oil painting technique the fast way”. Furthermore, you can even learn how to paint like your favorite artist: “how to paint like Van Gogh” > 18,000 results. And we could go on and on!

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? So, why participating in one of our sessions of Studio Italia? Because art is more than techniques and we all know that. Art is the link between the painted subject and yourself and this is what we stress in Italy. One of our former participants described it as “a thought-provoking, reflective, and inspirational learning experience”.

Our small groups comprise artists of all levels, from beginners to advanced ones, who receive personalized instruction. Some need more technical instruction than others, but all are looking to move forward with their art. This is why our art theory lectures play a very important role because they help to foster creativity through a personal constant dialogue and the building of catwalks between distant ideas. These relationships are being constructed through “interaction”, “philosophical views”, “harmony”, “great conversation over candlelit dinners”, “gourmet meals”, “breathtaking views”, as written by some of our former artists of all levels (see testimonials at: https://walkthearts.com/_icscis/testimonials.shtml)

Italy, like the canvas, is a meeting place, a sort of Champ de Mars battleground on which we are all confronted with our true selves. Going there, stepping out geographically, allows us to step back from our own story, from our own history; it gives us permission to know another space, another time, with which we can compare. A 10-day stepping-back in Tuscany with a small group of like-minded adults in a fun and fulfilling environment the first step to let go and start painting our own stories in a personal manner. To find our own voice as an artist is imperative to grow and to push forward our art. And this takes more energy and reflection than simply learning techniques.

Group critique – Studio Italia June 2014

For our upcoming art workshops in Tuscany, please visit our website at:https://walkthearts.com/_painting_workshops/art_painting_workshops_italy.shtml

 

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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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Gray a Philosophical “Color”

 

“Over the past 40 years, I’ve seen students in the process of transitioning from saturated colors to grayed ones, a sign of serious questioning about painting. As a beginner, we shy away from mixing colors, and the more we progress in our creative practice, the more daring we become. That’s life! When we’re children, we only see saturated colors, and as we get older, gray takes over. Adults realize that gray is everywhere. “The color of truth is gray” wrote the French author André Gide.”

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How many times were we tempted to fall into the trap of mainly teaching painting techniques now all available on the Net? Just type “How to paint an Italian Landscape” and … two million plus videos jump onto your computer screen.

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“I think the reason […] I’ve chosen the career that I have is because artists are always the seers or the truth tellers. They show us the way forward”. Nora Burnett Abrams, The Story of NFTs, Artists, Technology, and Democracy. P. 53

The World of NFTs!

 

I had to know if NFT art is and will be a fad or not. In Canada’s national capital (Ottawa) art world, I kept hearing that it is not going to last, it’s all smoke and mirrors, ya-ya-ya, etc. So, I entered the Palazzo Strozzi with an open mind. I saw the works, I read everything on the walls, and I came out of the exhibition thinking “It is here to stay.” From that moment, on la Via de’ Tomabuoni, I felt compelled as an art historian and art educator to embrace this new reality. Didn’t we do it for Pop Art and Conceptual Art in the late ’50s and ‘60s?

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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.

“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”.

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.

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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!

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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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