in the Tuscan Countryside with artist/instructor Molly Lipsher Cortona, Italy May 20-27, 2020
(Wednesday - Wednesday period)
Pastel taught but all mediums welcome!
Cortona "Island in the Sky"
Painting in the landscape requires a unique combination of left and right brain thinking. We have an emotional, intuitive response to a scene, yet we need technical control and accuracy to convey our concept to paper. This workshop will focus on how to identify, clarify and convey your initial emotional response, and bring it to completion without losing the immediacy and vibrancy of your vision.
More than other mediums, a pastel in the hand can bridge the gap between left and right brain involvement in the creative process. They are immediate, direct and tactile, require no delay or premeditation for mixing, and can be used both for intuitive quick drawing as well as for more strategically planned work. In this workshop, we will learn to focus on our emotional reaction to a scene, quickly create workable compositions, and then hone our skills to complete a painting in plein air, while maintaining the initial clarity of intent. Students will be encouraged to paint loosely and boldly, and to work intuitively with the medium. The workshop is suitable for beginners, intermediate or advanced students, as well as people working in other mediums who might enjoy playing with the mark-making potential of the pastel.
The workshop is suitable for beginners, intermediate or advanced students, as well as people working in other mediums who might enjoy playing with the mark-making potential of the pastel.
among the sights and sounds of beautiful and romantic Tuscany: olive groves, vineyards, centuries-old buildings, winding streets, texture and vibrant sunlight.
in the warm ambiance of Cortona, overlooking Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana, originally fortified by the Umbrians, claimed by the Etruscans, touched by the Renaissance, almost unchanged for centuries, one of Tuscany's jewels.
the joy of painting en plein air in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere with the expert instruction of a nationally known artist and instructor and the camaraderie of a small group of learners.
great Italian food, delightful wines, new friends, breath-taking vistas, history and the hospitality of the people of Cortona.
All-inclusive* workshop includes: Escorted group travel Florence to Cortona May 20, 2020 & Cortona to Florence May 27, 2020**** Instruction in the classroom and on location Seven nights accommodations in historic Cortona** (Private room & bath) Local Etruscan Museum & Museo Diocesano All meals*** (Italian breakfast, lunch and dinner) Daily wine tasting opportunities Day trip to Lucignano
& Val di Chiana
Tuscan cooking class & dinner
Day trip to Lake Trasimeno
& Isola Maggiore
A farewell wine tasting dinner **Included with "Hotel" plans only. See details. ***Included with "Group Meal Plan" only. See details. ****Specific departure time from Florence airport only on May 20, 2020 and from Cortona on May 27, 20207; times to be announced. *All-inclusive plans are Hotel only. Air travel to/from Cortona is not included and is the responsibility of each participant.
Special Hotel Special... All-inclusive w/ private room/bath & Group Meal Plan...$3690.00 per person! $3590.00 per person double occupancy w/Group Meal Plan! Special Non-participant rates!
- Departure from Cortona or we can help you plan an extended stay!
Note: Toscana Americana reserves the right to alter this itinerary.All times are approximate. Note: Transfers are provided only for programmed meals and activities away from the hotel. Note: All guests are responsible for handling their own luggage/baggage....we suggest to pack light. Note: No refunds are given for any unused aspects of the itinerary or for any activities outside the above itinerary.
Molly Lipsher grew up in West Haven, Connecticut and has lived in Ithaca, New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Manhattan. She attended Bard College, University of Connecticut, Cornell, and Harvard, where she earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture
Molly has hitchhiked across North Africa, and lived for months on a beach in Marrakech, Morocco, and in Corfu, Greece. Her jobs have included working the counter in Kentucky Fried Chicken, selling magazine subscriptions, counting nematodes, studying the infection characteristics of measles, selecting the location for General Motors Saturn plant, designing playgrounds, managing construction, and providing real estate investment strategies for the country’s largest investment banks. She has been a professor at Pratt Institute, Marymount College and Touro College. She currently lives in Mission Viejo, California where she paints and writes award winning poetry. She shows her work in New York and California, and teaches landscape painting workshops for pastel. She is an Artist member of the California Art Club, and a signature member of the Pastel Society of America.
ABOUT MY WORK
“I believe all objects and places have a “voice”, or a dynamic way of being. Everything, at some level, interacts with and within its environment. When I stop to observe, these objects and places are animate, energetic, and changeable. My creative process involves focusing my attention on the “voice” of a location and the objects within it. I often do this by removing myself from my routine, that which is visually familiar to me. I travel extensively to paint in remote locations, most recently focused on New Mexico, the Sierra, and the great deserts. I am inspired by vast open spaces, and the primordial landforms I find there. Once I am ensconced in a place, I quiet down and begin to take in the mood. I am attracted to contrasts and assertive shapes, and clear, bold colors. I observe the local atmosphere, the particular way a place and its objects are expressed. I channel the unique content of the place in my painting, quickly composing a gestural drawing, often using the broad side of the pastel sticks, in a physical, almost calisthenic application. I strive to express my emotional response through bold, gestural, colorful strokes, and I leave these strokes as is, trying not to refine them excessively in the finished piece.
My recent series is entitled “Transient Luminous Events”, a term borrowed from the sciences. It is an observation of fleeting effects of light in the atmosphere, rare occurrences, unusual aberrations, and dramatic but ordinary sightings. In these work, light is a sprite, a playful living thing, and the ephemeral embodiment of the beauty of our visual worlds.”
-Pastels - set of soft pastels, minimum of 60 colors, possible brands include Terry Ludwig (Molly’s favorite), Unison, Sennelier, Schminke, Rembrandt.
-Easel - Portable easel and portable table or tray, (or optional) plein air pastel box, with a tripod fitting if planning to use with a tripod, and the tripod
Paper – Kitty Wallis (Molly’s favorite, in Belgian Mist), Uart, Pastelmat or other specialized pastel paper, 2-3 sheets per day, generally in pads or sheets cut to sizes of 9x12, 11x14, 12x16, 12x18, or 14x18
-Mounting surface – gator board, light plywood or other portable hard surface which can be used with clips or tape, at least a few inches larger all around than the paper.
-Brushes - several old or inexpensive brushes including small foam brushes
-Charcoal – thin sticks
-Sketching tools - Pencils for sketching, Brush Pens (optional) for value sketching
-Tape - drafting, masking or artist’s tape
-Paper towels - preferably Viva
-Backpack - or rolling cart to carry it all in
-Sunscreen, hat, notebook
-Digital camera – optional but highly recommended for helping you set up compositions in the field, and for follow up studio work
-Tracing paper large pad, or roll of glassine and two extra boards - for sandwiching, protecting, storing and transporting finished works
-I also have a backpack size Heilman box. These boxes are divided into compartments, allowing you to arrange the pastels by value. Most have a tripod attachment. If you have the tripod, you will not need the table or tray. For our workshop you may just use a light field easel to hold drawing board and pastels, and carry a light aluminum folding table, and use the pastels directly from the box. Make sure you have all your pastels visible at once, and not divided up into many boxes. A good travel easel is Windsor & Newton’s Bristol easel, or any of the Jullian or French Easels.
Cortona is one of the true jewels of the Tuscan “hill towns.” Cortona, which is often called the “City of Art,” has its origin as an Etruscan city that pre-dates Roman times with sections of its walls dating back some 2500 years. As is typical of Tuscan hill-towns, Cortona is a walled city that, for purposes of defense, was built atop a prominent geographical point. The stone buildings and streets not only have the romance, style, and charm that are particular to Tuscany, but also speak of the lives and times Cortona has witnessed. An encounter with Cortona is an encounter with music & art, with history and with spirituality. Getting to know this timeless city is a real rediscovery of our past. Cortona offers testimony to its history as well as an enchanting view of the landscape enclosed by Lake Trasimeno and the Apennine mountains.
Travel with fellow artists, family & friends! In addition to Non-participating guest options, did you know that other workshops are offered this same week! Enjoy the experience together while immersed in different topics! View calendar for details!