Monday, December 6, 2010

"Tuscan Inspiration" A Painting Workshop in Italy With Sandra Kaplan

above: "Looking West" acrylic by Sandra Kaplan

Announcing my next Italian workshop, coming September 17 to September 27, 2011, near Lucca, Italy. This will be my third visit to Selva, and one that I eagerly anticipate.

Please join me for ten glorious days in Tuscany

You’ll enjoy excursions to charming hill towns, seaside villages, the Chianti region, Lucca, Baroque gardens, Renaissance estates and villas, farmhouses, wineries and olive mills . . . all for 2300 Euros.

The price is inclusive of everything from the time you are picked up at the Pisa airport or Lucca train station until you are returned there with the exception of three lunches to give you independent painting time. Instruc-tion, inspiration and coaching from Sandra Kaplan, as well as meals, wine, off-site excursions with guides, a cooking lesson and gracious accommodations are all part of the workshop fee. Airfare is not included in the course price.

To see complete course description,

details and booking forms, visit

or contact:

You’ll be a Guest in a 15th Century Tuscan Farmhouse

The rustic country home of Selva has been lovingly restored yet retains all the charm of its origins on the 1000-year-old Tenuta di Forci wine and olive oil estate, a uniquely preserved property in the Lucca hills. Selva’s old barn, with its traditional latticed terra cotta windows, houses our cooking school kitchen, a rustic room with mod-ern equipment. The grand fireplace and wood-fired oven add to the old world ambience while guests appreciate 21st century comfort with modern bath-rooms, central heating and spacious rooms.

Lucca . . . . its Renaissance walls enclose a perfectly preserved medieval treasure house only 20 minutes from Selva. You can join the Lucchese in their evening passeggiata (stroll) through the streets, sip a cappuccino in Puccini’s fa-vorite bar and enjoy a gelato in a shaded piazza.

Lucca is also a shopper’s para-dise for linens, laces, leather, ceramics and its famous regional olive oil.

The Tuscan Painting Workshop offers you wonderful food for the body as well as the soul. Meals are prepared in the Tuscan style, and you’ll enjoy making your own pizza on our traditional pizza night. Pre-dinner aperitivi and antipasti under the leafy pergola provide time for friendly and helpful critiques of the day’s painting. Some evenings present the opportunity to attend a special event, such as a musical concert in the Duomo or a retrospective of a local artist’s work.

Selva’s shady pergola as interpreted by Sandra Kaplan in her “Terraza”

In the Abbondanza Toscana kitchen, you can complement your painting artistry as you join our Tuscan chef in the kitchen to learn how to prepare regional specialties. Fresh and locally produced ingredients are the key to the wonderful foods you’ll enjoy with us. Whether you are an experienced cook, taste-tester, or wine pourer, all are wel-come in our kitchen.

Painting themes on the estate include vineyards, olive groves, flower gardens, the rustic winery and olive mill, farmhouses, chestnut groves and majestic cypress trees. Plus you’ll find all manner of charming vignettes with overflowing pots of flowers and lemon trees, our gardens filled with herbs and vegetables, colorful ce-ramics and rustic brickwork.

Even the humble orto (vegetable garden) provides inspiration in Sandra Kaplan’s “Selva Orto”

Excursions away from the farmhouse have been chosen with your painter’s eye in mind:

The jewel city of Lucca with its romantic by-ways, Romanesque churches, and its famous walls that were once a fortification and now offer a tree-lined boulevard for walking and biking. Plus we’ll spend one day at a formal Lucca garden with its statuary, lemon grove and architectural features.

Enchanting Chianti hill towns will charm you with their piazzas, colorful markets, balcony gardens, and tiny restaurants, pleasing to the art-ist’s palette and palate.

Seaside visit to our favorite fishing village where an imposing fortress, colorful boats and views of the Gulf of Poets are waiting to inspire you . . . or the fresh seafood lunch you can enjoy.

Ancient stone bridge, known locally as Devil’s Bridge, the arched structure was built in the 11th century. Find a perfect spot for sketching the unique architecture.