Italian Watercolor Art-Adventure in the Tuscan Hills
with Susan Cowan and Lee Baughman
Example of Weekly Schedule

Day 1, Saturday:

Arrival Day: you are met at the airport or train station and transported to Selva where sparkling wine and Tuscan specialties welcome you. Then you may unpack, settle in and perhaps take a walk around your home for two weeks, most probably start painting! Before dinner you'll begin the homemade limoncello process; then, Susie and Lee will introduce to you to the workshop and the planned activities and discuss goals and challenges. Dinner is prepared for you by the Abbondanza Toscana staff and served under the leafy pergola.

Throughout the workshop, Susie and Lee will be available for consultation, hints, suggestions and conversation. Toward the end of the workshop, you will be asked to choose your favorite pieces for a display shared with other workshop participants.

Day 2, Sunday:

Greet a beautiful Tuscan morning! Brunch features the exquisite ricotta made on the estate by the local shepherdess. Perhaps you'll see her flock in your wanderings. Today you'll be painting around the estate including houses, gardens, vineyards and olive groves. You might find the perfect vantage point under the shade of an olive tree or from the hammock or pool! Enjoy a lazy day getting to know your home away from home. Dinner is prepared by our Tuscan chef.

Day 3, Monday:

Today is a very special excursion to the private home of a ceramicist. The house was restored from an old barn, perfectly perched on a terrace, and is an inspiration itself. Painters will paint their own souvenir plate that will be fired and ready for them by the end of the workshop.

Day 4, Tuesday:

We're back home today to paint around the farmhouse and estate, the olive groves, gardens and vineyards. Susie and Lee will be available to offer help. Half the group will be preparing dinner with our chef beginning at 5:00 p.m. Buon appetito!

Day 5, 6, 7, Wednesday - Friday:

Have your bag ready to go after breakfast. We're on the road to Florence for three days and two nights. You'll have the option to visit the Uffizi and/or the Accademia, for Michelangelo's David. During our stay in Florence, you'll have plenty of time to wander the streets, shop, visit some of the lesser-traveled museums and paint. We'll also be making an excursion to nearby Fiesole to paint in one of Tuscany's famed villas and to picnic on the grounds. On our return to Selver, dinner is served back home where we'll share tales of our Florentine experiences.

Day 8, Saturday:

Another day to explore the estate and your beautiful Tuscan home. Let your creative point of view search out the nooks and crannies of the farmhouse or focus on the ripening grapes hanging lushly on their vines or the fattening olives on the trees. The orto (vegetable garden) will be at its height of production so pull up a lawn chair and consider a still life. At dusk we return to Lucca for a Puccini concert in a church whose foundations are built on the ruins of a Roman building. Dinner is at a favorite restaurant where you may hear the other diners speaking only Italian.

Days 9, Sunday:

An introduction to Lucca begins with the very best cappuccino in the world followed by a stroll down the most useful shopping street in the world, filled with stores chockfull of baskets and pans and brooms and seeds and all manner of things. You’ll meet our local guide for a short cultural tour of Lucca, including its Romanesque churches, Roman amphitheater and medieval gates. Then you’re on your own to explore the city’s visual treasures, including a classic garden with limonaia and statuary. When you're ready to take a break from painting, consider a stroll or bike ride along the tree-lined path on Lucca's famouse walls. Back home to review your work so far with Susie and Lee, and then enjoy dinner by our chef.

Day 10, Monday:

Another "at home" day provides more time for exploration around the estate and the farmhouse. Susie and Lee will be spending time with each artist to assess progress and to provide direction as needed. Our Tuscan chef prepares dinner for the group.

Day 11, Tuesday:

West of Lucca is the Mediterranean and the famed Cinque Terre, the five towns perched on cliffs over the water. You can walk, train or boat among the villages and enjoy scenic views from the cliffs or the sea. Back home for dinner.

Day 12, Wednesday:

You're at home today for more painting around the area. Perhaps there's a still life session with some of the Italian ceramics in the kitchen waiting for you or a study of rugged doors and locks. After lunch you visit our neighboring winery for a special tour and tasting of marvelous biodynamic wines. Back to Selva so the second half of the group can begin preparing dinner with our Tuscan chef.

Day 13, Thursday:

After breakfast we'll board our mini-bus for the drive to Volterra, a hilltop town dating back to the Etruscans. Artisans there have been creating lustrous alabaster art and crafts for millenia, and it's all on display — and for sale. Wander the small piazzas and gasp at the Roman ruins at the foot of the cliff. Back to Selva to review the day's work with Susan and Lee, and then enjoy dinner by our chef.

Day 14, Friday:

Our last full day allows time to finish up painting and sketches started throughout your Tuscan travels. Susie and Lee will be making the rounds to answer your questions and to provide guidance on finalizing your work. In the evening everyone will share their work in a gallery exhibit and discuss their challenges and triumphs with champagne and hors d' oeuvres. Dinner is the highly-popular pizza night with Eduardo, our local baker, and we'll sample the limoncello you made earlier in the week.

Day 15, Saturday:

After breakfast the van transports you back to the train station or airport. We wish you arrivederci, until we meet again!