Abbondanza Toscana

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Tuscan Oil Painting Workshop
With Sandra Kaplan

May 17-27, 2008

Ten glorious days in Tuscany, including charming hill towns, Baroque gardens, Renaissance estates and villas, farmhouses, wineries, olive groves, balconies dripping with geraniums, painterly niches everywhere you look . . .

Youíll spend time at the farmhouse and on the estate with its wealth of nature, rose and iris gardens, lavender galore and rosemary, the rustic winery and olive mill, the estate chapel, unrestored ruins, chestnut groves and majestic cypress trees, awaiting your artistic interpretation.

In addition, excursions outside the estate have been chosen to provide further inspiration:

  • Baroque gardens and villas surrounding Lucca, including Villa Reale, once owned by the Duchess Elise, the sister of Napoleon, are the venue for a full day of painting and a picnic, (perhaps a la Manet?)

  • Enchanting hilltowns will charm you with their piazzas, colorful balcony gardens, markets for every need, incredible vistas and tiny restaurants, pleasing to the artistís palette and palate.

  • Youíre invited to the estate where visual opportunities abound with the Renaissance villa, rustic winery and the antique frantoio (olive press). While visiting, youíll have the opportunity to taste the estate wine, olive oil and grappa, honeys and vinegars.

  • The jewel city of Lucca is open to you, its romantic byways, Romanesque churches, and its famous walls that were once a fortification and now offer a tree-lined boulevard for walking and biking. Several visits to Lucca will also allow for time to sip a cappuccino, enjoy a gelato in a shaded piazza and explore its art shops, kitchen stores and boutiques for Tuscan items.

Other Kinds of Artwork!

In the Abbondanza Toscana kitchen, youíll complement your painting artistry as you learn to prepare foods you enjoyed during the workshop and dishes new to you. Whether you are an experienced cook, taste-tester, cheerleader or wine pourer, there is a role for you in the dayís fun. Other meals are prepared in the Tuscan style, and youíll enjoy making your own pizza on our traditional pizza night.

On the days you paint at the farmhouse, lunch can be eaten either at the house or you may request a sack lunch so you can continue to paint to your heartís content. Other days lunch will be at unique small osterias featuring local dishes.

Evenings at the farmhouse give an opportunity to share your work, encourage and learn from each other, over an aperitif. Other evenings offer special events, such as a musical concert in the Duomo or a retrospective of a local artistís work.

Sandra Kaplan

An internationally exhibited painter, Sandra is a long-time instructor at the Art Students League in Denver with classes in Acrylic Painting and Creative Expression through Painting, Drawing and Mixed Media. A Colorado resident, her favorite subjects include flowers, cactus, clouds, Fibonacci numbers and weather patterns.

Sandra received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from Pratt Institute in New York. Her work, described as "conceptual realism," has been recognized in The New York Times and Art in America.

To see more of Sandraís work and words of appreciation from her students, visit her website at

To see a sample week for this course, please click here

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