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Katerina Ring
painting in Lucca
Lucca Transport
by Katerina Ring

Students at work
in the Lucca hills
(photo by Dawid Lenart)

It Takes a Village
by Katerina Ring
Montepulciano's Grand Piazza

by Katerina Ring
Iconic Tuscan landscape
near Pienza
Calcinaio Painted
by Katerina Ring

Vessels #2
by Katerina Ring
Creating a color palette
A shady patio at our lodgings,
Il Sole del Sodo

A large comfortable bedroom at
Il Sole del Sodo

Inspired by Cortona, Paint en Plein Air with Katerina Ring
Dates: October 17 - 27, 2018

For plein air painting in oil, inspiration is in the air and in every breath you take in Tuscany. Katerina Ring invites you to join her in the Etruscan hilltown of Cortona to concentrate on oil painting technique, composition, form – and fun!

"I am indebted to many master painters who have shared their knowledge with me over the years. My joy comes in passing on what they have taught me," explains Katerina Ring as she describes her passion for teaching art.

For those just beginning, Katerina even provides for your use a starter kit of paints, tripod easel and a backpack for carrying everything as you explore the sights and senses of Tuscany for your artistic expression.

The workshop becomes a sharing session when more experienced painters exchange solutions and approaches they have discovered over their years of painting.

Katerina's Tuscan workshop includes demonstrations on techniques and ideas that she herself wishes she had known years ago. For the less experienced painter, her teaching will lay out the basics of how to get started in both oils and the art of painting in plein air. "A big part of being an artist is being a perpetual student," she says. "Prepare to absorb lots of information and to be overwhelmed with the beauty of Tuscany. We will work hard, but we will also experience the variety of cultural and magical sights that make this corner of Tuscany so special."

Katerina RingKaterina holds an American passport, permanent Italian residency and until recently a work permit for Zambia. She has just returned from this central African country after ten years painting the animals, the park landscapes, market places and villages. She has conducted workshops around the country including monthly courses at the only art supply shop in Zambia and taught students from a wide variety of levels and ages from very young children to teens and adults, from beginning students to professionals.

Katerina's original background is in graphic and textile design. Studies in painting took her to Germany and Italy. She has been a presenter and field instructor at Plein Air Painting Conventions in the U.S. Her work has won awards in the U.S., Italy and Zambia and has appeared in articles, books and international art magazines.

Exploring Plein Air Painting in Tuscany

The colors, the light, the narrow cobblestone streets and hillsides of vineyards, forests and olive groves . . . Tuscany is an artist's dream location. Whether you choose a sweeping view of Lake Trasimeno, a stately cypress tree or a carefully composed still life, you'll find inspiration all around. Katerina will provide instruction every day, class demonstration on technique, group discussion and one-on-one guidance.

In addition to the incomparable painting opportunities, you will enjoy guided tours of Katerina's favorite town, Cortona; a cooking class; a wine tasting in the stunning wine town of Montepulciano; Pienza, the mecca for Pecorino cheese; the lakeside village of Castiglione del Lago where Hannibal vanquished the Romans; and painting in the gardens of Bramasole, the home of Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun. After a beautiful day of painting, we think you should be rewarded with an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine while relaxing in a lawn chair contemplating the majesty of a cypress tree, reading a favorite book or remembering your experiences in a journal. .

On most days you'll have an opportunity to share your work with fellow students and Katerina to discuss what worked and what didn't and to seek suggestions. The week ends with an informal "show and share" of sketches and paintings created during your time together.

Your days will be a mixture of at home, painting around our B&B and its grounds, and away days on excursions to painterly sites throughout the area.

“At Home”

The country home, Il Sole del Sodo, your home for the workshop, is our venue just minutes from Cortona's city center. From the moment you enter the arched front door surrounded by flowers and greenery, you'll feel welcome and immersed in the warmth of Tuscan hospitality. The villa's shady terraces offer all manner of seating for enjoying a quiet moment or a friendly conversation. There's even a pool with views of the surrounding countryside . . . just the place to be after a busy day of touring or painting and sketching. Spacious rooms are comfortably furnished and each has its own bathroom. Footpaths and quiet roads beckon for an afternoon stroll to explore the countryside


For your excursions away from Il Sole del Sodo, we've chosen iconic architecture and gardens, stunning landscapes, quiet corners and places where you can discover your own muse. A few highlights:

  • Cortona, where our guide Giovanni will introduce you to this charming town, one of Italy's oldest said to be founded by Crano, the son of Noah, who was looking for fertile soil ... and high ground. One of the original 12 Etruscan city states, Cortona is now one of Tuscany's best preserved villages. Staired alleyways climb up from a central street, each with its own unique character and nearly begging for the artist's interpretation. Mix with the locals in the central piazza, a community gathering spot especially in the evening. Giovanni will guide us through two of Cortona's most important museums: The Etruscan Museum and the Diocesan Museum that houses Fra Angelico's stunning The Annunciation (1428-30) as well as work by Luca Signorelli, one of Michelangelo's inspirations.

  • A special invitation to spend the day sketching and painting in the gardens at Bramasole, Frances Mayes' renovated villa and grounds made famous in her book, Under the Tuscan Sun. Picnic lunch is on one of the villa's charming terraces with views overlooking the countryside.

  • Castiglione del Lago Trasimeno is recognized as one of Umbria's most beautiful villages. The Fortress of the Lions dominates the village with its crenelated towers and battlements . . . colorful subjects for your art. Set on a peninsula in one of Italy's largest lakes, sandy beaches and water scenes surround the town where Hannibal and his elephants humbled the Romans.

  • A visit to Pienza, a fortified hill town with a Renaissance city center. Pienza is also known for its local pecorino cheese made from sheep's milk. Spend some time in the Piazza Pio II with your sketchbook to capture the graceful architecture or consider a small study of an ancient door with its decorative lock and hinges.

  • Montepulciano with its dramatically steep streets lined with Renaissance-style palazzi and churches and now perhaps best known for its exquisite wines. We'll have a tasting of its Vino Nobile.

  • Visits with local artists to learn about Cortona's arts and crafts scene including a private invitation to our friend Ivan's gallery in Cortona where you'll see a number of Katerina's paintings.

    Other Activities

    To truly experience Tuscany, you need to experience the foods and wines that are so central to the Tuscan culture. A cooking class will introduce you to some of the specialties of Tuscan cuisine. We'll dine at local restaurants including a gala last night dinner as well as meals at our lodgings . . .all paired with the local wines for which the region has become so well known.

    The Week's Itinerary

    For a day-by-day schedule of Katerina's workshop, see our sample itinerary.

    What Katerina's Participants have to Say

    Thank you ... and Paula, for such an extraordinary experience. It could not have been better! Your attention to detail, careful planning and execution made it so special for all of us. Missing all of you.
    Tabby Ivy
    Bigfork, MT

    Planning and execution were stellar. Be assured that you run a spectacular program. It's always so amazing to me that the most talented of individuals are also the most magnanimous when it comes to sharing their insight. Thank you so much for an experience that will always be unforgettable. The art supplies and the planning were amazing! I'm salivating over the Cortona itinerary! Great job, Kat!
    Lynn Cordner
    Peachtree City, GA

    Visit Katerina’s Web Site

    To learn more about Katerina Ring and to see more of her work, visit her website at

    Painting and sketches

    Painting and sketches

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