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Painting in Tuscany with James Guppy
10 days/9 nights
$8,200 AUD per person twin share
Single Supplement $800
8 – 12 people maximum
*Drawing kit supplied
*Painting tuition will be substituted by additional culinary tuition for non painting guests
There are few cities as scenic, artistic and steeped in art history as Florence. In this 10 day painting retreat you will draw, paint and dream your way through the heart of the Renaissance—under the watchful eye and guiding hand of renowned Australian artist, James Guppy.
You will pass sun kissed mornings painting the breathtaking Tuscan landscape in plein air (open air) or be tutored in life drawing and still life in the comfort of the villa. In the afternoons you can retreat into the kitchen to learn how to prepare some of Tuscany’s finest dishes with the resident chef, while indulging in superb local produce and wine. Alternatively, you can laze or lap under the Tuscan sun in the pool, or get lost in the alluring labyrinth of Florence’s streets, bridges and markets. Your accommodation will be a classic beautiful Tuscan villa close to the heart of Florence with a choice of private double or twin share with private facilities.
Your host, Simha Koether offers exclusive opportunities to venture deeper into Florence art and history thanks to her affiliations with local art practitioners and historians. You will visit painters, sculptors, restorers, and jewellers in their ateliers (workshops). Be guided on an exclusive tour through the Uffizi by an expert Florentine art historian. You will visit a renowned art store where you will learn about the colours and materials used by pre-Renaissance and Renaissance painters.
Ultimately, you will have the time to indulge in your own creative process and simply soak up the art and culture that have made Florence one of the most adored and visited cities in the world.
Painting Tuition outline
The figure, still life or landscape
Your tuition will be tailored to your personal interests, requirements and goals. You will have the opportunity to draw and paint the figure, still life or landscape. You can work en plein air or indoors, in peaceful, comfortable and inspiring locations.
Your tuition will emphasise developing skills in observation, composition and tone. You will gain an understanding of the way light illuminates an object or space, and the way shadows define it. It is the application of tone, light and dark that brings things to life, whether in a painting or a drawing.
After a thorough grounding in these three basics, we will then consider composition. You will see how the placement of a colour, tone or line within a pictorial space creates an effect and how the manipulation of these effects creates art.
Your Painting tutor
James Guppy immigrated to Australia from the UK in the 1980s, after completing a Master of Letters (Visual Arts) at Lancaster University.
As an artist, Guppy has exhibited widely throughout Australia, as well as in New York and Texas in the USA. In 2009 – 11, his paintings travelled to eleven locations around Australia in a touring solo survey.
As an academic and teacher, Guppy has lectured in visual arts at numerous institutions in the UK and Australia, and served as Adjunct Professor of Arts and Media at Long Island University (Southampton College) in New York.
Guppy’s narrative-based paintings are powerful and enigmatic. They are executed with a refined and intelligent approach, appearing both dramatic and lifelike. His subject matter includes surreal moments, scenes of suspense, explosion clouds, formidable women and anthropomorphic beings.
Guppy’s works are held in numerous collections, including Queensland Art Gallery, Artbank, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Lismore Regional Art Gallery, Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, Warwick & Stanthorpe Regional Art Galleries, various university collections and private collections in Australia, Asia, Europe, UK and the USA. Guppy co-founded the Byron School of Art in Byron Bay, Australia in 2013.
“Great technique can seduce and amaze your audience. While this enriches and deepens the experience of the viewer, it should never be forgotten that technique is just a series of tools. It is what you choose to create, the thread of ideas, feelings and emotions that you weave into your artwork that makes it worthwhile and enduring. It is this relationship that I wish to explore with you—the individual and personal development of techniques in the service of what you want to paint”.
– James Guppy
Australian born Simha Koether relocated to Italy to study art and design at age 18. Firstly, studying art restoration and conservation at the Palazzo Spinelli Institute where she worked on 16 th century Renaissance paintings. Simha went on to study jewellery design and production methods with the Art Institute of Florence. She apprenticed under a master jeweller in the heart of Florence’s design quarter, producing designs and fulfilling commissions.
Living and working in such a rich and diverse environment, Simha came to know and work with manny of Florence’s most successful artists and designers. In Australia, Simha completed qualifications in Creative Industries—Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage, and Financial Services. She has worked across the arts fulfilling roles in the visual and performing arts and film.
Simha established Vivid Tours International in 2014 to build on and share her unique knowledge and experience. She is a fluent Italian and Spanish speaker.
“For over 15 years I have returned to the heart of the renaissance, visiting my Italian friends, soaking up the art, culture and cuisine, and gaining new inspiration for my artistic practice. I invite you to become an insider for 10 days, and discover Florence through the eyes of the local experts. Extend your practice and allow your inspiration to run wild. Be nourished by your surroundings and enjoy being guided through one of the most beautiful cites in the world”.
Your Chef and Culinary Tutor
Your chef is an English-speaking Tuscan local whose love of fresh herbs, handmade delicacies and fine wine will make every meal a delight. Our specialty chefs were raised in kitchens. They have been cooking all their lives and love to share their passion with guests.
Your tuition will be based upon the four course meals which will be prepared during the retreat for all to enjoy. You will receive one-on-one tuition and expert information about Italian wines, cured meats and cheeses as well as shop for the best produce at the local market.
Tuition will be delivered in the kitchen at the villa and at the market where you will be led to the best local’s spots and learn the names of the finest Italian produce.