About the Cortona Workshop

We are very pleased to again offer our 2013 Workshop in Cortona Italy! This workshop includes a 9-night stay in the hill town of Cortona, a charming village that inspired Frances Mayes to write her book, “Under the Tuscan Sun”.  Our return to Cortona in 2013 will again offer the Artist and/or the Art-Lover another of the experiences rich in art, culture, and fine cuisine for which our workshops have become noted.

    New for 2013: We are excited to be able to bring two renowned egg tempera     painters as our visiting artists, Suzanne Scherer and Pavel Ouporov!

Our Summer Workshop in Cortona will offer hands-on instruction in egg tempera, watercolor, and silverpoint!

This intensive painting-instruction experience includes painting on location and in the studio with lectures, demonstrations, critiques and scheduled painting time.  If you prefer to work in an alternate medium we will also instruct you in the painting/drawing medium of your choice. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to work in Tuscany's most breath taking landscape while studying many of Italy's great art treasures. Our stay will be filled with many opportunities to enjoy Italy's finest culture....the art, wine, food, and history.


Our Cortona Workshop will be offered from June 14th to June 23, 2013. This workshop is multi-faceted and is open to working artists at any level from beginning to professional. The instructional sessions will include lectures and demonstrations in plein-air watercolor, silverpoint drawing, egg tempera, and color mixing. 

Jeremiah Patterson will conduct lectures and demonstrations in watercolor, and lead plein-air painting excursions to the many beautiful views easily available to us from our base location in the very center of Cortona. Each participant will be provided with a silverpoint and shown the methods necessary to achieve the beauty of this delicate drawing medium.

Fred Wessel, along with this year’s visiting artists Suzanne Scherer & Pavel Ouporov will lecture on and demonstrate classical methods of egg tempera painting.  In addition to daily instruction in each of these mediums, Fred, Jeremiah, Suzanne & Pavel will be available for personal critiques. 

Our workshop location at the Hotel Italia, just steps from Cortona’s main piazza, includes a large studio room.  Our studio, Etruscan in origin, will serve as the space where all demos, lectures, and egg tempera painting will take place. This space will remain open in the evenings so anyone in our group can continue their work outside of the daily instruction time. 


We also welcome non-artist participants that wish to take part in the educational travel experience our art workshop offers.  Our beloved 'Art-lovers' have commented on the wonderful educational vacations they have experienced on our workshops in Italy in past years.  The art, food and wine of Tuscany experienced during the workshop, enjoyed within the context of the history and culture of Italy will be of interest to both artists and 'Art-lovers'. Our itinerary is structured with a balance between painting time and time to explore these wonderful gifts of Italy. 

- The ART -

Cortona is home to many cultural sights including two wonderful museums: the Museo Diocesano (Cortona’s Art Museum) with its jewel, a Fra Angelico Annunciation, amongst panel paintings by Luca Signorelli and others, and the Museo dell’Academia Etrusca (Cortona’s Etruscan Museum), one of the best in Italy. We will guide the group to see the paintings in the Museo Diocesano, and provide the group with a cumulative ticket for the Etruscan museum, allowing entry for those that wish to visit this second museum during our stay. Cortona is also home to a number of contemporary galleries that show a variety of artists. One of our two private bus day-trips from Cortona will take us to Perugia, to visit the Museo Nazionale, the Collegio del Cambio, and spend time exploring this magnificent Umbrian city. The Museo Nazionale (Perugia’s Art Museum) houses some of the finest renaissance paintings in Umbria, including works by Fra Angelico, Perugino, Piero della Francesca, Pinturricchio, Orazio Gentileschi amongst others. The Collegio del Cambio is a small jewel of a chapel, completely frescoed by Perugino. A young Raphaello Sanzio worked with Perugino here as an assistant, and Fred & Jeremiah will point out the parts of this masterpiece that he contributed. Besides its art, Perugia is known for its fine chocolate. A second day trip takes us to Montepulciano, most known for its wine, but also housing some wonderful artworks. Its Duomo is home to an incredible altarpiece by Taddeo di Bartolo, along with a very sweet little portrait of the Madonna by Sano di Pietro. In addition, Montepulciano has art galleries that show a wide range of contemporary works, including paintings, ceramics, and mosaics.

  1. -The FOOD -

Our workshops have become noted for the wonderful and varied culinary experiences we provide during our stay in Italy.  Fred & Jeremiah are knowledgeable about the cuisine and wines, and have spent many years seeking out the best Italy has to offer.  In a recent email, a past participant exclaimed, “I knew you guys were terrific artists, but I had no idea that you guys were such incredible foodies too!”  The food and wine events designed for the 2013 Cortona Workshop will be some of the many high points of this workshop. 
In addition to our stay in Cortona during last summer’s workshop, and the many day-trips to Cortona that Fred & Jeremiah have done together on workshops in past years, Fred and his wife Lee-Ann lived there for 4 different fall semesters while he taught with the University of Georgia's study abroad program.  Between his vast knowledge of the town and our numerous visits there, we know the town, its restauranteurs, and its people very well.  Our meals will not only be hosted by Cortona’s best chefs, but also people we call our friends.

  1. -The WINES -

We will journey off on one of our two day trips to the renowned winemaking village of Montepulciano for a winery tour, lunch, and tasting of its magnificent wines. In addition, Cortona (and the local area surrounding) is becoming well known for its wines, and our stay here will enable us to sample a number of wonderful examples of these local Tuscan gems that are making such an impact in the wine world.  We have scheduled wine tastings and a wine dinner in Cortona, along with our winery tour excursion to Montepulciano to allow our group to experience the wonders of Tuscan wine.

Our home for the 9-nights in Cortona is the Hotel Italia, a very comfortable and centrally located hotel just steps from the main piazza.  This will offer us very easy access to the heart of Cortona, its many shops, trattorias, cafes, and beautiful corners. 
Each afternoon, local Cortonese will stroll the main street and piazza during their ‘Passeggiata’, and many in our group will surely love to participate and/or watch this relaxing routine of daily life. Our residence in the center of the city of Cortona will allow our participants to attend lectures, demonstrations and have ample painting time, intermixed with many opportunities for cultural discovery.  Our itinerary is designed so our group can take advantage of the cultural events throughout the week and experience Tuscany through the eyes of Fred & Jeremiah, all the while balanced with ample time to paint and learn the techniques introduced by each of them and their visiting artists during the workshop.

View from our Breakfast Room at the Hotel Italia


Please know that children of the faculty may be in residence with us on this workshop, and we also are open to welcoming mature younger participants to study with us as long as they are accompanied by an adult participant.