Tuscany Vacation Workshop with Ron Stocke
April 29-May 3, 2024
You are invited to join Ron Stocke's vacation workshop in magnificent Tuscany. Ron will teach 5 art classes to a small group of 10-15 participants and together we will explore the ancient towns of Siena and Arezzo, the rolling hills and secret places, the vineyards, the art, and food of Tuscany. We are looking forward to making art in good company. The average temperatures for that week in Tuscany: high of 68°F (20°C) overnight low of 46°F (8°C).
Meet Ron Stocke
Ron Stocke is an award-winning watercolor artist and is a regular contributor to, and has been a cover artist for Watercolor Artist Magazine as well as other publications. Ron has taught comprehensive workshops throughout North America and Europe. He holds Signature Membership with the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Northwest Watercolor Society, and is a member of the American Impressionist Society. He has been an Artist Ambassador for M.Graham Watercolors for over 20 years.
M. Graham, the Official Sponsor of this Workshop
M. Graham is the official sponsor of this workshop and all participants who register before the December 1 deadline will receive free samples of turquoise, yellow ochre, and dioxazine purple M. Graham watercolor paint!
M. Graham watercolors are made with Northwest blackberry honey. Honey acts as a natural humectant so it pulls the moisture out of the air leaving M. Graham paint more moist in the palette. By using honey we can avoid using artificial humectants and preservatives in our paints and instead infuse more color.
Watch this interview to learn more about Ron and his art
Arrive Sunday April 28, 2024
Workshop participants who arrive early are invited to meet in the hotel lobby at 2:00 for a warm up sketch (optional). Ron will not be teaching. This is just your chance to do a warm up painting before the first art class. All workshop participants and nonSketcher Companions are invited to a welcome reception at 6pm. Below is our proposed itinerary.
Day 1--Exploring Every Charming Corner
Mon Apri 29, 2024
On our way to the location of the first workshop, we will pass through the enormous Piazza del Campo, the main public space of the historic center of Siena. It is regarded as one of Europe's greatest medieval squares for its unusual shell-shape and the beautiful architecture that encircles it. Here Ron will teach Workshop #1, How to Approach a Plein Air Composition (and find that perfect composition.) Ron will share with students his secrets he has learned over the past few decades on how to approach your subject and how to avoid frequent bad habits.
After lunch we will set out to see if we can spot some of the secret treasures of Siena. Such as the Banca Monte Dei Paschi founded in 1472, the oldest bank in the world and still operating today. And the Fontabranda, the original source of water discovered in 1081 making it the nerve center of daily life in Siena. And the Porta dei Pìspini or Gate of the Water-spout, one of few remaining medieval gates in the walls of Siena.
Day 2--Full Day Excursion to Arezzo
Tues April 30, 2024
Today we will travel by private coach to the medieval town of Arezzo. Arriving at the Piazza Grande, built between the 14th and 15th centuries, we will recognize it from the Oscar winning film “Life is Beautiful”. Arezzo is an art lovers paradise with it's charming shops, expansive loggia (covered patio) in the main piazza, Romanesque architecture and 14th century frescoes. Here Ron will teach Workshop #2, Drawing + Perspective. Ron will cover tips on how to simplify your drawing to make your objects feel and look more connected to their surroundings. Ron will also cover his quick lesson on how to get the correct perspective every time.
After lunch we will tour the Tintoretto Brush Factory, makers of outstanding watercolor brushes for whom Ron is an enthusiastic Ambassador. Students will be able to observe how some of the best artist brushes in the world are made. And on our way back to Siena we will stop for a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard.
Day 3--Discovering the Mercato delle Merci + the Duomo di Siena
Wednesday May 1, 2024
Today we will soak in the local atmosphere at the Mercato delle Merci. Market day is a social event in Siena where fresh produce can be purchased and locals can catch up on the news of the day. With all the colours and aromas and snippets of conversations still fresh in our minds, we will make our way to the location of Workshop #3, Figures. We will learn how to make figures look as natural as all the other aspects of your painting. After today students will enjoy drawing and painting people and stop trying to hide them in your paintings.
In the afternoon we will visit the Duomo di Siena, a medieval church famed for its black & white (the city's symbolic colours) marble stripes on the interior and exterior. We will explore the cathedral and its museums the home of grandiose and intriguing masterpieces by Nicola Pisano, Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini.
Day 4--An Immersion in Tuscan Culture
Thurs May 2, 2024
This morning Ron will teach Workshop #4, Connecting Your Painting with Shadows. Students will learn how professionals painters treat large areas with shadows to make the elements in their paintings connect. Using big free brushstrokes and getting the values correct is exciting!
After lunch we will visit the Santa Maria della Scala. The Santa Maria della Scala was originally built as a hospital to care for abandoned children, the poor, the sick, and pilgrims. Today it is a 10,000 square meter museum complex with an internal maze of connecting hallways and subterranean tunnels. Here we will find magnificent frescoes, statues, relics of the Etruscan and Roman inhabitants all which will give us a glimpse into the history of the region.
Special Bonus--RON'S NIGHT PAINTING DEMO. Anyone interested in watching can meet in the lobby at 7PM to walk to the demo location.
Day 5--Savoring Every Moment
Friday May 3, 2024
This morning we will walk to our workshop location where Ron will teach our final Workshop #5, Pulling it All Together. If you’ve ever wondered why some paintings have that special magic and others don’t, then day five will answer those questions. Ron will show students how he pulls a painting together by emphasizing key elements that add that excitement to your paintings.
After lunch we will take one more opportunity to immerse ourselves in the paintings, sculptures and frescoes of the renowned Senese School with a visit to the Museo Civico.
Tonight we will celebrate our unforgettable week in Tuscany with a farewell dinner (included).
Sat May 4, 2024
It's time to say goodbye but you will never forget the friends you made or the skills you learned during this great week! Or extend your stay for a long relaxing holiday!
PLEASE NOTE: THE ORDER OF EVENTS AND SUBJECTS PROPOSED IN THIS ITINERARY MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Check out Ron's recent article in Watercolor Artist Magazine:
Recommended Workshop Supply List
Click HERE to download Ron's Workshop Supply List.
Click HERE for answers to frequently asked questions.
For more information about this vacation package contact Brenda Murray Studio56Boutique@gmail.com.
- A welcome reception
- All art classes
- Admission to the museums and sites mentioned
- Full-day coach excursion to Arezzo
- Farewell dinner
- Flights to/from the area
- airport pick-up and drop-off
- Meals (except those listed above)
- Painting supplies
- City taxes payable by guest at check out
- Tips and gratuities
- Porterage/luggage handling
- Travel insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Items not explicitly specified in the inclusion list
Early Bird Prices! Book now before December 1, 2023 and save $200USD!
$1899.USD $1699.USD Workshop Participant
$1299.USD NonSketcher Companion Participant (such as partner or travelling buddy)
NonSketcher Companion tickets include the same attractions and meals as the Workshop Participants with the exception of the art classes.
To reserve your spot in this workshop, a $500USD nonrefundable deposit is required for Workshop Participants and a $300USD nonrefundable deposit is required for nonSketcher Companions 150 days prior to the start of the workshop (Dec 1, 2023). The remaining balance is due 120 days prior to the start of the workshop (Dec 31, 2023).
To make a deposit, please scroll to the bottom and click BOOK NOW.
PLEASE READ OUR REFUND POLICY.
Greenlighting a workshop
Workshops are greenlighted when the minimum number of tickets (10) has been sold. All ticket holders will be notified by email when this happens. Please do not book non-refundable flights or accommodation until we have given the go-ahead for the workshop.
Bring a Friend and Get a Discount
Here's how it works. You and your sketching buddy register for the workshop with your deposits. Then send us an email and tell us you are registering with a sketching buddy. You will each be sent a discount code for $50 that you can apply when you pay the balance of your tickets.
The small print: This discount code cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code and it can only be applied to 2 Workshop participant tickets if the workshop sells out with 15 participants.
Hotel accommodations are not included in the ticket price of this workshop. The official hotel of this workshop will be announced closer to the date. Participants are not obliged to stay in the official hotel. They can stay in another nearby hotel or Airbnb if they prefer. All participants will be notified of the accommodation arrangements when they become available.
Before you make a hotel reservation, click the red BOOK NOW button below to ensure you have a spot in this workshop. This is the first step.
After you have secured your spot in this workshop, then we will be in touch with more information about the hotel where the Artist and the Tour Manager will be staying.
Travel + Medical Insurance
Last minute cancellations for any reason are nonrefundable therefore protect your investment in this vacation by purchasing travel insurance. Click HERE for a list of US travel insurance providers. Some credit card companies may also offer travel insurance if you paid for your trip using that credit card.
The closest international airport to Siena is Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR). Participants will travel either by taxi (15 minutes) or by bus (20 minutes) to the Santa Maria Novella Railway Station. The bus, the Volainubus Airport Shuttle connects Florence Airport to the train station. Tickets are purchased on board and cost around 5 euros. Check the ATAF website for departure times. The website lists the destination as "Stazione Galleria/Autostazione Busitalia", which is the bus station adjacent to the train station. In Siena the taxi ride from the train station to the hotel is approximately 17 minutes.
The instructor and tour manager are fully vaccinated against covid-19. This tour will be following all locally recommended protocols. Please check the covid protocols required for Italy by clicking HERE and check back close to the date of departure as the protocols may change.
Your Tour Manager
Participants will be accompanied by Studio 56 owner, Brenda Murray. Brenda is a Canadian artist and arts advocate, the founder of Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region and a former Urban Sketchers Board member. A seasoned traveler, Brenda has traveled to Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea (resident for 4 years), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and the USA (35 states). Brenda will be on hand to assist the instructor and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. She has completed the St. John's Ambulance Emergency First Aid - CPR C - AED training. Learn more about Brenda HERE.
For More Information
Email Studio56Boutique@gmail.com or call Brenda Murray at 519-572-1757.
How to Register for this Workshop
To guarantee your spot in this exciting vacation workshop, participants must pay a deposit by clicking the BOOK NOW button below.