September 19-24, Italy

Steve in the studio.jpg
Steve in the studio.jpg
sold out

September 19-24, Italy


The total cost of this workshop is $3,400 for double rooms. A deposit of $1,700 is required to secure your double room registration. The remaining balance ($1,700) is due August 1, 2018. By purchasing this workshop, you agree to pay the remaining balance when prompted to do so. No refunds are available after booking.

NOTE* Registration closes July 30, 2018.

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This workshop will teach you techniques to allow yourself to intuitively paint abstraction, discover your inner voice and marks, and transfer that energy to the canvas. 

There will be excursions to local museums to study art and discuss how classic renaissance art can inform your abstractions. Steve will take the visual splendor of The Fortress and the surrounding Tuscan landscape, and guide your painting to reflect the juxtaposition of the beauty you observe with abstract painting.  In addition, we will discuss the principles of painting and how to use them in your work. Time will also be spent merging your artwork and your social media. 

This workshop is perfect for aspiring artists as well as experienced artists wanting to find a breakthrough in their work.  Are you a creative (maker, designer, author, graphic designer, etc.) looking to expand your horizons? This workshop is made for you; a new way to look at your work through abstract expressionism.  Join us. This workshop is limited to 6 students; most rooms are shared rooms.

$3,400.00 shared rooms (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,700 + remaining deposit due one month prior)

Fee includes breakfast, all lunches (excluding free day), some dinners, all instruction, and excursions. Accommodations included.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. You are responsible for transportation to the workshop.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits:

Travel Information:

Book your flight to Pisa. It is 1 hour and 15 minutes from La Fortezza's front door in Lunigiana. 


As there are no local taxi services in the countryside, we recommend guests arrive by rental car as it gives the maximum amount of freedom. 

Note: Once you are registered for a workshop, you will be able to reach out to fellow attendees through a private Facebook group to arrange ride-sharing. Please contact Annette with any additional questions.

The Instructor:

Steve McKenzie, an abstract painter for 30+ years, will lead this workshop. Steve is an interior designer, product designer, and co-owner of Atlanta home store, Steve McKenzie's. 

The Setting –  The Fortress

The Fortress, the Joseph's Tuscan summer home and workshop location, is nestled in the heart of Northern Tuscany a region known as the Lunigiana. The medieval stone compound sits on 27 acres, on the grounds are Roman ruins, a river and the vineyard. The Fortress has a breathtaking view of the Apennine mountains & the marble-topped Apuane Alps and the valley below. The property is surrounded by olive groves, chestnut trees, and fruit orchards. The Fortress was a medieval defensive tower in a region that had over 120 castles and kingdoms to protect in the 15th century. On the property there are 3 outbuildings, a massive terrace, and a private living quarters. You can wander the grounds with camera in hand and capture the Italian country life during your stay

Lodging: You will be staying onsite at The Fortress. 


Wednesday, September 19th
1:30 pm - Arrivals at The Fortress - Light lunch
2:30 - 6:30 pm - Relax, Nap, Unpack
6:30 pm - Meet and Greet Aperitivo on the terrace - cocktails and nibbles
7:30 pm - Welcome dinner on the terrace to follow

Thursday, September 20th
9:00- 10:00 am - Breakfast
10:00 - noon - Lectures and PowerPoint presentation on understanding abstract painting, painting techniques, and media
12:00 pm - Lunch on the grounds
1:00 - 4:00 pm - Hands-on prepping canvases and exploring shapes and abstractions on paper with watercolors (you will be participating in painting all afternoon)
4:00 - 6:30 - Free time
6:30 - Aperitivo on the terrace
7:30 - Dinner on your own

Friday, September 21st
9:00 - 10:00 am – Breakfast
10:00 - noon - Lecture on process as well as exploring intuitive abstraction and painting abstraction inspired by landscape techniques. We will also discuss leveraging your social media to promote your artwork.
12:00 - 1:00 pm - Picnic on the grounds
1:00 - 5:00 pm - Painting on your own with help and critique
5:00 - 6:00 - Free time
6:30 - Aperitivo on the terrace
7:30 - Group Dinner on the terrace

Saturday, September 22nd
9:00 - 10:00 am – Breakfast
10:00- 4:30pm - All day excursion to local museum as well as sketching
5:30 - 6:30 - Free time
6:30 - Dinner on your own

Sunday, September 23rd
Free Day - Find an example list of area activities here
*Note: If you choose to stay on site and paint, Steve will be on hand to answer questions and assist.

Be back by 6:30 pm for our farewell festivities at the Fortress. 

Monday, September 24th
Breakfast and Departures
9:30 am - Board the bus for the Pisa Airport
Hugs  & Goodbyes