Italy Painting Workshop & Art Retreat

Live the Dream

Paint the Views of Italy
Workshop & Art Retreat
All-Inclusive  July 8 – July 17, 2022

Let your true creative essence emerge through painting the inspirational Italian landscape. Capture the views of the sea and hills of Tuscany. Paint the exquisite light and expressive colors native to Italy. Gain mastery by painting the landscape in different lighting and atmospheric conditions. All from the ease and comfort of a grand 14th century stone atelier. Just a short walk across the courtyard from the main house.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Italy. Find the perfect spot among the olive groves to paint en plein air. Take advantage of the painting in the comfort of the atelier. The entire art retreat is designed to allow for you to fully relax and expand. To experience exhilarating and valuable lessons in each of your paintings.

A painting holiday where you can relax for 10 days. Everything is convenient at the villa. Allowing you to settle in and focus on the views for your paintings. There are 360 degree views from the sea to the Tuscan hills from which to choose. Rest in the comfort of the well appointed rooms.

Each attendee’s experience will be optimized. Internationally recognized artist, Jill Nichols will be assisting you in honing your skills. Accustomed to teaching students at all levels, Jill has a way of instilling confidence and encouraging students to take risks with remarkable outcomes. Jill’s demos and talks will review the basics and her own insights into what makes a successful painting. Jill will be working with each painter individually to enhance their painting practice.

Indulge in a Taste of Italy.

Savor the sumptuous local cuisine prepared fresh for you daily. Discuss painting and art with new friends under the stars. Unwind in one of the several comfortable living spaces in the spacious villa. The Art Retreat is set in a villa at the intersection of the fertile ground of Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, abundant with olive groves. You will be sure to bring home amazing memories and paintings!

“The week in Farnese as part of the workshop filled our senses and left an edible mark that won’t be soon forgotten. From the early morning meditation walks, the tantalizing and delectable freshly cooked local cuisine, the wonderful company of newfound friendships, to the wealth of knowledge and craft shared by an outstanding mentor and teacher – it was pure Italian and artistic perfection!”

Cindy M
Even the food is a work of art at the villa. Figs from the fields ripen right during our workshop

Venture out and explore the Region. Abiding current travel mandates you can make the most of your painting vacation and go off exploring the Renaissance Art, ancient Etruscan historic sites and other interests in the region. The villa is at the outskirts of the medieval village of Farnese which has many intriguing points of interest and restaurants. Visit the wineries or for a little pampering head to one of the many natural hot springs.

Awesome work, Awesome workshop, Awesome lady!!

Don M
Find out more about the Italy Workshop and Retreat by filling out this simple form. To get updates for events and Jill’s work please be sure to check the sign up for newsletter (occasional) option.

Ask Jill

Italy Painting Workshop is Limited to 8 Students

Dates: July 8th – July 17th, 2021

All Inclusive Cost Includes – 10 Day and 8 Day Options

All-Inclusive 10 Days – 9 nights accommodations
7 days instruction, all levels, beginner to advanced
7 days fresh local cuisine
$3,975 per person for painter 
$1,950 non-painting companion

All-inclusive 8 Days – 7 nights accommodations
5 days instruction, all levels, beginner to advanced
5 days fresh local cuisine
$3,250 per person for painter 
$1,750 non-painting companion

Please note that transportation is not included. We will facilitate all attendees arrival and departure between the Villa and the Fiumicino Airport, Rome. Options include car rental, private-ride and carpooling. We will introduce the workshop attendees to each other previous to travel.

A complete updated list of suggested materials will be provided upon registration

  • Easels are provided in the studio. Bring a portable easel to paint en plein air
  • Canvas will be provided 
  • Oil paints are preferred, other mediums are encouraged, including watercolors, acrylics and pastels. A list of suggested colors and other materials will be provided after registration. A variety of oil paints will be at your disposal for experimenting with subtle temperature/value shifts. Mineral spirits provided.

Daily Schedule, more details will be provided upon registration

  • Paint the sunrise (optional) -this will be a quiet time of painting without instruction
  • Breakfast, in the Italian style of sweet and savory 
  • A moment of quiet reflection and meditation to ease the mind and begin to focus 
  • Morning immersed in painting the landscape
  • Lunch served 
  • Rest, relaxation and revitalization
  • Capture the Italian landscape bathed in the late afternoon light or outing to take in the art and sites
  • Savor a sumptuous dinner, abundant with the region’s fresh flavors

Jill will work individually with each painter in achieving individual goals. We will investigate historic and contemporary approaches to painting technique. Discussions and demos will encompass Dynamic Composition, Visual Perception, Form/Shapes, Edges, Creating Space through Overlap/Perspective, Ambiguity and Chaos, Abstraction, Simplifying the Complex, Subtleties, Ground/Under-painting, Value, Contrast, Light and Color, Getting at the Root – Emotion, Translation and Connection. We will create studies with preliminary sketches, complimentary pairs-contrast/neutralizing and primaries and develop selected paintings using the full color palette. We will build on our competence, working on several studies each day, always noting the quality of the light and its effect on color and form. If this all seems a little daunting don’t despair, we will be working at a comfortable pace and lessons will be customized.

This year we’ve expanded the scope of the workshop with instruction with a professional photographer, for those that would rather photograph than paint – your option to use your phone or pack your equipment. Please contact Jill directly for details on the photography option.

Jill Harrington Nichols Fine Art
Jill Harrington Nichols Fine Art
A lovely day with other painters at Fairfield Audubon Birdcraft - Watercolor Painting with my non-dominant left hand- due to surgery
Jill Harrington Nichols Fine Art
Jill Harrington Nichols Fine Art
Stunning two days painting at Hammonasset with fellow CT Plein Air Painters - First day painted at Meig’s Point in the morning, bright and breezy. Second day I arrived later in the day, took my swim first then and decided to paint the Butterfly Garden with the sun rapidly falling toward the sea in background- stopped due to sunset…

Added Bonus

Jill will share the journey of her artwork ‘Phi’ that is installed in the Vatican Observatory Museum, Vatican City.

Director of the Vatican Observatory, with Jill and her painting ‘Phi’.

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10 thoughts on “Italy Painting Workshop & Art Retreat

  1. Dear Madelane,

    Thank you for your interest in the September workshop in Italy. Great!! Bring you oils, acrylics and gouache paints! You can apply a lot of the oil techniques to gouache and acrylics. In addition, I would recommend bringing your watercolors if you have some. I often enjoy combining the transparency of the watercolors with the opacity of the gouache. Once you are registered I will send a suggested list of materials and more detailed information about the workshop.

    I think that you will be most comfortable traveling solo. In the past the group has been made up of both single females and couples. It is too soon to tell the make-up of this group, however I am sure that there will be other singles there, including me. We have a lot of fun painting and going off on excursions together. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions- you can reply to my email that I sent you.


  2. I am interested in your September 2021 workshop in September. I’m currently painting w gouache,love oils And have used acrylic as well. Watercolor scares me :). Although I have someone who might be interested as well I must probably will be traveling alone I’m wondering about the group dynamics Or if this would be an issue. Thank you.

  3. Dear Marina,

    Thank you for your interest in the Italy Painting Retreat. It would be great if you and your mom could join in. We are a small intimate group. There is a limit to 8 students and their companions. Not all painters bring companions. The villa has great interior and exterior space and the studio is set off from the main area allowing individuals to be as involved with others as they see fit. I have found that artists are usually respectful of each other’s needs for personal space. I’m hoping that we will all be able to travel come July.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions for me. I tried emailing you but it came back. If you would like to stay abreast with my activities, news and updates please be sure to register on my contact page:


  4. Hi! I would love to be apart of your program with my mom (most likely for next year or two). Is there any information on that the enrollment size? She’s social when she has to be but the smaller the number the better. Love the full moon pictures and reflection/meditation addition. Excited to experience it one day in the future!

  5. Yes, there is some availability. Please email me at

  6. Hi friends. Is there still room for the July workshop?

  7. Great! Thank you for your interest. I will be sure to contact you once I have the 2020 workshop schedule confirmed. Regards, Jill

  8. In a designer and your retreat sounds like the best vacation! Do you have a mailing list or schedule of upcoming trips?

  9. Hi I am a journalist in Devon with a great interest in art and have worked with the South West Academy of Art ….do you ever offer any press trips?

  10. I have been to Tuscany area 3 times. I have returned to oil painting after a 50 year absence

    I woul love info for 2020

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