About the 2018 Workshop
Egg Tempera & Studio Watercolor Painting
We are very pleased to return to Cortona for our 2018 Workshop!

This year’s Cortona Workshop will be offered from June 22nd to July 3, 2018. You will again be staying with Fred & Jeremiah’s friends Diego & Ramona at the Hotel Italia in Cortona. Cortona is a charming village that inspired Frances Mayes to write her book, “Under the Tuscan Sun”.  The 2018 Summer Workshop in Cortona will again offer the Artist and/or Art-Lover another of the experiences rich in art, culture, and fine cuisine for which these workshops have become noted.

The newly re-designed 2018 Summer Workshop in Cortona will now offer hands-on instruction in both Egg Tempera & Studio Watercolor!

This year’s workshop has been re-designed to allow you greater flexibility in studying and learning the classical and unique techniques of Fred Wessel &  Jeremiah Patterson’s two favored mediums: Egg Tempera & Watercolor. Together, Fred & Jeremiah will offer an intensive painting instruction experience including lectures, live demonstrations, critiques and ample scheduled painting time.  If you prefer to work in an alternate medium they will also instruct you in the painting/drawing medium of your choice. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to hone your painting and drawing skills in studio, while living amongst Tuscany's most breath taking landscape and studying many of Italy's great art treasures. Your stay will also be filled with many opportunities to enjoy Italy's finest culture....the art, wine, food, and history of this beloved country.


The 2018 workshop is multi-faceted and is open to working artists at any level from beginning to professional. The instructional sessions will include lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on instruction in Egg Tempera & Studio Watercolor techniques, while also weaving in lessons on Drawing, Color & Composition.

By utilizing both of the workshop’s two beautiful studio spaces at the Hotel Italia during scheduled painting time, you will be able to select the medium and lesson that most interests you. You may also work with your own choice of subject, whether it be still life, portrait or landscape, or even a combination. In addition, the day trip to Deruta will involve a 1/2 day hands-on ceramics workshop where you will learn the technique for painting a traditional pattern of Italian Maiolica Ceramic, making your own piece under the instruction of the master ceramic artists at the Scuola Internazionale d'Arte Ceramica. Fred & Jeremiah will also be available for personal critiques at any point during the workshop by request. 

The Hotel Italia, which is just steps from Cortona’s main piazza, includes five levels of accommodations (Standard Singles and Double/Twin rooms in Standard, Superior, Deluxe and Superior with Val di Chiana View). There is also a beautiful top-floor breakfast room (with its own incredible view) where daily breakfast is included each morning. Our two studio spaces are unique and include a large subterranean Etruscan barrel vaulted studio room for egg tempera instruction & a ground floor air-conditioned studio room used for watercolor instruction & slide talks.  The two separate studio spaces will serve as the places where all hands-on instruction, demos and lectures in egg tempera and studio watercolor painting will take place. These spaces will remain open throughout the day and into the evening so you may also continue your work outside of the daily instruction time. 


Fred & Jeremiah also welcome non-artist participants that wish to take part in the educational travel experience their art workshop offers.  Fred & Jeremiah’s beloved 'Art-lovers' have commented on the wonderful educational vacations they have experienced while participating on workshops 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'. The workshop itinerary is structured with a balance between painting time and time to explore these wonderful gifts Italy has to offer. 

- The ART -

Cortona is home to many cultural sights including two wonderful museums. The Museo Diocesano (Cortona’s Art Museum) is home to its jewel, a Fra Angelico Annunciation & panel paintings by Luca Signorelli and others. The Museo dell’Academia Etrusca (Cortona’s Etruscan Museum) is one of the best museums of its kind in Italy. The workshop will provide entry and guide the group to see the paintings in the Museo Diocesano. Cortona is also home to a number of contemporary galleries that show a variety of artists & artisans.

The 2018 Workshop will again include two full-day trips on a private air-conditioned bus. These trips will take the group to see wonderful examples of Renaissance art. The first excursion takes everyone to the neighboring region of Umbria to the town of Deruta. The second day trip will again take us into Umbria to visit the paper-making factory at Fabriano & the village of Gubbio.


After breakfast at the Hotel Italia we will board a private bus to head off on a full day trip into Umbria to visit Deruta, a town renowned for being the center of Italian Maiolica Ceramics.  The numerous ceramic factories and artisans throughout Deruta have produced designs in the same way for centuries! The first stop is the Scuola Internazionale d'Arte Ceramica, of Maestro "Romano Ranieri” to take part in a hands-on workshop where the school’s master ceramics artists will walk us through the traditional process for decorating our own piece in one of the quintessential and famous Italian patterns. The finished ceramics will be left to be fired by the technicians and delivered to us in Cortona later in the week. Following this morning in the ceramics studio, we will make our way for lunch nearby, and afterwards visit the old center of Deruta, complete with many ceramics shops and home to the renowned Museo Regionale della Ceramica di Deruta. Our group visit of this museum will enable us to view the history of Italian ceramic art, taking in work in all styles from all periods. We will leave time for ourselves to explore this small picturesque hill town and, if you wish, also visit some of the shops of local artisans. We will return to Cortona following this full day.


Following an early breakfast, we will board our private air-conditioned bus and make our way to Fabriano & Gubbio, passing through the hills to the east of Cortona. A highlight in Fabriano is the famed Italian paper mill and the Fabriano Paper-Making and Watermark Museum. We will visit the museum as a group, to see how paper is made and their unique process of creating a watermark. We will spend some time exploring the town of Fabriano where you will have the opportunity to find lunch on your own. We will then get back on our bus and make our way to Gubbio, a medieval town in central Umbria. There you will spend the remainder of the afternoon independently exploring this beautiful town. The adventuresome in our group will want to take the Colle Eletto cable car, which climbs to the top of Mount Ingino where you can visit the 5-naved Sant’Ubaldo Basilica and also see incredible views of the surrounding valley and the Apennines Mountains in the distance. In town, Gubbio Cathedral contains 16th-century paintings and a baroque chapel. Inside the Gothic Consoli Palace, with its crenellated top, is the Civic Museum. We will allow time for you to visit your choice of sights in Gubbio before again boarding our bus to return to Cortona.

  1. -The FOOD -

Fred & Jeremiah’s Italy workshops have become noted for the wonderful and varied culinary experiences provided during the stay.  Both are very knowledgeable about Italian 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 2018 Cortona Workshop will be some of the many high points of this workshop. 
Fred & Jeremiah have traveled to Italy for the past 20 years and know many great places to eat typical Tuscan dishes.  With their vast knowledge of Cortona developed during their numerous visits there, they know the town, its restauranteurs, and its people very well, and they are eager to share their knowledge with you. 

The 2018 Summer Workshop in Italy’s group meals will not only be hosted by Cortona’s best chefs, but also people Fred & Jeremiah call their ‘friends’.

  1. -The WINES -

Cortona (and the local areas surrounding it) are becoming well known producers of world class wines, and your participation on the 2018 workshop will enable you to sample a number of wonderful examples of these local Tuscan gems that are making such an impact in the wine world.  The workshop itinerary includes scheduled wine tastings, a wine course and a wine dinner in Cortona with Marco Molesini of the famous Enoteca Molesini - Wine Shop to allow the group to experience the wonders of Italian and Tuscan wines.


The Hotel Italia is a very comfortable and centrally located hotel just steps from Cortona’s main piazza, enabling the group very easy access to the heart of the town, its many shops, trattorias, cafes, and beautiful corners. 
The hotel includes five levels of accommodations: (Standard Singles & Double/Twin rooms in Standard, Superior, Deluxe and Superior with Val di Chiana View). There is also a beautiful top-floor breakfast room (with its own incredible view) where daily breakfast is included each morning. Every afternoon, local Cortonese will stroll the main street and piazza during their ‘Passeggiata’, and many in the group will surely love to participate and/or watch this relaxing routine of daily life.
Taking residence in the center of the city of Cortona will allow workshop participants to attend lectures, demonstrations and have ample painting time, intermixed with many opportunities for cultural discovery. The itinerary is designed to take advantage of the cultural events throughout the week and experience Tuscany through the eyes of Fred & Jeremiah, and allow ample time to paint and learn the techniques introduced by each of them during the workshop.


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.