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Women’s Trip to Italy – May 23-30, 2020!

A toast to a Cortona sunset after a long day of painting and traveling with great women!

Hello Artists!

I’d love to have you join me for a week in Tuscany — in Cortona, Italy to be precise! Come for a week of plein-air painting, hiking, eating amazing food, taking wonderful photos, wine tastings, seeing world class art the Uffizi in Florence, making new friends and generally having a creative trip that will inspire and excite you for years to come!

Cortona, home of “Under the Tuscan Sun” fame, is a beautiful medieval city up on a hillside that overlooks the Chiana Valley. We will stay in a villa that is walking distance to the village which has many beautiful shops, restaurants, churches, museums and picturesque views to photograph and paint. The village is a lively town full of locals and tourists all mingling in the piazzas each day and evening enjoying the gorgeous views from each angle, the cobblestone streets, pealing church bells and delicious pasta dishes at the many open air restaurants.

We will paint in different locations close to the villa and in town. I teach in both acrylic and oil and will meet every artist where they are to encourage their own individual style and voice–from realism to abstraction. All painting levels are welcome and if you are someone who likes to work in pen and ink, pencil, pastel etc…I encourage you to work in whatever medium you feel comfortable in with the understanding that I will only be teaching acrylic and oil. This is YOUR Artistic Adventure Abroad and I am here to help you fine and create your vision.

The food is always amazing, the villa has outstanding views and the camaraderie is life-changing! Painting there in Italy is a sensual delight–the smells, the sounds, the sites…it’s something everyone should experience at least once in their life!

I am now accepting deposits to hold your spot. I have attached a two-page flyer with more information below–please click further to see. Let me know if you have any questions.

Continue reading Women’s Trip to Italy – May 23-30, 2020!

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Our Trip to Italy Was Amazing!

Cortona Group 2019 at our last dinner together.

Workshop in Cortona, Italy

Cortona Group 2019 at our last dinner together.

Artistic Adventures Abroad recently returned from a week-long workshop/trip to Cortona, Italy with 10 amazing women! I cannot tell you what a blessed time it was to share the beauty that is Tuscany with these fine ladies. Italy had experienced a very cold and rainy May so by the time we arrived June 8-15th, the roses and poppies were in full bloom, the grasses were lush and the air was warm.

We painted as often as we could, ate al fresco in the garden overlooking the Chiana valley, went to Siena and saw important art and architecture with our fabulous guide, ate lots of pasta, drank great wine, saw gorgeous churches, painted some more, went to see where St. Francis of Assisi lived in Le Celle, climbed to the top of Cortona (whew), took many pictures, had a guide teach us art history and show us some hidden masterpieces, learned about Etruscan ruins, journaled and sketched, had a private wine tasting and education on Italian wines, painted some more, put on medieval costumes, attended the Archidado festival, dinner celebration and even danced, dipped in the refreshing swimming pool on hot days, dined in many different places– both in restaurants and at the villa with a private chef where we ate beneath the stars, we attended the “Wine, Dine and Shine” event with amazing dishes all paired with Sicilian wines and much more.

The week flew by.  The women were fun, supportive, curious, willing to take risks with their art and discuss what creativity meant in their lives. I was in awe of their paintings and their dedication to discovery. My intention was that they be open to new experiences and to find or reconnect with their creative sides–and I believe they did.

Artistic Adventures Abroad will lead another women’s only trip to Cortona in May 2020 and a trip to Kilarney, Ireland May 9-16, 2020. So stay tuned for more information about those upcoming adventures


Continue reading Our Trip to Italy Was Amazing!

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Upcoming Women’s Retreat to Italy – June 8 – 15, 2019

I’m excited to announce that Artistic Adventures Abroad is offering a unique opportunity to attend a workshop in the beautiful Tuscan hillside town of Cortona, Italy. This retreat will be a week dedicated to creating art, journal writing, personal reflection and, of course, outstanding food and wine!  By spending a full 7 nights in one city, you will get to know Cortona personally.

Cortona is where “Under the Tuscan Sun,” was set and where the author, Frances Mayes still lives. The author described it best when she said, “I think I went to Italy initially for the art, architecture, food and history, but I stayed there because of the people in Cortona.” It is a special place I discovered when I spent a summer there at a University Studies Abroad program and it’s brand new each time I go back. It’s a wonderful opportunity to stay there for a week and really get to know this very special village and its inhabitants.

We are staying at a beautiful property mere steps away from Cortona with breathtaking views of the Valdichiana valley below. This is a double occupancy trip for women only (each king bed can be made into two twins). Some of the bathrooms are ensuite, and others are shared. So think about who you would like to partner up with for this incredible experience and make plans to join us next June 8-15, 2019! There are only 10 spaces! 

A brief itinerary:

  • You will be picked up at the Rome airport and delivered to beautiful accommodations amidst the olive trees and breathtaking views of the valley below, yet steps away to Cortona
  • Cocktail party and dinner followed by the famous annual  Archidaldo Joust wedding ceremony in town
  • Plein air painting experiences taught by Rachael McCampbell along with daily journaling and circle time to share creative experiences
  • Driven to Siena where a guide will enlighten us about the famous art of that area
  • Guided tour of Cortona
  • Wine tasting and dinners by a Tuscan chef in the villa and local restaurants in Cortona
  • Trekking through the steep hills of Cortona for breathtaking views
  • Breakfast and dinners and some lunches provided
  • Return transportation to Rome’s airport

Before or after our week in Cortona, I recommend that you take the opportunity to travel in Tuscany as there are so many incredible villages and ancient towns nearby. Note: Itinerary subject to change.

For $600 you can hold your spot for this amazing trip and experience. Please contact me directly. For more images of the property read on:

Continue reading Upcoming Women’s Retreat to Italy – June 8 – 15, 2019

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Painting Trip to the Cotswolds! Summer 2018!

This is an a magical trip to the gorgeous Cotswolds in England July 23 – August 3, 2018.  I hope you can join us for 10 glorious nights in the Queen Anne Manor home not far from Chipping Campden. We will paint, draw, write, travel, dine, laugh and have a great time. We will tour gardens and learn about the Arts & Crafts movement which originated there in the Cotswolds. Landscape Architect, Curtis Stewart, will teach us about English Garden Design and Rachael McCampbell will talk on the Arts and Crafts Movement, taking the group to see examples of the work. We will do journal painting, see Highclere castle, many of the ancient Cotswolds villages, Blenheim Palace, Roman ruins, have high tea, dine in pubs, hike the English countryside and more. I hope you can join us!


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Artistic Adventures Abroad – Trip to Italy Fall of 2017

The beautiful Villa we will be staying in.

Another creative adventure lies ahead this August 30 – September 9, 2017, Cortona, Italy!

I’m taking a group of 14 guests to Cortona, Italy this fall to an amazing villa on gorgeous grounds with olive groves, a swimming pool, fountains and more. We will experience the joys of painting plein-air, hand-making pasta, truffle hunting, antiquing, seeing ancient churches and masterpieces of art while traveling to beautiful spots like San Gimignano, Siena, Volterra, Arezzo and of course Cortona!


THIS TRIP HAS SOLD OUT! Continue reading Artistic Adventures Abroad – Trip to Italy Fall of 2017

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Come Join Me in Spain! June 2-9, 2015!

Virginia Harper, Rachael McCampbell and Minton Sparks invite you to join us for a week long trip to Spain where we EAT gourmet, healthy food, PAINT from our innermost core and WRITE our personal stories. This is an intimate experience of like-minded travelers who wish to check-out from the chaos of life and check-into a place of renewal to revive body, mind and spirit…all in a luxuious, spa setting. Please sign up now to hold your spot….the trip is beginning to fill up. I hope to see you there! Rachael

Continue reading Come Join Me in Spain! June 2-9, 2015!