Painting a Dynamic Landscape

July 1st – 15th, 2019

Umbria_1.jpgClaudia Rilling, Umbria Hills, 2018, oil on panel, 9 x 9 in


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Situated in idyllic Civita Castellana, home of the birthplace of outdoor painting, this workshop and your immersion in the surroundings will provide unforgettable experiences. This non-touristy location will allow you to enjoy this small town and its authentic Italian locale.

The immersive two-week workshop will cover the fundamentals of landscape painting. As the course progresses we will delve into more complex topics. Painting architecture will also be explored- edges, angles, planes.

The first few days of the course will be heavily devoted to hands-on instruction, short demos, and covering the essential aspects of landscape painting. During the first week you will produce small studies in order to learn how to simplify information, distilling imagery down to its most essential components.

The main topics covered in the workshop will be:

·       choosing a location and setting up in the landscape

·       simplifying complex information (and the unimportance of detail)

·       atmospheric perspective

·       paint handling

·       color control and mixing

·       building dynamic compositions

·       value structure

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and will be spent painting. There will be four hour and three blocks on each day from 8 AM – 12 PM and  4 PM – 7PM. Saturdays and Sundays are free to allow for exploration and independent study. On Thursdays there will be an optional field trip hosted by the JSS (see the excursions schedule). Additionally, students will be welcome to observe the engaging weekly master class critiques and attend JSS lectures.

All levels are welcome, though some prior oil painting experience preferred. Beginners will be given basic tools to learn how to approach the landscape. Advanced students will receive tailored feedback to ensure growth based on one’s specific goals. You will also spend some time inside a classroom in Civita where you will have group critiques, and if needed, produce indoor studies.

In 2016 I had the opportunity to study with the JSS as a master class student. The experience shifted my thinking and brought immense richness and new ideas into my studio practice. I continue to paint plein air landscape on a regular basis. In this podcast interview I discuss some of my ideas about painting:

A typical painting day
Wake up in time to enjoy fresh baked Italian pastries and cappuccino on the square or  at the hotel. Meet at 8 am at the designated location. The first week I will share images, do demos, and discuss specific approaches to the landscape before heading out to paint on location. Around noon you will take a long break, or “siesta”, to cool down, relax, and enjoy lunch in the town. We will re-convene at 4 o’clock. Some days we will begin with a group critique before heading out again to paint. You will be done around 7PM, depending on your painting session. In the evening enjoy dinner at one of the local authentic Italian restaurants, listen to JSS lectures, and mingle with other participants in one of the workshops, residencies, or master class.

Feel free to contact me with questions at 267-825-5190 or

Click here to download materials list

Click here to apply

Tuition & Fees for 2 week Workshop