Retreat to Tuscany

Immersive. Transportive. Restorative.

Artists Network is proud to present Retreat to Tuscany, an exclusive week-long art pilgrimage to the Italian countryside where you’ll embed yourself in the natural experience and see it reflected in your artwork. Located on a nature reserve in the hills of Tuscany, Tenuta di Spannocchia is within short driving distance of Florence, Siena, and many scenic Tuscan hill towns, but isolated enough to enjoy the natural beauty of the local landscape.

Limited to just 20 attendees, you will be mentored by two celebrated painter-instructors—Thomas Schaller and Melanie Vote—toward the creation of your best work during intimate oil and watercolor workshops that will take full advantage of the gorgeous surroundings and rustic setting.

With Schaller, you will receive extensive instruction in site observation, perspective composition, and drawing fundamentals that will lead to the creation of inspired watercolor work that truly captures your time in Tuscany. With Vote, you will focus on capturing the specific allure of Spannocchia’s environment, exploring the landscape in a slightly different fashion by creating a Portrait of Spannocchia.

Artists Network Retreats

Retreat to Tuscany

Tenuta di Spannocchia | Tuscany, Italy

Instructors: Thomas Schaller & Melanie Vote

September 16 – 22, 2018

Immersive. Transportive. Restorative.



Tenuta di Spannocchia

Tenuta di Spannocchia
Località Spannocchia, 167, 53012 Chiusdino SI, Italia

Located on a nature reserve in the hills of Tuscany, the 1100- acre organic farm hosts guests from around the world. Scholars, artists, musicians and environmentalists visit the historic estate to experience the stunning natural setting and support our conservation efforts.

Tenuta di Spannocchia offers a unique experience to see a lesser-known side of Tuscany. Ideally located within short driving distance of Florence, Siena, and many scenic Tuscan hill towns, but isolated enough to enjoy the natural beauty of the local landscape, visitors can immerse themselves in a historical, agricultural estate. The centuries old architecture of the original tower and aristocratic home, as well as the many restructured farmhouses, provide the optimal setting to relax and enjoy la dolce vita.

Spannocchia honors the traditions of Tuscan living and are seeking to preserve them for generations to come.


Meet Thomas Schaller

Thomas Schaller

Thomas W. Schaller is a multi-award winning artist, architect, and author based in Los Angeles. He has authored three books: the best-selling, and AIA award-winning, Architecture in Watercolor (VNR), The Art of Architectural Drawing (MaGraw-Hill), and in 2018, a five-year retrospective of recent work, The Architecture of Light by F+W Media Group, NYC. His second DVD/video collection was recently released by Artist Network TV. He is in demand around the world as a speaker, juror, writer, and instructor in the field of fine arts.

His work has been showcased in many prestigious international exhibitions including the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, The Gold Medal Exhibition of the California Art Club, The American Masters Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in NYC, and the Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial. His work is internationally collected and he has been profiled in a great many books, magazines, and other recent publications around the world.

A Signature Member of the AWS, and the NWWS, Tom was also elected Artist Member of the California Art Club, and the Salmagundi Club, NYC. He is a founding member of the group: North American Watercolor Artists.

Meet Melanie Vote

Melanie Vote

Vote originates from Iowa and is a painter and multimedia artist based in New York. She received a BFA from Iowa State University and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 1998. She teaches at The New School, The New York Academy, NJCU and has also taught at Pratt Institute. Additionally, Vote has been a visiting artist at numerous schools including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

Her work has been exhibited nationwide and internationally. In New York at Flowers Gallery, The Lodge Gallery, Sloan Fine Art and DFN Gallery where she had her first solo exhibition in 2008. Additionally, her work has been shown at the Indiana Contemporary Art Center, Jenkins-Johnson Gallery of CA, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and many more. Recent solo exhibitions include Galleria Farina in Miami and Hionas Gallery of New York.

She was a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2006 and has been awarded numerous artist residencies including Jentel in Banner, Wyoming, KHNC for the Arts in Nebraska and the Vermont Studio Center with a full fellowship from the Dodge Foundation in 2003. In June 2017 she was an artist in residence in The Grand Canyon.

Preview Your Instruction

On this Retreat to Tuscany, you’ll embed yourself in the natural experience and see this willingness to explore and to be changed reflected in your work.

“As artists,” explains Thomas Schaller, “I believe it is our job to learn how to see; how to identify what it is that will result in the best possible paintings; paintings that tell the stories we wish to tell.”

“The works created will mainly focus on perceptual painting with an emphasis on developing a larger compositional, pictorial vocabulary and technical facility,” says Melanie Vote. “Students will cultivate their own voice to create unique works that explore an individual vision.”


Coming soon!


Space is limited to 20 artists. Your retreat registration of $4,500 includes:

* All lectures and special events developed for the retreat

* Five (5) nights lodging at Tenuta di Spannocchia

* One (1) night lodging in Florence

* Breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout your stay at Tenuta di Spannocchia

* All transfers between Florence and Spannocchia, arrival and departure

* Roundtrip airfare from NYC to Florence on 9/15 and from Florence to NYC on 9/22

Your travel expenses to and from New York City are not included.

Have questions? Please contact us at: or 1-877-436-7764, Option 1.


Immersive. Transportive. Restorative.


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