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10 day Northern Italy Painting Workshop with Nicole Kelly

Workshop Details​

Workshop Dates: Tuesday 15th - Friday 25th October 2024

10 Day + 10 Night Workshop Tickets: $5600 + gst.  All meals, accommodation and transfers included. Partners are welcome, see below for cost. 

Workshop Location: The Sanctuary of San Giovanni d'Andorno, located between the pristine wilderness of the Upper Cervo Valley in Piedmont and the peaks of the Biella Alps, 100 km from Turin and Milan in the North-West of Italy.

Workshop Start Time: 10:00am Tuesday from Milano Centrale, a coach will pick up from Milan Central Station and transfer to the workshop. 

Suitable For: The workshop welcomes participants of all levels, from novices to those with advanced experience. Nicole provides individual guidance tailored to each person's skill level, helping them progress to new heights. Participants are urged to explore different techniques, enhance current abilities, cultivate their unique visual style and artistic preferences, and refine their understanding of painting through critical analysis, all while immersed in the captivating Italian scenery.

Please Note: Airfares are not included. We strongly recommend that workshop members have travel insurance.

About the workshop

This 10 day workshop focuses on creating drawings and paintings in response to the surrounding Cervo Valley and forest jewel found on our doorstep, and developing studio paintings in our stunning, natural light filled studio space. During the workshop Nicole will expose you to a variety of ideas and colour centred approaches to painting landscapes. 

This workshop will begin with sketching outside in the landscape, progressing to some works on paper in gouache or watercolour, then moving to complete studio paintings. Nicole has a practical approach to teaching painting focused on colour and composition, mark making and line.

Participants will be encouraged to try new approaches, build on existing skills, pursue their own visual style and aesthetics, and develop a critical language around painting practice. For the professionals, Nicole will share lots of her own tips and personal approaches.

The workshop is open to all levels, from beginners to those with prior experience. Students can choose their preferred medium of acrylics or oil paints. Nicole works closely with everyone, guiding each person within the parameters of their abilities, and guiding them to new levels.

The workshop will be capped at approx. 12 participants to allow for a more intimate experience between participants and more 1:1 time with Nicole.


About the artist

Nicole Kelly paints personal vignettes that materialise moments in time and space. Her beguiling scenes, both interior and landscape, form emotional and psychological cartographies tracing the artist’s own spatial experiences, intimately observed and sensitively felt.

Kelly has received many awards including the Brett Whitely Travelling Art Scholarship, 2009, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery Art on Paper Local Artist Award, 2011, Manning Naked and Nude 2D Award 2015, Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize, 2018, Royal Art Society of NSW Young Artist Award, 2020, Viktoria Marinov Scholarship for female artists, 2021 and the Australian Government Postgraduate Research Scholarship, University of New South Wales, 2019. She undertook artist’s residencies in France in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2010 and Spain in 2016. She was commissioned by Sutherland and St George Hospitals in Sydney and her work has been selected for multiple awards including the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. Kelly’s work is held in the collections of Macquarie University Sydney, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Moran Art Foundation and Lismore Regional Gallery, and she is represented by Arthouse Gallery in Sydney and Nicholas Thompson Gallery in Melbourne.

The late Edmond Capon, former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, described Kelly’s work as ‘bold and confident. It’s got spirit, that intellectual dynamic that comes out of the soul of an artist.’


About the location

Located between the pristine nature of the Upper Cervo Valley in Piedmont and the peaks of the Biella Alps, the Sanctuary of San Giovanni d'Andorno is situated 100 km from Turin and Milan in the North-West of Italy.

The valley remains largely untouched. Rich in culture, exceptional local cuisine, and wines, set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Biella Alps.

Divided by the Cervo River, the valley consists of two slopes – the Banda Veja and the Banda Sulja. This region is known for its beech and chestnut forests, clear waters, quaint wooden and stone villages, hiking trails leading to peaks, and the Sanctuary perched between the sky and earth.

During our visit in November, we will witness the woods adorned with warm autumn colours, as the sanctuary and its surroundings soaked in the gentle touch of the sun.

About the food

Food is a big part of the In The Field experience. This works shop will be catered by the restaurant attached to the sanctuary. The menu will feature local and seasonal ingredients typical of the Piedmont region. Whether it be the polenta stone-ground at the local mill, or the cheeses produced from the surrounding pastures each day we will come together at a shared table, swaps stories of the day and indulge in all the deliciousness on offer. 


All meals including tea and coffee are included. We will work with the restaurant to cater for any dietaries.


About the accommodation

Each participant will be offered a private double room with views looking back down the valley.


Topics covered

The basics from a colourist perspective
We’ll dig into painting basics from a colourist perspective, and why it’s important that you understand them if you're interested in colour in painting. You’ll walk away with a thorough understanding of the (very different) perspectives of making paintings via a tonal or colourist approach - including a suggestion of my favourite go to’s - to help you confidently apply colour principles to different subjects and styles. We will play with use of a coloured ground, a full rage colour palette working from memory and colour invention. 

Nothing is more exciting than embracing natural light. Autumn light in the Biella Alps is extra special and this light casts spectacularly into our studio. Nicole will share with you all her tips on grappling with changing light and the impacts of this on colour. 

The way a painting is composed can completely shift the way a subject is viewed and the way a painting is balanced. We’ll talk about symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions and how to use colour as a tool to balance a painting. Nicole will share practical approaches to composition and how to incorporate the elements to direct the eye across the picture plane.

Developing Studio Paintings from Drawings

An area of painting Nicole is incredibly passionate about. She’ll share all the tips she has learnt for studio painting and using a drawing as a starting point, referencing modernist and contemporary painters. There will also be plenty of room for you to use photos if you prefer. You’ll learn a variety of painting applications such as scraping, scrubbing, loading, dragging and layering paint.

Formal Group Critique
At the end of the workshop we will display your work from the week and meet for a final group critique. The tone of these critiques is respectful but intense and a celebration of the week's efforts. This is usually a beautiful afternoon of sharing our struggles and successes.

We want to answer any and all of your questions. We will have plenty of time for questions throughout the workshop, and special allocated time toward the end of most days.

What’s included in the workshop:

  • All meals

  • Accommodation with bedding and towels 

  • Transfer from Milan Central Station to the workshop and return

  • Introduction to the property and suggestions for ideal painting locations

  • Beautiful shared studio space

  • In The Field hand printed tote

  • Notebook and pen

What's not included:

  • Airfares

  • Easels

  • Painting materials

For you to bring:

  • Your own materials (a suggested material list will be sent prior to workshop)


Workshop participant: $5600 +gst 

Non participating partner: $4000 +gst, this includes food, accommodation and transfers.

Participating partner subsidy: $5000 +gst, this is for a shared room with your partner who is also participating in the workshop

We understand that times are tough right now, a payment plan of four equal payments is available for those who need.  A $500 +gst deposit is required to secure your booking.


Testimonials: always Nicole's instruction was comprehensive - Margaret Dix, Clifton Monotype Masterclass, 2024


I can see an improvement in my paintings already. I left Bundanon feeling inspired, rejuvenated and well fed. What more can you ask for? Thank you, Nicole and Lauren x - Kate Friesenecker, Bundanon 2023


There are so many things to consider to make a successful Art trip and Ash and Nicole were thorough in the planning and implementing of the event. They shared their knowledge generously - in a way that participants felt both extended and inspired. Having the ability to experience a unique landscape in this format was a treat and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. - Justine Seidle, Fowlers Gap 2022


The In the Field painting workshop at Fowler’s Gap with Nicole and Lauren was a wonderful trip on many levels. The exposure to art talk and instruction, the delicious meals, the fun and friendly artists, teachers and assistants and spending time drawing and painting in the ancient and awe inspiring landscape of Fowler’s Gap created a truly memorable experience. - Missy Townsend, Fowlers Gap 2022

Cancellation Policy:

We would like to be as flexible as possible, so should you need to cancel we will offer up the resale of your ticket. In the event that it sells, we will gladly refund your ticket minus a $50 handling fee. Unfortunately we are unable to refund your ticket if it does not resell. Thank you so much for understanding.


Are you keen but not quite sure yet? Do you have some questions for us? Do you want to talk about a payment plan? Please send us an email and we would love to chat more with you!

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