Friday, November 22, 2019

Art Workshops in Valleriana Tuscany Italy in 2020

5-day workshops in Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy in 2020:
This is actually a series of workshops so that you may plan your preferred time to visit Valleriana. 
Our Tuscan hills are located between Florence and Lucca, with Pescia being the closest town with rail and bus stations.  We can meet you there.
Art instructor is Kelly Borsheim.

Day 1:  Discussion of composition, with emphasis on Notan and emotional design; a bit about taking photographs for reference; Afternoon:  start touring in Valleriana with cameras/phones
Day 2:  More Tuscan touring in our old villages and the surrounding woods.  A 2-hour (maximum) tour of our Museum of Paper, featuring the Magnani Italian paper that we will use in class.
Day 3:  Morning tours; afternoon studio time to sort, edit, and choose each student's photographs to use for painting composition
Day 4:  Studio day starting paintings with your own images of your visit in Valleriana
Day 5:  Continue painting

Each 2020 Workshop is from Friday to Tuesday, with 6 hours minimum daily.  [I chose these days of the week since it is often more economical to travel during the week.  Also, many art museums, in Florence/Firenze for example, are closed on Mondays.  If you choose to extend your stay in Tuscany to hit the cities, everything should be open and available to you after (or before) the workshop.]

Dates for EACH 5-day workshop in 2020, your choice: 
May 22-26
June 26-30
July 17-21
August 07-11
September 04-08
October  09-13

Included: basic art materials, such as Magnani Italian hand-made paper, and your choice of pastels, charcoal, or watercolor. 

Not included:  food [although we have lovely restaurants in the area to let each experience our local Tuscan foods], and lodging [but I provide a list of local places to stay, and can help you make arrangements, no extra cost], art supplies if you choose to paint with acrylics or oil.

Bring:  What makes you happy, but also comfortable shoes for the season you choose.  Will will be walking in forests and old villages.  The cobbled stones and a few uphill stairways entice shoes that support well.

Price of workshop at $490, with optional extra painting day:  $95  [you may decide on extra day during the workshop if you like]


Early Bird savings:  $400, if order by January 31, 2020, with a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $50.
[Note  Nov 22, 2019: I am having trouble with the PayPal pay button coding, so please send me an e-mail at  sculptor@borsheimarts.com  and I will send you an invoice via PayPal.  You may pay with any credit or debit card that they accept.  Thank you. ¬ Kelly]






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For more information on this area of Tuscany, please visit:
http://pleinairvalleriana.blogspot.com/p/whowhere.html

We look forward to sharing with you this little paradise.  Come paint, learn, and breathe the clean air of our Tuscan hills.  Situated between Lucca and Florence (Firenze).  Pescia is the closest town with a train and rail station.



Castelvecchio in Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy


Monday, February 25, 2019

Natura Arte e Sapori


I am pleased to announce a wonderful day-long event:  Natura, Arte, e Sapori [Nature, Art, and Flavors] on the 10th of March 2019, a Sunday.

Typically in March, the village above my home hosts the festival of the chestnut pancake [sagra del neccio].  We have loads of chestnut trees [Castagna] in the hills of Valleriana and the fall harvest time features the Sagra delle Frugiate [festival of roasted chestnuts].  One can often buy the flour and other products from chestnuts at these events.  They are fun!

The neccio [neh-choh] is traditionally cooked by heating many flat round stones [about 1 inch thick and maybe 8-10 inches in diameter] in the fire.  Then one makes a stack... stone, castagna leaf, ladle on some batter [just the chestnut flour, water, and perhaps a wee bit of olive oil], leaf, stone, leaf, batter, leaf, stone, etc.  The heat from the stone cooks the pancake in a short time.

Nowadays, some people use a long-hinged iron paddle.  Open the long arms, and place the batter on the inside of the round end, near the hinge.  Close it up and the hot iron cooks the pancake on both sides.

The neccio is then served with ricotta or another cheese or Nutella.  Rolled up inside.  Delicious!


So, then, my friend Danilo Giusti, is offering a tour of three of our ten castled villages of Valleriana that morning.  The villages are Aramo, Castelvecchio, and ending up in San Quirico for the sagra that starts at 2 p.m.  Meet up with him at 9 a.m. in Pescia, our nearest large town with train and bus station.

They will pass by La Pieve Ristorante in Castelvecchio, run by my friend Lara Matteucci and her parents for over 25 years now.  She asked me to put on a solo art show and demonstrate, as well.

So, we have a fun day planned for those who would like to get a taste of Tuscany!
Look at the other pages on this blog to learn more about the area, including where to stay, where to eat, what to do :
http://pleinairvalleriana.blogspot.com

Thank you,
Kelly Borsheim, artist


Monday, May 28, 2018

Alessandro Sansoni - Photographer da Valleriana

     Recently, I had the pleasure to meet photographer Alessandro Sansoni.  I love many of the images I have seen of his on Facebook and want to encourage this man and his eye [and brain].  He says this is just a passionate hobby of his, but aren’t we lucky to have this talent in Valleriana to capture her beauty?

     Here is just a taste of his work and I hope to show you more in the future.

     Thank you for reading and for sharing this site!
Saluti da Toscana,
Kelly Borsheim

Images by Alessandro Sansoni:

Pontito under a full moon. Valleriana Tuscany
Pontito under a full moon.

San Quirico, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy photo by Alessandro Sansoni
Above:  San Quirico, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy

River Scene, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy photo by Alessandro Sansoni
River Scene, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy

Sorana in the hills, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy photo by Alessandro Sansoni
Sorana in the Hills, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy



Thursday, March 1, 2018

San Quirico Sagra del Neccio

Sagra del Neccio - Festival of the Chestnut pancake San Quirico Valleriana Tuscany

posted from March due to constant raining [what an odd year we have had with the weather!]
New DATES:

Sagra del Neccio - Festival of the Chestnut pancake San Quirico Valleriana Tuscany

Neccio is a pancake made from locally harvested chestnuts ground into flour.  They are cooked between either hot iron plates or hot stones. [And this requires an article all to itself.  Give me time.. this is a brand new site!]

     They are normally served with your choice of ricotta cheese or Nutella and are delicious.
The festival [sagra] starts at 2 p.m., but note there are two other optional things to do either of these two Sundays, coordinated with the festival, Sunday, 11 March and Sunday 18 March, 2018.

This is the 50th year!  Whoa.  In the main piazza of San Quirico,, you guessed it:  in Valleriana!

Neccio cooked in the traditional way between chestnut leaves and fire-hot stones
Roberto Dingacci of "Ristorante / Pizzaria Da Carla" cooks neccio in the traditional way between chestnut leaves and fire-hot stones.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Welcome to Valleriana!

Valleriana - Map of Ten Castled Villages in Tuscany
Valleriana in Tuscany

Welcome to Plein Air Valleriana!

     Valleriana is the collective name of the ten castled-villages in the hills north of Pescia, in the district of Pistoia, in Tuscany, Italy.   Its older name is Svizzera Pesciatina, because a man named  Jean Charles Leonard Simonde de Sismondi saw a resemblance of these hills to his native Switzerland.

     We hope that you enjoy perusing this site to become acquainted with this section of paradise and that you will come visit our area soon!

     We welcome feedback, questions, submission of related photos, and stories of your visit to Valleriana.  Thank you!

The Ten Villages are:

  • Pietrabuona
  • Medicina
  • Fibbialla
  • Aramo
  • San Quirico
  • Castelvecchio
  • Stiappa
  • Pontito 
  • Sorana
  • Vellano