Tuscany Workshop with Lorraine Glessner

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EXPLORING LANDSCAPE with Lorraine Glessner

Through Mark-Making, Journaling & The Book


on an amazing, creative workshop experience in the Tuscan countryside! Surrounded by the rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves, you’ll be immersed in learning alongside Lorraine, including markmaking, photo transfer, mono-printing collage, pryography, rust printing, brush-making and so much more!

Plus, the workshop is limited in size, which means an intimate learning setting where you can get to know your fellow students, as you learn inspiring new skills and techniques.


Lorraine’s love of surface, pattern, markmaking, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, wax, pyrography, rust, paper and more in her work.

Lorraine is a former Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, artist mentor, workshop instructor and an award-winning artist. She holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a BS from Philadelphia University, and an AAS in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design.

Her diverse art background of skills includes painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, textile design, photography, digital imaging and much more. Among her most recent professional achievements is a Second Place award in Sculpture from Art of the State at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA, a recently completed artist residency at Jentel Foundation and an acquisition by Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Lorraine’s work is included in the recently released Encaustic Art in the 21st Century by Ashley Rooney and Nuance, a curated book by artist, Michelle Stuart. Lorraine frequently lectures and participates on academic panels at various Conferences including The International Encaustic Conference, SECAC and The College Art Association Annual Conference. Her work is exhibited locally and nationally in galleries, museums, craft centers, schools, libraries, universities, and more.

Like her work, Lorraine brings to her teaching a strong interdisciplinary approach, mixed with a balance of concept, process, history, experimentation, problem solving and discovery.


  • Discussion of our body’s connection and it’s direct relationship to landscape
  • Use of abstraction/expression toward developing your personal artistic voice
  • Daily journaling relating to the body/landscape relationship
  • Daily meditation/immersion in the landscape
  • Readings for inspiration
  • Expressive mark-making exercises to depict the spirit and essence of the land
  • A focus on series based work on paper or in book form
  • Slide talks discussing contemporary artists work concerning land/body


  • How to collage with paper/fabric using acrylic or wax
  • The use of collage as another form of paint to tell a story
  • Using relationship and/or abstraction
  • Exploring the use of the grid as a tool for creating effective compositions
  • How to use repetition and pattern to bring the viewer closer to your work and create visual rhythm, poetry within the work
  • How to effectively use translucency and layering in the work to evoke memory and time.
  • How to experiment with innovative materials/processes such as:
    • Using stitch as a mark
    • Painting with instant indigo on paper or fabric
    • Rust printing on paper or fabric
    • Pamphlet book binding
    • Concertina (accordion) book binding
    • Pyrography (making marks with heated tools)
    • Photo transfer
    • Horse hair as a drawing tool
    • Painting with hand-made brushes and found objects
    • Experimental mono-printing (suminagashi)


Take your skills to the next level with an optional individual session with Lorraine during the workshop


DAY 1 ~ Sunday, October 3: Villa Poggio alle Trese

  • Highlights: Arrival at Poggio alle Trese, welcome tour, retreat orientation with Lorraine
  • Aperitivo, dinner

Benvenuti in Italia! Upon your arrival, sit back and relax as your private driver transports you from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Villa Poggio alle Trese, and the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Here you’ll be surrounded by the region’s quintessential olive groves, vineyards and cypress-lined lanes! Upon arrival, you’ll take a tour of the villa and grounds, followed by time to settle in and explore before meeting up with Lorraine for an overview of what you can expect on this extraordinary retreat. Afterwards, enjoy an inviting aperitivo, followed by a regional-style dinner served up by our own talented Chef Lorenza. 

DAY 2 ~ Monday, October 4: Puscina Flowers Farm

  • Highlights: visit to Puscina Flowers organic flower farm, gardens tour, instruction with Lorraine
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you’ll enjoy a short walk with with Lorraine, followed by mediation and journaling. Then, after a delicious breakfast, featuring local, organic products, it’s off to Puscina Flowers organic flower farm, where sisters Mara, Teresa and Laura have created a flower-lovers’ paradise. Set in the classic Tuscan countryside, you’ll take a tour of the flower gardens followed by an easy-going lesson on natural floral composition. Learn how to use greenery, foraged materials and flowers to easily create an attractive composition. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a delicious home-made lunch, under the centuries-old olive tree, prepared by Mamma herself, along with an excellent local vino, of course.

After lunch it’s back to the villa for creative instruction time with Lorraine, where you’ll learn about collecting found objects for brush-making, followed by a brush-making and mark-making exercise. Lorraine will also be conducting a rust printing demo. Afterwards, it’s aperitivo time followed by dinner, prepared by Chef Lorenza

DAY 3 ~ Tuesday, October 5: At Villa

  • Highlights: instruction with Lorraine, olive grove walk, olive oil tasting, bruschetta lesson & aperitivo
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after meditation and journaling, you’ll enjoy a delicious, abundant breakfast, then head to the studio with Lorraine for a full morning session starting with an inspirational slide talk, followed by instruction on how to use stitch as a mark. Plus Lorraine will be conducting a demo and exercise of pyrography, as well as a pamphlet/concertina bookbinding demo.

After a buffet-style lunch, prepared by chef Lorenza, it’s back to the studio with Lorraine to complete today’s session. Then it’s time to head to the nearby olive grove for on-site lesson about the incredible olive tree, followed by an unforgettable – and surprising – tasting of local olive oils. Afterwards, our own sommelier, Paola, will be hosting a delightful bruschetta-making lesson during an aperitivo featuring local wines. Dinner this evening is cooked alle brace (on the grill), and features Tuscan specialties.

DAY 4 ~ Wednesday, October 6: Sarteano, CittĂ  della Pieve, Chiusi

  • Highlights: instruction with Lorraine, Etruscan tomb site, saffron demo & tasting, pizza night
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning begins with meditation time, followed by journaling and mark-making.
The, after another delicious breakfast, you’ll head to the studio with Lorraine for a photo transfer demo, mono-printing demo and discussion of works so far, as well as how to refine, expand or create a series. Plus Lorraine will be offering individual talks and instruction.

Lunch will be served up at the villa, followed by a delightful afternoon excursion. First stop is an ancient, Etruscan necropolis, where you’ll take a private tour of this fascinating tomb site, with its spectacular views across the Val d’Chiana. Then it’s off to the medieval village of CittĂ  della Pieve, where you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the historic town, followed by a special visit with organic saffron growers, Alessando and Gianni. Get ready for a delicious saffron tasting, followed by a mini-session of painting with stunning saffron. Afterwards, it’s on to nearby Chiusi for a visit inside the stunning cathedral, followed by pizza night at our friend, Pino’s, family-run pizzeria.

DAY 5 ~ Thursday, October 7: At Villa

  • Highlights: instruction with Lorraine, wine tasting with Paola
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you’ll start the day with meditation, journaling and mark-making, followed by breakfast- oh, those freshly baked pastries! The it’s off to the studio with Lorraine for an inspiring collage demo, followed by focused work on individual projects. Lorraine with also be offering individual talks and instruction. Remember, you’ll also have 24/7 access to the studio, should you want to work on your projects on your own.

Chef Lorenza will be preparing a buffet lunch, before you head back to the studio with Lorraine for an afternoon session. After a break, you might take a walk or simply relax, you’ll join Paola, for a very special wine tasting, where you’ll learn the secrets of how Italian enjoy wine, along with tips for tasting and food pairing that you can use at home. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy another delectable dinner prepared by Chef Lorenza.

DAY 6 ~ Friday, October 8: Orvieto

  • Highlights: visit to Orvieto, marbled paper lesson with Lamberto, instruction with Lorraine
  • Breakfast, dinner

This morning, after meditation, journaling and mark-making, you’ll enjoy a light breakfast before making your way to the charming, medieval town of Orvieto, perched on a stunning bluff of tufo. First stop is a view of the town’s spectacular, 13th century cathedral, follow by a visit to our friend, Lamberto’s, workshop for a fascinating discussion on the history of paper and a demonstration on making Renaissance-style marbled paper. Then it’s your turn! Grab an apron and choose your colors, as Lamberto guides you through making your own sheet of marbled paper. 

Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the medieval avenues and alleyways of Orvieto on your own. Perhaps you’d like to browse some of Orvieto’s chic shops that flank its main streets, or take a stroll through the excellent archeological museum. Lunch is on your own at any one of the town’s inviting restaurants.

In the afternoon it’s back to the villa for focused work on individual projects, as well as individual talks with Lorraine. Aperitivo follows, along with a delicious, Tuscan-style dinner.

DAY 7 ~ Friday, October 9: at Villa

  • Highlights: instruction with Lorraine, farewell celebration
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after meditation, journaling and mark-making, you’ll enjoy another delicious breakfast before immersing yourself in your final day of sessions with Lorraine. Today’s focus is working on individual projects, as well as individual talks with Lorraine.

Lorenza will be preparing a fabulous buffet lunch, after which you’ll have the opportunity to finish up your projects with Lorraine.

In late afternoon, after some time for packing and relaxing, it’s time to join Lorraine for a group show & tell. After clean up, you’ll gather together for a final aperitivo, hosted by sommelier, Paola, where you can reflect with your fellow students on this magical, and creative, week together with Lorraine. A special, farewell dinner follows!

DAY 8 ~ Saturday, October 9: Departure

This morning our drivers will transport you to Rome Fiumicino Airport.


Your accommodations are beautiful Poggio alle Trese, a 17th century villa, nestled along the border of Tuscany and Umbria, near the town of Chiusi (Tuscany). The villa boasts number living rooms, sweeping terraces for dining or lounging, swimming pool, elegant breakfast room and grand dining hall. Sleeping rooms are furnished with family antiques and offer either an ensuite bathroom or shared bathroom (max 2 guests per bathroom). Rooms options are made available upon booking. View photos of Villa Poggio alle Trese here. 


  • 7 days/6 nights at elegant Villa Poggio alla Trese, situated in the picturesque countryside near the charming Tuscan hill town of Chiusi.
  • Group transportation to/from Rome  Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure dates 
  • Private van service to/from all cities, towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • All abundant breakfasts, featuring fresh-baked Tuscan pastries, organic sheep’s milk yogurt, local cheeses, seasonal fruits, organic cereal, & fresh eggs, plus Italian caffè, cappuccino and herbal teas.
  • All regionally inspired dinners with local wines 
  • 5 lunches
  • Daily instruction with Lorraine
  • A multitude of supplies including:
    • pencil/charcoal spray fixative
    • masking tape
    • india ink
    • acrylic Matte medium
    • collage materials
    • disposable latex gloves
    • exacto knives
    • rubbing alcohol
    • white and black gesso
    • a variety of pastels, crayons, pencils, (but please also bring your own!)
    • use of sewing machine, including sewing thread and waxed thread
    • stitch witchery material
    • tracing paper
    • a variety of drawing/printmaking papers
    • a variety of fabric/silk paints
    • scrap fabrics for painting
    • a variety of bookmaking tools
    • horsehair
    • sponge brushes

NOTE! Although a plethora of materials is included, you are highly encouraged to bring your own materials, as well. This will ensure that you have even more options for your projects with Lorraine. Not sure what to bring? Check out Lorraines suggested material right here: Lorraine’s Favorite Supplies

Not included: Airfare, ground or water transportation outside of that listed in the trip itinerary, alcoholic drinks, wines or meals ordered “on your own”, gratuities for drivers and villa staff

The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: Although we are weaving amazing, authentic experiences into this trip, sometimes unexpected things come up. If a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of the trip is never at risk, as our hosts at Strada Toscana are committed to excellence, along with their vast Italian connections.


  • 8 Days/7 Nights
  • Dates:
    • October 3-10, 2021
  • Trip Price (choose your room configuration upon booking):
    • $3,730 USD, single occupancy room with ensuite bathroom
    • $3,630 USD, single occupancy room with shared bathroom (max 2 of same gender per shared bathroom)
    • $500 deposit plus 10 monthly payments (automatically charged to the same credit card) … available for a limited time