Learning to Speak Italian

My father-in-law has been on my mind this past week. This will be our first Christmas without his presence. This is for you, Mr. V. Ciao

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The Living Studio Prize Packet with Jeanne Oliver

Jeanne Oliver is one very generous soul. To launch her nearly 2-year effort in getting The Living Studio | City Art Walks Around The World retreats and online classes started, she is giving away some of her favorite art supplies for creating a portable art studio, a gift card and her entire series of lessons on her network, totaling $1,000. Go here to enter the giveaway. There are multiple ways to add your name into the hopper for the prizes. Winners will be announced next Thursday.

And to top it off, in the new year, The Living Studio will become a free online series on her network. The series begins in January with videos with various artists showing their favorite tips/tools for creating art on the go.


This February, Jeanne is creating The Living Studio in Savannah, Georgia.

www.kathievezzani.com;http://jeanneoliverdesigns.com/blog/To sign up or to learn more about this trip go here. We are filling up, but there is still room for artists who want to create together in Savannah, nicknamed the Hostess City of the South. It is going to be an amazing trip.

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I love rust!


Encaustic Painting by Pam Nichols

There is an advantage to hosting a workshop at your house. You get first dibs on the artwork brought by the artist. This is the gorgeous piece I purchased from Pam Nichols who taught Dyeing to Rust, an encaustic and rust workshop.

What a weekend we had in this class. Can I say that I squealed more than once as I played with all of the cool rusty pieces Pam brought for our rusting. Of course, we now have a date to go picking at the place where she acquired most of her treasures. I LOVE playing with rust and encaustic. Pam’s aesthetic is similar to mine. She likes to attach rusty bits to her pieces as do I. I am always drawn to adding pieces to my paintings so imagine how thrilled I was to discover Pam and her work. Here are four of the pieces I completed. There is another but I have to not share it since it is a Christmas present.

Pam is a generous, enthusiastic teacher and there were some amazing pieces that came out of this workshop, including work from four newbies to the encaustic process. We are planning a second Dyeing to Rust workshop at the end of May. Message me if you are interested. There is a list already started. And watch out for this artist, Pam is focused and has a plan. I can’t wait to watch her achieve her goals.

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The Living Studio – Savannah, Georgia with Jeanne Oliver


Jeanne Oliver

Jeanne Oliver’s vision was to create a retreat that would be one of a kind, where she could travel with other creative people to beautiful and interesting places where artists could experience a city’s heartbeat by viewing exhibits, eating the regional specialties, and creating art inspired by the unique settings of the city.  The first Living Studio was held this year in Bellagio, Italy, with another planned for France next year. And now, Jeanne is traveling to  Savannah, Georgia Feb. 23-28, 2015 for the first Living Studio stateside.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah Georgia

Photo by Steve Robinson

Known as the “Hostess City of the South,” Savannah is one of those magical cities people often put on their lists of places to visit. It is a walking city which is perfect for us because that is how we will experience this Southern city rich with history and traditions. I just have to share this brilliant copy written for the Brice Hotel which is where we will be staying.

Torn between Southern belle and jezebel, Savannah can’t help herself when it comes to wooing visitors and locals alike. Poised along the Savannah River, 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia’s oldest city shows her age only in the most flattering of ways, with cobblestone streets, Georgian architecture and timeless oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Modern charms abound, especially at The Brice, which stands out among Savannah hotels as a medley of daring design and Southern tradition. Come soon, and be prepared to be smitten.

So much to see and swoon over in Savannah, GA, including I might add, the Brice. Take a look at this beautiful art filled Kimpton hotel. It’s perfect for artists, don’t you think? We may not want to leave the hotel…..but we must to experience the Living Studio.

Jeanne will intersperse our exploring with lessons, some will be in the hotel and others will be outside along our journey, to capture the vistas that Savannah will offer us. There are museums, horse-drawn carriages, SCAD, high tea. So much to do, so little time. We will, however, plan our days to include free time to for you to explore this magical city on your own.

Imagine creating along the river as you watch the riverboats cruise by, or capturing the image of a horse-drawn carriage with your camera or phone, wandering the streets among historic architecture and ironwork, capturing the soulful images of statues in moss-covered cemeteries, admiring the many antiques in stores and historical buildings, and strolling through the many gardens with sketchbook in hand.

There are 22 squares in the city, many surrounded by historical homes, some with ornate ironwork that I can’t wait to sketch.
Forsyth Park, Savannah

 Photo by Steve Robinson

We can’t be in Savannah without experiencing the river, so we will take a river boat cruise and afterward, we will stop along River Street for a treat or two.

Riverfront, Savannah Georgia

Photo by Steve Robinson

No trip is complete without a visit to the cemeteries in Savannah, especially the Bonaventure. Situated along the Bull river and shaded by moss-draped live oaks, this cemetery is one of the city’s most iconic sites full of ornate headstones. We will spend extra time here sketching.

BonaventureCorinne Elliott LawtonALICEBonaventure Cemetery, Savannah Georgia

Photos by Steve Robinson

Oh, and the food? Jeanne and I both like to eat and are careful about the types of food that we nosh on so I take care in finding the perfect places to dine. And there is something about a To Go cup in Savannah that we will have to further explore.

Jeanne’s creative network has over 13,000 members who regularly attend online workshops that either she or other artists teach (including me). She is the creator of the Studying Under the Masters hugely successful online workshop that is in its second rendition with a third in the planning stages. Jeanne is a mixed media artist who paints, designs jewelry and clothing. I met Jeanne at a workshop and I’ll tell you this woman is fun to travel with. She has a wickedly quick sense of humor and a laugh that just makes you want to enjoy whatever she is doing. She is also a talented artist and a smart business woman. I am thrilled to be working with her on this Living Studio to Savannah. Hope y’all will join us!


This workshop includes:

  • Five nights accommodation at The Brice Hotel
  • Creating daily with a few structured art classes
  • Walking tour
  • Museum admissions
  • Riverboat dinner cruise
  • Four lunches, five dinners
  • Bonaventure Cemetery tour
  • A few special art surprises
  • A new art tribe

The workshop is limited to 14. Price is based on double occupancy, $2150. Single occupancy is an extra $550.  A nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 is due with registration with the balance due January 15, 2015. Local price for those not staying at the hotel, $1650.  We recommend that you buy trip insurance for those unforeseen circumstances.

The price excludes transportation to/from Savannah and to/from the airport to the hotel. For inquiries or to sign up, please use the following contact form.

See more pictures by Georgia photographer Steve Robinson who was so kind in letting me share his beautiful photographs. Look at Steve’s ID picture and his Flickr profile says he is male and taken. Love that and this picture. You will have fun scrolling through his photostream, especially if you like old buildings and crusty rusty stuff. Thanks, Steve! And thanks, too, to Paige Knudsen for the use of her photographs.


A note about me. For the past 17 years, I have worked with Marilyn Tausend of Culinary Adventures, Inc. organizing culinary tours to Mexico with chefs such as Rick Bayless, Diana Kennedy, Susanna Trilling, Roberto Santibanez and the late chocolatier, Elaine Gonzalez. When I am not doing that, I am testing recipes for Marilyn’s cookbooks, or getting manuscripts ready for publishers.


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Piano Man by Allen Christian

These wonderful creations by Minnesota artist Allen Christian are amazing. I can’t imagine how many pianos he had to take apart to be able to make these. Be assured, I don’t have the patience or inventory to create one of these, but I had to share Allen’s work. There will be no further taking apart of pianos for this artist. Two is enough.

View his studio through this clever video. Yes, assemblage artists are a little wacky, what can I say?

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Deconstructing a piano is no small task

Ever since I saw my fellow assemblage artist, Greg Hanson’s blog posting about finding piano parts in the metro station during his 6-month gleaning program, I was hankering to get my hands on a piano. Recently,  my friend was innocently telling me about cleaning out her house and one of the items she had to get rid of was a piano. What?!  My ears perked up and upon further discussion,  found out that she  had an organ that her housemates were willing to let go of as well. A date was set and off I went, Builder Bob in tow. We disassembled large parts there and then I further deconstructed them at home. It was not a small task. Let me tell you, there are a lot of screws in a well made piano. Now I have more than enough bits and pieces and I think I will share my bounty with some of my fellow assemblage artists.

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Bill Dean and Greg Hanson, assemblage artists at Gallery 6 PDX

My friend, Greg Hanson is showing his marvelous assemblage pieces at Gallery 6 in Portland, along with Bill Dean. The exhibit is there for the month of October and is called “Found Objects: Partners in Assemblage.” I love Greg’s work and if you are fortunate enough to live in the Portland area, go check out the show. You won’t be disappointed.

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Dyeing to Rust with Pam Nichols

I fell in love with Pam Nichols’s work when I saw her corset series as I scrolled through Pinterest boards.

Imagine my surprise at the end of my class with Lisa Pressman this spring, when “Pam” hands me her business card as we are saying good by and I see her last name. I kind of freaked out and told her how much I loved her work. Yes, I had a moment.

I stayed in touch with her hoping to connect again and when I heard that she was going to teach her method of using rust and wax (two of my favs!) at Encausticon, an encaustic conference, I jumped at the chance of asking her to teach locally, thus saving me a trip to Miami. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Rust and wax. I will be in heaven for three days.

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Paint Oaxaca Tribe – Part Two

My new tribe of wonderful women who created lasting memories with their stories, art and friendships. So thankful that they made this first journey with me.

We saw a lot of art not only in Las Bugambilias, but in the streets, in museums and, of course, the art we made ourselves.

A few more special shots….

The motto of Las Bugambilias is that “we do not receive hosts, we receive friends.” Emilia and her family and their staff truly do make you feel as though their home is yours. Besos to all.

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Paint Oaxaca Tribe

Paint Oaxaca was as memorable for me as it was for our participants. Not only did I get to add remarkable women to my art tribe, but for some, this was a trip of a lifetime and I am so honored that I was able to offer the opportunity. And then, spending 10 days with Katie Kendrick and Judy Wise, well that was just sheer pleasure. And then there is mi amiga, Ana Elena, always a pleasure traveling with her and now she is meeting my art peeps. Just joy all around.

Judy posted twice about the trip and she has such beautiful photographs from our trip, be sure you go here to see them.

There were many parades while we were there…..

The food, well, Ana Elena and I do know how to choose good food, with an assist by Rene Cabrera in identifying Zicanda as a new must visit restaurant. And Orijen was our choice for a farewell dinner and Chef Rodolfo Castellanos did not disappoint. I even received a kiss on the cheek from Katie thanking me for such a wonderful dining experience halfway through the meal.

We visited different artisans, sites and museums…

More in a separate post. Too much to share in one and I haven’t even gotten to the art yet.

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