Come and join us

“Come and do another painting holiday! It’ll be fantastic”

Sitting on the patio of Chrissie and David’s beautiful Umbrian villa looking out over the pool to the valley beyond, it wasn’t hard to imagine how perfect this place was for people craving a sun-drenched escape. There was plenty to keep people occupied too for when the sun goes down or hunger strikes. Unspoilt countryside brought a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables to cook supper, while the nearby towns of Spello, Perugia and Assisi promised an authentic Italian experience.

Guest sketching at Villa Capanne
A guest sketching on the lawn of Villa Capanne

British expats Chrissie and David had been running the estate for well over ten years and had restored the apartments and villa here to exceptionally high standards.  The little ‘houses’ are close but incredibly private, each with its own terrace. Their restoration is sympathetic and unpretentious – the off-white décor and soft furnishings enhancing undulating beams and stone walls. Producing their own wine, olive oil and seasonal herbs and vegetables on-site, Chrissie and David’s two children would take great pleasure in showing the guests how to feed a fluffy alpaca.

Alan and Susan decided to do it! They booked the Villa Capanne, which sleeps 12 for a week and put the feelers out in their local community. It had been five years since their last visit to Umbria, but having visited on so many occasions over the years Alan and Susan knew Umbria and the surrounding hilltop towns like the back of their hand. Alan would devise a painting schedule of must-see places like Cortona, Perugia, Assisi, Spello and Umbertide, stopping points and range of scenes to ensure the painters on the holiday would have every opportunity available to them. Non-painters were more than welcome too, there was the pool, nearby golf course, gardens, library of books and board games on offer in the main house to keep them occupied. The estate’s cooks would prepare all of the guests’ food, the bedrooms were suitable for families, couples and single travellers – all that was left to do was get on a plane and enjoy it.

 

Crit of Guests paintings 2014
Alan’s crit of the guest’s paintings after an unforgettable week away on their Reedart Italian Painting Holiday

The trip sold out, with 12 guests joining them from the North East and as far as Cheshire. It was the beginning of a brand new arm of Alan Reed Art, an exciting new business venture working alongside Alan’s art and exhibitions that had grown organically from the couple’s love of Italy and adventures they’d taken over the past decade. During the trip, David mentioned the crumbling old ruins of the Chiesa Del Carmine which Alan had sketched in the past. Did they remember it had undergone a no-expense-spared restoration by the estate owners, and did they want to see it now?

 

The newly restored Chiesa Del Carmine
The newly restored Chiesa Del Carmine

The old church was breath-taking. Sunlight bathed the old stone walls, there was an elegance about the place now, where weeds had once penetrated its old crumbling walls there were now state-of-the-art furnishings, private landscaped gardens and beautifully refurbished original features. Chrissie and David’s two girls found a tune on the grand piano, before Leon, one of the guests sat and played a beautiful piece. It was a magical moment for all, and one that cemented the future of Reedart Painting Holidays.

 

 

Whether you’re a keen painter, just at the beginning of your journey or a non-painter craving some peace and quiet, culture and adventure, you are welcome to join us on our next trip to Umbria

To Umbria Again: The First Reedart Painting Holiday

After the hustle and bustle and excitement of launching their first overseas exhibition in Marostica, Italy in November 2005 – an undisputed highlight of Alan’s career – Alan and Susan were already planning another exciting new aspect of Alan Reed Art : painting holidays in Italy.

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Alan and Susan had kept in touch with Chrissie and David after first being introduced to the couple through a commission request to paint their cottages and the view from Casa San Gabriel in Umbria two years previously. During their last visit, they had talked about bringing guests to the cottages for painting holidays and after falling in love with the area Alan and Susan were so excited at the prospect of sharing this hidden gem with others that they decided to give it a go.

Painting on location in Spello with Reedart Painting Holidays Italy
Painting on location in Spello

The first Reedart Painting Holiday in Italy took place in April 2006 at Casa San Gabriel. Alan and Susan were joined by another couple from the North East called Kevin and Nicola Brown and a young man from Canada called Matthew. With a beautiful, traditional Italian cottage at Casa San Gabriel to themselves furnished with everything you could ever need, the group spent a week exploring the hilltop towns of Cortona, Gubbio and Spello with their sketchbooks in hand to paint on-location under Alan’s expert teaching.

Enotecca in Spello
Guests enjoying a wine tasting evening at an Enotecca in Spello

Alan and Susan took their new role as tour guides in their stride, confident that their guests would fall in love with this beautiful part of Italy and really develop their painting skills. It was important for Alan and Susan to ensure that non-painting guests still had a memorable holiday too and so they took trips to Fabriano’s famous paper mills, local shops, beauty spots, cultural landmarks – and even bagging an invite to a local gentleman’s 61st birthday street party in Spello where they all enjoyed a simple lunch of freshly baked bread, broad beans, Pecorino cheese and white wine together, sampling some real local Italian culture.

 

A mid-afternoon snap of Assisi on a Reedart Italian Painting Holiday
A mid-afternoon snap of Assisi

It was little things like this that added a sense of authenticity and true value to the very first Reedart Painting Holiday – not to mention the confidence Alan and Susan instilled in their guests as they drove from town to town or picked out local restaurants to dine at, having explored the area at length themselves.

All too soon the week came to an end and their guests went their separate ways – full of praise for Alan, Susan and their “home from home” cottages at Casa San Gabriel in Umbria. Before heading back to Newcastle, Alan had a number of appointments to make while in Italy. Word had spread about the painting of Casa San Gabriel he was commissioned to paint another holiday home in the next valley which led to a number of other new commissions of the area.

Sunday evening life in L'Aquila
Sunday evening life in L’Aquila

One memorable stopping point on this trip in particular was to L’Aquila in central Italy for three nights where Alan would be sketching for reference for a another potential commission. Describing the town as delightfully “olde worlde”, L’Aquila isn’t on the tourist trail and so the locals certainly took Alan and Susan to their hearts. L’Aquila is the capital of the hilly Abruzzo region and during their stay Alan and Susan ventured to the Monti della Laga National Park to do some exploring.

 

Gran Sasso and the chorus of crocuses
Gran Sasso and the chorus of crocuses

One memorable stopping point on this trip in particular was to L’Aquila in central Italy for three nights where Alan would be sketching for reference for a another potential commission.

Describing the town as delightfully “olde worlde”, L’Aquila isn’t on the tourist trail and so the locals certainly took Alan and Susan to their hearts. L’Aquila is the capital of the hilly Abruzzo region and during their stay Alan and Susan ventured to the Monti della Laga National Park to do some exploring.

The magnificent Gran Sasso
The magnificent Gran Sasso

Neither could forget how the snow was piled at least ten foot high either at the side of the road as they drove to the Gran Sasso – the centrepiece of the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park. Despite the mountains being covered in snow, Alan and Susan were taken aback to find the air was warm and spring had sprung, covering the ground in beautiful purple crocuses.

Despite their numerous trips to Italy over the past decade, it would seem Italy still had a few surprises up its sleeve for Alan and Susan to discover.

Availability

A TYPICAL DAY

We start the day with a good healthy breakfast of fruit juices, freshly baked croissants , fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, toast with plenty of fresh coffee or tea. This is where we might discuss the days events and activities, which might be painting on location around the glorious landscape of Chiesa del Carmine or spending a day painting in the nearby villages or towns such as Assisi, Spello, Todi or Cortona.

This could be a half day out or full day depending where we have decided to go and how far it is to travel. The non-painting guests usually come out with us (apart from the golfers) and we all travel together in our luxury coach. Of course anyone who prefers to have a day relaxing by the pool or taking one of the many walks around the valley is their own choice.

We also offer cookery classes, wine tasting, truffle hunting and more……….

Reedart Holidays Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool at Chiesa del Carmine

 

Non painters can spend a day or  two at the 18 hole Championship Golf Course of Antognolla nearby

Antognolla Championship Golf Course in Umbria
Antognolla Championship Golf Course in Umbria

Whilst the painters are busy  the others enjoy sightseeing, shopping or simply enjoying the scenery and passers by with a coffee or glass of wine. This could be Lake Trasimeno, Perugia or any other nearby village.

On arrival back to our luxurious villa,  the cooks have already arrived and busy with

activity in the well stocked kitchen. Those who wish to swim in our amazing pool, this is a lovely time of the day to do so before we sit down to a beautifully prepared evening meal by our own Italian cooks.

All are welcome to join our party even if you don’t intend to paint! Reedart Painting Holidays take you on a creative journey through winding landscapes, secluded villages and awe-inspiring vistas that’s not only good for your painting portfolio, but good for the soul too.

 

New dates available for September 2019

Saturday 21st – Saturday 28th September 2019 (1 Single, 1 Double & 1 Twin Rooms)

  Saturday 1st – Saturday 8th June 2019 (Fully Booked)

Contact:  art@alanreed.com

Call us on +44 (0) 1661 871 800 | +44 (0) 7718 741 546

 

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