Ben Aronson - Painting the Umbrian Landscape in Italy, October 4-12, 2020 (Deposit $500)

$3750 Painting Course participant 
$3250 Non-painting guest in shared room with painting participant
Suite upgrade – $400 (limited availability)
$500 Non-refundable deposit

Join Ben Aronson, one of America’s most respected and evocative painters, and Winslow Art Center, for an exceptional eight days painting the Italian countryside in a 10th-century castle. 

Workshop Description

Ben’s warm, open and engaging personality lends itself to his relaxed style of teaching as he turns his attention again to his first love— plein air painting. Choose your favorite painting views from the almost unlimited possibilities on the 400 acre castle grounds or paint the historic architecture of the castle itself, including still life, interiors and window views.

In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals and advanced principles of plein air painting, including how to harness and inform your own powers of observation and perception and ways to simplify for success. Aronson will help you discover how not to be overwhelmed by nature through selective seeing and visual choice making in the painting process. Discover that well begun is half done!

The class will incorporate individual and group critiques each painting day. Group lectures and Information that can be understood and put to use right away include:

  • Speaking coherently in visual terms, creating paintings with emotive power.
  • Linear and atmospheric perspective.
  • Seeing in values and seeing in color.
  • Simplification and organization: Simple shapes and the primacy of establishing a strong winning composition at the outset.
  • Tips for seeing color, mixing color, matching color, and interrelating colors to magically evoke a sense of light.
  • Identifying priorities and developing the painting.
  • Responding to ideas and discovery during the process.
  • Brushwork and paint handling.
  • Steering clear of pitfalls, retaining freshness and avoiding overworking.
  • Completing paintings, and how not to over-finish: “less is more”.
  • Old masters, contemporary masters, and finding your own voice as an artist.

This course is for all levels; some experience helpful.

About Ben Aronson

Ben Aronson is recognized as one of America’s most respected and evocative painters of the urban landscape, having presented over 30 solo gallery and museum exhibitions nationally.  Aronson’s painterly urban landscapes combine precise realism with gestural immediacy and Abstract Expressionist energy.  His works can be seen in the permanent collections of more than fifty museums in the US and abroad.  He earned his BA and MFA in painting from Boston University and has been honored with several prestigious awards, including; The Childe Hassam Purchase Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, the J. Sanford Saltus Gold Medal for Painting, the Benjamin Altman Landscape Prize, the Ogden M. Pleissner Painting Award and the William P. & Gertrude Schweitzer Painting Prize from the National Academy of Design in New York City.  He studied under American Masters James Weeks of the San Francisco Bay Area Figurative painters and Philip Guston of the Abstract Expressionists in New York City.


We will stay in the Castello di Petroia, an authentic medieval fortress dating back to the 9th–10th centuries. Situated in Umbria, “the green heart of Italy,” and resting atop a hill between Perugia and Gubbio, the castle offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The castle was restored between 1982 and 1990 with an eye toward preserving the authentic medieval structure. It offers beautifully appointed rooms in luxury accommodations, a warm friendly staff and an acclaimed restaurant.

The castle is surrounded by 600 acres of farmland where you will find spectacular vistas for painting, over eight miles of walking and horse riding trails, meadows, woods and a variety of animals. There is a large swimming pool and a horse stable with Friesian horses on the grounds (horseback riding can be arranged).

Visit the Castello di Petroia website and check out the amazing photos of the accommodations and views.


We will paint each day from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM and in the afternoons from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

Our group will rendezvous in Rome on Saturday, October 4, 2020 and shuttle from there to our location in Umbria.

  • 8 nights accommodation at the Castello di Petroia (Prices are based on single occupancy with ensuite bathroom)
  • All breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 8 dinners, including wine
  • 5 days of art instruction with Ben Aronson
  • 2 excursions to nearby points of interest
  • Transfer by private van to/from Rome and our hotel in Umbria
  • Wifi

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Painting supplies
  • Independent meals, independent sight-seeing, personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Cooking lessons, horseback riding and truffle hunting at the Castello di Pertroia


Make a deposit to hold your place and Winslow Art Center will email you instructions on how to pay in full