Comments from Former Participants

  Last year I went to Tuscany with Open Air Italy and had the trip of a lifetime.  The workshop with Gay Faulkenberry was well organized.  The accommodations were great as were the selected painting sites.  I fell in love with this area of Tuscany and I am returning next fall for another Open Air Italy workshop!  The best news is that my Italian landscapes from that trip have been very popular!  Ciao.
Mary Garrish
President, American Impressionist Society
Merritt Island, Florida
2007 - Gay Faulkenberry Tuscany Workshop, Summer 2007

     It was great fun!  I'd return tomorrow if possible.  I loved the casualness of it all.  I loved the places you selected for painting.  The group was friendly and great to be around.  Thanks for putting it all together.
Carol Osler
Cocoa Beach, Florida
2007 - Gay Faulkenberry Tuscany Workshop, Summer 2007

     The Tuscany workshop this past summer will never be forgotten.  Every painting site provided possible panoramic inspiration for painting.  Even the accommodations had breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside.  A well planned itinerary yet with plenty of time for individual painting.  The instructor and artists made it feel like family in Italy!  The food and wine were divine.  Hope to go again in the near future.
K Moody
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
2007 - Gay Faulkenberry Tuscany Workshop, Summer 2007

     Susan's thorough planning and insightful recommendations made for a fabulous experience that allowed me to focus on my goals for the trip as well as enjoy the beautiful Italian countryside, the gourmet food and wines, and meet other painters.  A trip I would do again with her leading the way.
Denise Folmar
Davidson, North Carolina
2007 - Gay Faulkenberry Tuscany Workshop, Summer 2007

     I attended the Gay Faulkenberry workshop in Tuscany last spring.  I have been to many workshops both in the U.S. and overseas, and this one compared favorably with the best.  The trip was well organized, the accommodations were excellent and Gay did a great job teaching!  I look forward to my next trip in September of 2008.
Joy Jackson
Vero Beach, Florida
2007 - Gay Faulkenberry Tuscany Workshop, Summer 2007

     This workshop was the best balanced workshop I have ever attended - the right amount of instruction, demo's, cultural experiences, group building, housing, meals and for me, free time to explore.  I think that Kenn Backhaus was the best I have ever experienced.  I loved seeing his selection process, his block-in's and his completion of his studies.  For me this week has been one of the highlights of my professional painting experience.  What a wonderful group it was!  Great organization!
Dan Rountree
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
October 4, 2008 - Kenn Backhaus Tuscany Workshop, September 2008

     Thank you so much Susan for all your care and attention to detail throughout the workshop days!
Susan has excellent skills and knowledge, working closely with our local hosts for authentic experiences and comfortable accommodations.
White Salmon, WA
October 4, 2008 - Kenn Backhaus Tuscany Workshop, September 2008
     Both instructor and workshop organizer worked overtime on meeting everyone's needs before and during this workshop, giving a variety and flavor of the place and people of the area.  The wonderful people and connections to the earth made the experience of Tuscany as heartwarming as anticipated, both for the painters and the spouses.  A big thank you for all the work done in the background we never saw.
Pam Flanders
Happy Valley, Oregon
October 4, 2008 - Kenn Backhaus Tuscany Workshop, September 2008

     It was a thoroughly enjoyable week of painting, making excursions into interesting points in the area, wonderful meals, including a full breakfast every day, three great meals in the evening prepared by local chefs.  There were informative talks about cheesemaking, producing olive oil and wine, demonstrations of preparation of home-made pasta.  Informative and enjoyable!  A very generous hostess who made this a very special week!
Chapel Hill, NC
April 13, 2009 - Painter's Retreat in Tuscany, Spring 2009

Dear Susan - I enjoyed the workshop tremendously.  I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to study with Gay and in such beautiful settings.  I appreciate all your hard work and want to tell you how much I enjoyed meeting you.  The experience was wonderful.  I know that I will be able to improve as an artist with all I learned in the workshop.  I have travelled in France extensively, but never have I visited locations as lovely as these.  Thank you for giving me some memories I will always cherish.
Teresa Townsend Hargis
Austin, TX
June 28, 2009 - Gay Faulkenberry "South of France" Workshop, June 2009

I recently had the most fabulous experience participating in the Gay Faulkenberry-South of France workshop.  Gay is a talented artist and a great instructor, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to learn from her in such beautiful settings.  Susan Truitt did a superb job in selecting lodging as well as the sites for us to paint.  Not only was the scenery inspiring, it was breath-taking.  We had plenty of opportunities to paint, as well as time to experience the local culture.  I especially loved our location in the heart of Provence and the hotel Susan selected was a gem.  I want to go back there and take my husband...he would love the food and the laid back ambience.  Thank you for everything you did to make it a fabulous trip!  It was a real pleasure getting to know you.  Sometimes the people you are around on trips can either enhance the experience or put a damper on it, and I was very pleased to discover Susan, who was such a joy to be around, as were the rest of the group.  I didn't know what to expect, but I would definitely sign up for one of her workshops again."
Felicia Dodd
Austin, TX
July 5, 2009 - Gay Faulkenberry "South of France" Workshop, June 2009

"Our trip was so well planned and executed.  We visited exciting painting locations and the accomodations were outstanding.  Every detail was taken into account so that all we had to do was paint and enjoy.  The instructor was attentive and very helpful."
Mission Viejo, California
October 7, 2009 - John Budicin "Lake Como & Tuscany" Workshop, September 2009

"The 11 day workshop with John Budicin far exceeded my expectations.  The Lake Como region is a painter's dream with Alps as the backdrop against the quaint Italian villages.  The accommodations and meals for the group were fabulous.  Once we arrived in Tuscany I felt like I was back home as I have been to this area with other Open Air Italy workshops.  The morning and evening views from the grounds of the accommodation there are spectacular!  I am still trying to capture the I might need yet another trip to figure it out.  This part of Tuscany, with its quaint hill towns, is my favorite.  I would HIGHLY recommend it!
Mary Garrish
Merritt Island, Florida
October 10, 2009 - John Budicin "Lake Como & Tuscany" Workshop, September 2009

"This was the most well organized trip and with the most pleasant people!  I feel this experience has greatly improved my confidence in painting "in public".  If feel that John Budicin had a great deal to do with my growth in this confidence boosting and learning experience.  My ability to observe was greatly improved as was my technique."
Jim Lynn
Hemet, California
October 13, 2009 - John Budicin "Lake Como & Tuscany" Workshop, September 2009

      "You planned a wonderful painting vacation.  I would suggest you emphasize how much a non-painting spouse would enjoy your trip."
Northfield, Illinois
October 30, 2009 - John Budicin "Lake Como & Tuscany" Workshop, September 2009

"We really enjoyed getting to know everyone during our stay in Lake Como and Tuscany.  Staying at the agriturismo was a very special experience.  If felt as if we were one big warm Italian family.  We loved every minute of it."
Pauline Lynn (Non-painting spouse)
Hemet, California
October 17, 2009 - John Budicin "Lake Como & Tuscany" Workshop, September 2009

"Very good planning.  The week went smoothly and beautiful location.  Great week!
M. Lively
Fredericksburg, Texas
July 22, 2010 - Calvin Liang "Spring in Tuscany" Workshop, May 2010

"Beautiful scenery, great photo opportunities.  The farmhouse and rooms were wonderful."
Barbara Flowers
Panama City, Florida
July 22, 2010 - Calvin Liang "Spring in Tuscany" Workshop, May 2010

"Susan is well organized and is great to work with!  She is attentive to everyone and their needs.  Pleasant experience in every way."
Jan Borron
Fredericksburg, Texas
July 22, 2010 - Calvin Liang "Spring in Tuscany" Workshop, May 2010

        "All of Open Air Italy was well-thought and planned.  Calvin and Susan arranged some beautiful sites."
Suzanne Stewart
Austin, Texas
July 22, 2010 - Calvin Liang "Spring in Tuscany" Workshop, May 2010



Open Air Italy

Mary Garrish
"Plein Air on the Shores of Lake Como"
Oil, Acrylic, Pastel
September 3-10, 2015

Mary Garrish
Oil, Acrylic, & Pastel
June 18-25, 2016

Past Participant Comments

Past Workshop Photos

Email Newsletter


Open Air Italy

Artist Websites by FineArtStudioOnline
Mobile Site | iPhone Site | Regular Site