Art and Algorithms
November 20, 2017

The future of artists, being art-algorithm-makers

A few hours ago, I gave a talk to a group of artists of the Detroit region. I did not “knock” them out, nor “convert” them (as some Studio Italia friends from the area suggested), but just shared one of my concerns when it comes to art. I hope I was not to provocative. In a few years from now, algorithms of all sorts will be actively part of our lives. We will not need lawyers anymore to draft a contract of some kind, nor a physician for our annual checkup; a third of the blue-collar work force will not exist anymore. This is already happening. Today, in an American university, there is an algorithm constructed of all Beethoven’s works, fed into a computer, which is already composing beautiful concertos to the point that we think that they were composed by the German genius himself.

What is an algorithm? It is simply a recipe, a procedure that lists all necessary steps to complete a task. Some of these algorithms are constructed from a vast array of data fluxes created and shared through the multiple existing networks, or information repositories. But what about painting? Are we, artists, in a way protected from this evil thing called algorithm?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, if you choose to break established artistic rules. No, if you choose to be a conventional artist. One of the major repositories of art information is YouTube.  Just Google “how to paint a chickadee”, or “how to paint an Italian landscape”, and you will find thousands and thousands of short videos. In a few years from now, the human being will manage to assemble all the simple instructions from these thousands instructional clips to create “the” algorithm of the quintessential reproduction of my now notorious “chickadee”.  The same applies in painting a barn in a field, a swan, a mother with her child (just google “mother art”). In simple terms, a computer will be able to paint the perfect chickadee and not only in its most realistic way but also “à la Impressionist”, “à la Modernist”, “à la…” and also “à la You…” Therefore, on top of lawyers and physicians, graphic designers, illustrators, Sunday artists are going to be part of the disappearing breed.

So, what is left to do?  This is exactly what I talked about during my lecture. And this is exactly what we deal with during our painting workshops in Italy and Provence. In the long term, it is up to us to fool these new algorithms: to imagine new ways in painting the Italian landscape, to engage our art into the national and international sociological fabric, to imagine new art forms with our new technological tools. In the short term, it is time now to reflect on our own art, to question who we are as participants of this new society which is, at the very moment, unfolding. We must be aware. And by doing this, of course, we will be contributing to the creation of new algorithms for the vast information repositories. Maybe this is the future of artists, being art-algorithm-makers.

May 8, 2017

Art critique session

Our painting workshops; summer camps for adults?

We have been reading that more and more travellers from the developed world are looking for meaningful travels. Increasingly, we are aiming for journeys that allow us to learn something new, to deepen our culture, to enhance our lives.  Purpose, inspiration and self-discovery are now vital elements in our traveling choices.  Probably, this is why our quality painting workshops offered since 1997, have become more and more popular. During the last years we have realized that our art experiences are kind of fantastic art summer camps for adults. Sort of Outward Bound experiences, but fostering creativity and cultural immersion. This has also been expressed by many of our past participants, both artists and non-artists.

One of our former participants wrote us about the “totality of the experience embracing rigour”. It is true because Studio Italia, as all our painting workshops, offers an exciting and tight schedule that allows you to return home with the deep and rewarding feeling of having accomplished something.  “In depth learning about art, art history and art theory” wrote another participant. Also true because we are aware that everything can now be found on the Web (read our post), therefore, we cannot simply rehash first-hand information. Yes, we do help everyone to reach their desired colors and shapes, but through other much more meaningful ways.

At Walk the Arts we aim to surpass easily-found knowledge on YouTube such as how “to mix your greens”, even “how to paint an Italian landscape”; and if you can learn the latter in a video, why attending a painting workshop in Tuscany?  This reality has encouraged us to become a conduit of art knowledge, not a mere repeater of it.  The money you spend during an art workshop has to be equivalent (if not more) to the received service : “under-priced” wrote someone else. We want you to return home with a sense of well-being.

The building of catwalks between distant art ideas is extremely important to us. These relationships are being constructed through “interaction”, “philosophical views”, “harmony”, great conversation over candlelit dinners”, “gourmet meals”,  as written by some of our emerging artists.

Yes, indeed Studio Italia, Atelier Provence and Studio Colombia are great art summer camps for adults since you will find:  in depth art instruction and knowledge, daily expeditions (not on rivers, but in museums and historical cities), campfires (but around the fireplace with red wine),marshmallow roasting (in reality wine and cheese tastings), physical activity (painting in front of your easel, walking in beautiful cities, climbing in the van and the Uffizi staircases in Florence, etc.), and great huge meals (not with pizza and Kool-Aid but with gourmet cuisine and wine) …and more important, new lifelong friendships and many paintings worthy to be hung on prominent walls of your house.

We aim to offer our participants a fulfilling art experience for the two following reasons: first, we believe that creativity is a transformative force that can work wonders in our lives. Second, we believe that the democratisation of art can lead to the betterment of our societies. This is our mission!

Alberti in our painting workshop kitchen
March 15, 2017

When attending one of our painting workshops, you will eat and drink very well; it is part of this unique experience. But not only for the stomach but also for your soul and intellect. The great Renaissance humanist Alberti (1404-1472) would agree with us. But who was he?

Born in Genoa,  Alberti excelled as an architect, sculptor, painter, art theorist and writer. He wrote on a wide variety of subjects, including painting (Della Pittura), architecture (De re aedificatoria), sculpture (De statua) and even family ethics. In his I Libri della famiglia, four books written around 1434 in a Tuscan dialect, Alberti discussed education, marriage, wise household management, family prosperity, and friendship in the work place. Book Three reveals beautiful excerpts on meals such as: “…but let there be a proper table for good citizens, so that no well-disposed member of your family would want to eat elsewhere in hopes of assuaging hunger better than at home. Let your table be a good domestic spread, with no lack of wine and plenty of bread. Let the wine be pure and the bread, too, good enough, and let there be fine and sufficient condiments for the bread.” And let’s not forget the cheese!

We will follow Alberti’s advice during our art class in Tuscany.

Read testimonials at: http://walkthearts.com/_icscis/testimonials.shtml For cost details and prospectus, contact us: 800.611.4789 or info@walkthearts.com

Perseverance is the key to successful artists
March 17, 2015

Artists of Studio Italia June and October 2017

Undoubtedly, Refus Global or Total Refusal is one of the most important texts written in Canada. This anti-establishment and anti-religious manifesto, written by Paul-Émile Borduas and co-signed by a group of sixteen young French-Canadian artists and intellectuals, was released in 1948. This text brought finally modernity in Canadian art; or Canadian painting ceased to be the trailer of international art. A few pages long, this text has all the wisdom of all the self-help books in the market. During our art class in Provence this summer, we will discuss about it.  I always ask my painting students to memorise the last sentence because it will become their mantra if they want to succeed as artists: “Until then, we will not rest or falter. Hand in hand with others thirsting for a better life, no matter how long it takes, regardless of support or persecution, we will joyfully respond to a savage need for liberation”. Perseverance is the key to all successful artist. (read the rest of this post on our blog)

A unique painting workshop in Tuscany, Italy
February 12, 2015

American artists of all levels! Take advantage of a low Canadian dollar. US$2370 for a quality art class (10 full days)! All inclusive except airfare. Call 800.611.4789

Exchange rate as of March 2017

The Art Workshop | Letting Go | Serious Fun

June 14-24, 2017 (full)
Oct. 3-13, 2017 (3 places left)

Painting workshops, art workshop, artists of all levels

A group evaluation after a day’s work in Italy

10 full days of plein air painting, art history, touring, discussions and gourmet cuisineTuscany, June October 2016 for CAD$2985 equivalent to US$2300 (current exchange rate).

Ten full days devoted to art classes in the medium of your choice: oils, acrylics, watercolors, etc. Mornings are dedicated to art instruction at our lodge, afternoons to lighter coaching in a beautiful village in Tuscany (Cortona, Montepulciano, Pienza, etc.) or in Umbria (Assisi), and evenings to discussions around gastronomic meals and wine. Also, we spend one day in Florence visiting the Uffizi Museum and some of the city’s most important art sites.

 For more details, please download our prospectus at: http://www.walkthearts.com/PDF/Prospectus%20Studio_Italia_2016_EN.pdf

 You will find testimonials from former participants from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States at: http://www.walkthearts.com/_icscis/testimonials.shtml

 And to see some pics of Studio Italia, please follow this link: https://plus.google.com/photos/117743809836489325872/albums/5489001634343486049?banner=pwa&sort=1

 “A thought provoking and inspirational” art workshop open to artists of all levels, from beginners to advanced, and to all media; the perfect painting holiday. Ten full days of plein air painting, art history/theory, touring, discussions and gourmet cuisine/wine in the most beautiful area of Tuscany. Studio Italia, offered every June and October, is so popular that we have had participants who have joined us two, three and even four times.

We are located near Torrita di Siena just in the middle of the beautiful regions of the Val di Chiana and the Val d’Orcia. Since our groups are small, we can offer personalized instruction and an intimate and fun environment that fosters creativity. Studio Italia is also suitable to the artist’s partner who desires to enjoy Italian landscape and famous cuisine and wines. Accompanying partners are part of all group’s expeditions and are welcome to attend our stimulating art lectures.

 The price of our painting workshop in Tuscany is CAD$ 2,985 (2015) or the equivalent in US$ at the time of full payment (around US $ 2,300 as of August 2015) and includes, painting instruction, art theory and art history lectures, ten-night double accommodation, all breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners including wine, transportation from and to the Arezzo train station, transportation to all painting/visiting sites, train ticket to Florence and entrance to the Uffizi Museum.

 To register, please contact us at:

(800) 611-4789 (e.s.t.)


June 9, 2014

An Art Workshop or Art Retreat?

I am right now (June 9, 2014) at the Frankfurt airport and have a few minutes to write this post. In a few days, we will be a group of 10 artists from both hemispheres, painting the landscape in the middle of Tuscany.

I thought that for the next 10 days I would have been repeating the following:

  • Be holistic; from the very first moment you start to paint, think of the final shapes of the painting (a suggestion by Corot… art history is indeed important).
  • Make peace with what you see in front of you.

Please read the rest on our blog “Click here”

Risk-taker or not, everyone is welcome to our painting workshops in Italy
February 14, 2014

You the Mannerist during our art workshop in Tuscany!

Attending one of our painting workshops in Tuscany or Provence, is being a member of a wild bunch!  We are not going to rob the Banca de Toscana, like the aging group of outlaws of the notorious 1969 movie The Wild bunch, but we will paint with a Mannerist’s philosophy. But who were the Mannerists? click here for the rest…

Painting workshops in Italy and Provence 2016-2017
January 16, 2014

Three places left for Studio Italia October 3-13 2017 and forming our groups for  2018. Time flies. Register now

Taking registrations for Studio Italia 2018  (June 14-24 & October 3-13) and Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2018 (July 2-13). Contact us at (800) 611-4789 and info@walkthearts.com

American friends, the price is in Canadian dollars, a deal! Ozzie friends, our dollars are nearly at par! Visit our other site for much more information!

Read more > Testimonials

Studio Italia 2013 another great success!
November 8, 2013
Art painting workshop Tuscany, Italy

Carol painting

Our past October painting workshop in Tuscany, Italy !

What a great painting workshop we went through again this Fall. Great people, great food, overall a great experience. What follows are four of the many recently received testimonials summarizing our last painting workshop in Italy.

“Walk the Arts under-promises and over-delivers. The totality of the experience embraces intellectual rigour from Yves’ deep knowledge of art theory and history together with his teaching style; the interaction of many minds in the painting group – their personalities and their personal and philosophical views of life; the harmony of a medieval farm nestled into many acres of broad vistas, painting these scenes with opera arias floating and melding with the Tuscan sun. The gourmet food provided by Yves’ partner, Mónica, and accompanied  with Italian wine and great conversation over candlelit dinners; visiting hilltop towns offering cathedrals with 13th century art and Yves’ deepening of our understanding of this art.  This entire ‘package’ cannot be captured effectively with the statement ‘Walk the Arts’. It is an enriching and peak experience for anyone joining Yves and Monica in Tuscany. “ (Barbara Cail AO)

One of the best holidays and learning experiences I have had in my life. A thought provoking, reflective, and inspirational short time that I would dearly love to repeat.” (S. Scanlan, Sidney, Australia, Studio Italia 2013).

Every day opened my heart and soul to a new and innovative art experience. The country environment added to the Italian experience provided by our hosts, the locations for plein air were endless, the instruction encouraged us to be free and express our true selves and the lectures were inspiring. (N. Hinshaw, Stonington, CT, U.S.A. Studio Italia 2013).

I came to Italy from Australia to paint – with a few tubes of paint and mixed expectations. I spent 10 magic days in the heart of the Tuscany and couldn’t recommend the experience highly enough. Not only was the tuition excellent, but the food and wine we were served each day was sublime. Our afternoon explorations to hill towns to both draw and sip “prosecco” and our full day trips to Florence and Assisi enhanced our artistic experience. (P. Wise, Sydney, Australia, Studio Italia 2013)

We are currently taking June (4 places left) and October 2014 (2 places left) registration. Hurry up.  Looking forward to meeting you. Read more > Testimonials

Our art workshops in Tuscany
June 9, 2013

Studio Italia, one of our art workshops in Tuscany

Unfortunately, our art workshops in Tuscany  is full.  Please register to secure your place for 2014. You may visit our other site for more details.

Please read our last post on our blog ; http://walkthearts.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/painting-worshops-tuscany/

Call 800.611.4789 (e.s.t.)

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