Visual Arts Courses

 Courses offered by our expert faculty in 2020:


Ceramic Tile Painting




Session I: July 8 - 17, 2020

Session II: July 18-27, 2020

Instructor: Robert Devers


This nine-day course is open to beginners, ceramic aficionados, art students, and guests alike.  We will travel to numerous historic and contemporary sites to gather inspiration from the landscape, the architecture, and the rich tradition of Italian maiolica tile and mosaic surface decorations found throughout the region.


In the studio component, we will begin with watercolor studies of tile patterns, still life arrangements, and photographs we have taken on excursions throughout the region. Several ideas and compositions will be first resolved in watercolor, then we will translate these studies into maiolica glaze paintings on 8 inch ceramic tiles and larger plate forms. The basic techniques of these two mediums are remarkably similar, and we will introduce them both during this exploratory course, finding our source images in the magnificent light, colors, and landscapes found along the Amalfi Coast.

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Finding Your Vision: Photographing the Amalfi Coast

Session II: July 18-27, 2020

The Amalfi coast's breathtaking landscapes are renowned. We can find images of beautiful cliffs, lemon groves, and sparkling water. But how do you travel to such a location and take pictures that move beyond typical tourist images?  In this course students will be encouraged to express their own unique vision of this artist's haven through their photography.


This course is open to beginning photographers as well as the more advanced photographer. Students will be photographing daily. There will be field trips, critiques and one-on-one meetings with the professor.


During the course we will discuss techniques regarding how to approach a new locale, overcome your hesitations, analyze your response to the new experience and photograph it depicting your point of view.


Students will be encouraged to think of the theme to tell a story with a group of pictures, not just in terms of the single frame.  Discussions and critiques will also cover technical camera functions, composition and final presentations of images.


During the Festival, the Amalfi Coast area can provide a photographer with rich possibilities for still life, portrait, street photography, abstract images as well as landscape images. All genres will be welcomed. Students should bring a digital SLR (with completely manual capabilities), extra lenses (optional), memory cards, a laptop with image management software, an external hard drive for backup and a tripod (optional).

Daily critique of student work. 

Exploring Water Color 

Session I: July 8-17, 2020

Instructor: David Daniels 


Capture the essence of the beautiful Amalfi Cost in watercolor! Participants in this painting course will be encouraged to create plein air drawings, sketches and studies using the local scenery as inspiration, then return to the studio to further develop their reference material into completed paintings. This approach combines the immediacy of plein air drawing with the more deliberate studio approach.


Watercolor paintings can be so much more than a checklist of watercolor technique. David goes beyond the basics of paint application, and teaches how to construct strong, vibrant, personality- filled paintings. David shows how to carefully construct a watercolor using preliminary sketches and value studies. David will also demonstrate his method of using multiple glazes of wet-into-wet passages to achieve unsurpassed brilliance as well as the use of masking agents to achieve jewel-like clarity. Participants will work from their own personal photographs or sketches.

Mixed Media

The Artist's Sketchbook

The Artist's Sketchbook

Session II: July 18-27, 2020

Instructor: Rebecca Cross

The artist’s sketchbook is more than a visual record of experiences, a daily travel log or a starting off point for future projects – it is all of these. But ideally, it is the act of drawing itself that engages the artist’s full attention – intense observation of one’s surroundings, revealing a deeper understanding of the subject. The dramatic landscapes and rich culture of the Amalfi Coast have inspired the great Italian masters’ sketchbooks for centuries. Even Italian food tastes better after you have sketched your plate.


We will playfully experiment with techniques and drawing styles to suit our subjects and enliven our pages. Loose charcoal gestures will capture the performing musicians; colored pencils will delicately shade the still-lives of our favorite dishes, pen and ink crosshatching will describe the lines in the baroque architecture and watercolor will mimic the Mediterranean’s azure water and bright yellow lemon orchards.


Participants will be free to use their preferred medium or they can follow our suggested outline. We will sketch in and around the colorful streets of Positano, Capri, Ravello, Maiori and Amalfi, from our comfortable table at lunch to the dramatic cliff’s edge. Among these day trips to search for the most splendid views, will be a visit to a nearby artisanal agribusinesses aa well as a trip to the Museo Della Carta where we will learn about the history and production of the region’s famous handmade paper and purchase our next sketchbook.