cas holmes_art workshop_italy retreat_textile workshopFound – Stitch – Paint


 Artist + Author Cas Holmes

October 22-28, 2018

Our Muse: 

Cas Holmes is an award winning artist interested in the connections between land, place and environment. Trained in fine art, her works in mixed media and found materials are best described as ‘cloth paintings with stitch’. This is reflected in her publications for Batsford, the most recent being ‘Stitch Stories’ (2015). She is currently working on her 4th book which looks at our connection to the landscape. After obtaining her degree Cas received awards to study paper and textiles in Japan and India. Exhibiting and working internationally she develops an individual response to place, process and ideas. She is a supporter of environmental projects such as Plantlife.

“We live in a world where the line between human and nature is often drawn with a definitive thick black marker. We have our world and they have theirs. There is urban and there is wilderness, human society and the lack of it, but that is rarely how it is in reality. The real world is full of complexity, of a strong and binding interconnection between human and natural environments. Cas often finds this interconnection in the fragile world of the in-between, literally at the places where nature and urban meet, such as gutters, the edge of agricultural field systems, domestic gardens, old industrial land. These are the places where weeds are rampant and the man-made lies half-forgotten”. John Hopper, The Edgelands of Cas Holmes,  Fiber Arts Now 

The Workshop:

Hands on, experimental with a strong emphasis on using found materials and inventive applications of textile and mixed media processes as part of the exploration of developing a ‘creative language’.  The principles of Wabi Sabi come into play as part of the process of exploring connection to place as you work with your found materials. The process of discovery and drawing inspiration from ideas of ‘place’ are layered into textile, paper and mixed media works that are best described as ‘painting with cloth’. Taking inspiration from both material and place, the workshop explores the use of layers in found textiles and papers to create folding forms and objects inspired by the land and landscape. Paint, color, collage and stitch will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary as new surfaces emerge and your pieces unfold as you journey, observe and create.

You will come away energized by your connection to place evidenced in an ongoing portable textile piece and /or journal/sketchbook.

The Destination:

Crossing rolling hills, medieval villages, churches and castles immersed in a landscape of unique beauty  lies the charming medieval town of Colle Val d’ Elsa, our home away from home for six magical days.  Situated between Florence and Siena just slightly off the beaten path we’ll wander the narrow streets, small shops and markets drinking in inspiration from a time long ago. Quiet and picturesque, authentic and charming as it is often times described and just so perfect to settle in with pen and journal, stitch and paint tapping into the creative well that has been yearning for just this kind of journey.  The name Colle (meaning hillside), stems from its lofty position on a hill in the valley of the river Elsa, where you’ll find  breathtaking views of the lower part of the city, the Tuscan hills and countryside. And speaking of views, the rolling Chianti hills, heavily laden with the tangled webs of established grapevines is where we’ll draw more inspiration for our journals!  Here, the breeze always smells of something delicious – of fermenting wines in autumn and crackling wood in spring, of blooming flowers in summer and of brined olives in winter. Here, dense forests make way for ancient farmhouses, and timeless bell towers punctuate the walled cityscapes. We’ll savor the memories within the pages of our journals. 

Group Size| 12 Participants 

Experience| “Open, inquisitive, resourceful and willing to try something new. Find beauty in the overlooked details found on a daily walk or favorite place and value that they are rich resources for inspiration. Able to find meaning in things retrieved from the everyday connection to the urban and natural elements of landscape and nature”. -Cas

Open to all, although you will need to be walk unaided. 

Includes| 6 Nights Accommodation in Colle Val d’ Elsa; 6 Breakfast, 3 Lunch, 3 Dinners, Winery Tours + Tastings, Regional Cooking Class, Guided Excursions; Private In-Country Transportation; Art Instruction: Cas Holmes

Travel Information| Best Arrival & Departure Airports: Florence International (FLR) | Travel Time: Airport to Hotel Approx. 35 minutes **Please note we will notify you by email when it’s time to book your international flights.   

Pricing + Registration Information| Click on the “Register Here” button below

Register Here

Interested in signing up but still have a few questions? Give us a call or Contact Us Here  we love chatting about our artists and destinations! 

**The above tour details are an example of what to expect; the specifics may change slightly to allow for better scheduling, the inclusion of special events or life’s unknowns.  

Let us show you the Italy we know and love! 

 Office: 800-919-5904  Email:


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