Methods of Seeing & Being: An experimental Art Workshop with Karen Bergman

From €2,020 per person
Monday, 17th June to Sunday, 23rd June 2024

This course in art-making and sensory experience will provide participants with tools of description. Come enjoy Tuscany during the beautiful, long days surrounding the summer solstice.

 About the Course


Sketching basics. Understanding shape, forms, and perspective in space. Ink drawing: line quality, building forms, shading through stippling and cross-hatching.


Build an inventory of local observed subjects through sketching and painting in the landscape. Study morphology of local plant leaves. Use observation and resources to identify and learn more about vegetation within the landscape in order to understand the Potentino valley and our relationship to it as denizens and how we share it with plants, insects and animals.


Perceiving color. Painting techniques and washes. Building inventory of colors found in nature. Making egg tempera paint using local pigments and yolks from Potentino farm chickens.


Studying sources of pigments, natural pigments, non-toxic pigments, which pigments to use outdoors. Pigment history through archaeology. Local history of Amiata pigment production (cinnabar, terre di Siena, terra d’ombra, etc.).


Visual focus, gustatory and olfactory experience (wine tasting, pasta making, cheese making), engaging with tactility and hapticity in artmaking, sketching holistic portraits of place, all toward the aim of creating access to fully embodied experience.


Description through verbal and visual language. Using field journals as memory tools and documentation of phenomenological experience. Building language for documenting objects within context of experience and emotions using effective practices for verbal description. How text & image documentation can develop deeper knowledge, understanding, and presence.


Karen is the Assistant Director of Interpretation and Access at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), where her work centres on facilitating dynamic educational museum programs and aligning internal teams on the interpretation of all visitor-facing content.

She has worked in education and visitor experience roles in the U.S. and Italy including at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); the Gori Collection, Fattoria di Celle (Pistoia, Italy); the Philip Johnson Glass House (New Canaan, CT); and the Biennale di Venezia (Venice, Italy). Her love for site-specific education grew during the years she worked for a study abroad studio art program in Orvieto, Italy. A trained painter, she’s passionate about the intersections of place, communication, and the senses.

Her work in accessibility through description of art and architecture has been featured in the NYT and NPR. In 2023, she was recognized with the Audio DescriptionAchievement Award and an Anthem Award.



Co-owner at Castello di Potentino Charlotte has been making award-winning wines in Tuscany for over 20 years. She has restored two Castles in Tuscany. At the second, Castello di Potentino, she has revitalized an abandoned estate, planting new vineyards, bringing olive trees back into production and creating a cultural centre, aka ‘The 21st Century Castle’, where people can stay in a rural family atmosphere.

She has been running cultural, food and wine events, symposia and a wide variety of cultural projects since 2010. Charlotte recently published a book with photographer Michael Woolley commissioned by Rizzoli entitled A Tuscan Adventure: Castello di Potentino. The Restoration of a Castle. Before moving to Italy, she worked for Vogue Magazine, Secker and Warburg Publishing House and then as a freelance journalist. In 2013, she was recognized as one of the Barclay’s Women of Achievement.

Monday, June 17

Afternoon Arrival

Evening Wine
tasting and introduction to the castle with Charlotte Horton, followed by dinner


Tuesday, June 18

Morning Guided experimental drawing

Afternoon/evening Foraging and botanical tour of the valley


Wednesday, June 19

Distinctions between form, painting techniques

Cheese making and tasting with local cheesemaker Luisa Gozzi

Night Stargazing


Thursday, June 20

Morning Local
pigment history, making egg tempera paint

Excursion to Santa Fiora to visit mine museum, Della Robbia ceramics


Friday, June 21

Portraiture (people and plants), walk to winestones

Afternoon/evening Olive oil tasting, pasta making


Saturday, June 22

Morning Further
observation in the landscape, work on portraits

Evening Dinner
accompanied by the local polyphonic mountain singers, the Cardellini del Fontanino 

Sunday, June 23

Morning Breakfast

Departure (we recommend not booking flights until the afternoon)

Please note: While the course is broadly outlined here, the program may change in order or detail during the week.

What’s included

5 full days and 6 nights

Board and lodging at Castello di Potentino


All sessions and activities

What’s not included


Transfers to and from Potentino


Prices vary by room choice and number of guests sharing the room.

A single person is from €2,580

Two people sharing a room is €2,190 per person.

Three people sharing a room is €2,060 per person.

Please note (deposits and booking queries)

If you would like to pay a deposit

The payment system asks for payment in full. If you would rather pay a non-refundable 25% deposit at the time of booking, please enter the code DEPOSIT25 at checkout. The final payment will be due one month before the start of the course.

If you have any issues booking

Sometimes, it takes a few attempts to clear the cart if you need to make any changes to your room selection etc.

If you have any issues at all, please contact Alexander Greene

Methods of Seeing & Being: An experimental Art Workshop with Karen Bergman

Tell us about you (none required)

Choose your Room(s)