Catching the Italian Light

with Deena S. Ball

25th April – 2nd May 2025


Immerse yourself in the beauty of the unspoiled Italian countryside and enjoy a delightful stay at Hotel Leone, a boutique art retreat center. Take in the magnificent ancient landscape of southern la Marche and capture its beauty with your brush.


This artist’s retreat offers an opportunity to learn techniques that can significantly improve your plein air paintings. You will be introduced to Deena’s method for creating successful plein air paintings and then have the chance to develop your own approach. Learn how to utilize design tools like notans, color proportion boxes, and shape and value sketches to enhance your artwork.


A Note from Deena

“There’s nothing quite like Plein Air painting as a way to experience a different country. My most vivid memories are always of the places I have painted and the experiences that go along with each painting.”


Join this artist retreat ….

to relax, recharge, and invigorate your creativity.

advance your painting skills and boost your confidence.


All media are welcome. Students should be comfortable with the medium they choose. Deena’s demos will be in watercolor or water soluble oils.




Careful Planning, clear focus and engagement with your subject will help you catch the beautiful Italian Light.


Our days will be filled with instruction, demos and individual coaching. Each day will end with valuable group critiques. We will be painting in Monteparlo for two days and then on location for the other three days.


Art is all around us, and we are all artists when we open our eyes to the beauty of our surroundings. Throughout my thirty plus years of teaching experience, that is the message that I strive to impart to all of my students.



Included in the price is:


  • all tuition fees
  • 7 nights accommodation in luxury air-conditioned, en-suite rooms with: – see our rooms here
       – luxury bedding
       – high quality, 100% natural, Italian toiletries: shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and hand gel
       – daily servicing of the rooms
       – mid-week linen and towel change
       – 100% cotton waffle robes & slippers
  • All meals including breakfast, buffet lunch and a choice of up to 4 courses from our daily changing gourmet evening menu
  • A ‘pizza-giro’ evening at a local trattoria within a few minutes walk of the hotel
  • Delicious local wine with lunch and evening meal
  • Private group transfers to and from either Ancona airport or Pedaso (station or bus stop)
  • 5 days painting tuition including demonstrations and one-to-one advice and guidance
  • 3 days’ excursions to specially selected stunning locations
  • Private transfers to and from painting locations
  • Guided orientation walking tour of the medieval hill-top town of Montelparo on day of arrival 
  • 1 free day (lunch not included) with the option to take an excursion to the beautiful town of Ascoli Piceno, a Renaissance town full of history as well as fabulous boutique shops, charming cafes and one of Italy’s most beautiful piazzas
  • Unlimited use of air-conditioned studio
  • full-time staff on site including concierge service


Prices start from €2599 per person based on two people sharing a room. 


To find out more fill out the form at the VERY bottom of the page.


Bring along Partner or Friend


If you’d like to bring along a non-participating partner they too can experience our hospitality enjoying all the meals and excursions.  If you’re wondering what else there is for them to do then find out just some of the options here.





About Deena S. Ball

Deena is an award-winning contemporary landscape painter from the United States, she lives in Maine where she cherishes the rocky coast, woods, swamps, and small towns. Through her art, she aims to capture the beauty and complexity of nature, inspiring others to both create and appreciate and protect our world.


Deena participates in juried exhibitions and plein air events. She is represented by the Richard Boyd Art Gallery in Portland, Maine. She is a signature member and past president of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society. Her paintings can be found in private collections throughout the United States. Additionally, Deena takes part in several plein air competitions each year and has served as a juror for exhibitions and plein air competitions. Her work has been published multiple times in Plein Air Magazine, Splash 12 and 13, Watercolor Artist Magazine, and the Art List.


As an active teaching artist, Deena conducts many workshops and classes both in person and online throughout the year. Her favorite workshops to teach are those that take painters outside to paint from life.


Please fill in your name and email address below for further details

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