A Tuscan Obsession: June 17 - 24

Themes and Variations with Mixed Media

Andrea, Paul and Jenni will be returning in 2017!  See testimonials from previous courses

Andrea Borsuk

Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Art:

This workshop will allow both passionate beginners and inspired artists to discover possibilities and explore a variety of methods to respond to and interpret the surrounding landscape of Tuscany. Learn how to expand upon themes in your work through traditional and alternative drawing and painting techniques. In this workshop, we will use a medley of mixed media techniques with new processes to create a diverse yet cohesive body of work. Working both from observation and on-site sketches we will use materials such as ink, pastel, water-based paints and collage methods. We will focus on formal issues of drawing and composition, design, formatting, and more intuitive approaches to art making. Students can discover a more personal voice by interpreting the classically seductive landscape of Casole d’Elsa and it’s environs.

The Yoga:

Enjoy spirited Yoga and self-exploration in an atmosphere of supportive connection, with group size small enough to allow individual attention. With a combined 35+ years of teaching, Jenni & Paul offer you joyful and heartfelt yoga inspired by Anusara, Iyengar, Restorative, Zen Buddhism, and their own playfully serious self-discovery and meditative journey. Morning class will be a dynamic blend of wake up poses, afternoon meditation and restorative as schedule allows.

the Setting:

This course will be held at the Verrocchio Arts Centre in Tuscany. Casole d'Elsa is a charming medieval hilltop town situated in the wonderful countryside around Siena. It is situated 44 miles from Florence and 22 miles from the town of Siena. Verrocchio Art Centre has been offering one and two week classes for 25 years. The “Centro” is owned and run by the British sculptor, Nigel Konstam, and offers specialty workshops, art studios and accommodations and meals for up to 15 students.

The centre also houses painting and sculpture studios, an art library, and a slide lecture room.
Course fee: Before May 1st $895, thereafter $995
Materials Fee: $40


Jenni and Paul have practiced and taught yoga, movement and mindfulness for a combination of over 40 years. With the help of elite trainer Brad Bartenen they continue to study athleticism and healthy function for everyday life. They were inspired by the Anusara system for ten years, the Iyengar system for eighteen, they are also Relax & Renew™ trainers of Restorative Yoga and have completed many therapy trainings and advanced teacher studies. They are also long-time students of Cheri Huber and Zen Buddhism. Jenni has completed the advanced studies program of Hakomi, a method of mindfulness-based and body-focused psychology. Their focus is on heartfelt alignment with nature and experiencing yoga as a transformative tool to joyfully expand all of life. They own NamaStay Retreat in the Santa Cruz area. Last year they celebrated their twenty second year offering worldwide retreats through NamaStay Adventures.

Visit Jenni and Paul at www.namastay.net and email them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ANDREA BORSUK is a painter whose work explores archetypes of beauty and femininity. She is an Art Instructor at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA and teaches workshops at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, in Portland. She is the 2010/2011 recipient of the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship. Her work is shown throughout the United States and is in numerous private collections. Andrea’s workshops are known for the playful and comfortable atmosphere that she sets and her encouragement of experimentation, personal expression and creativity among her students. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from UC Santa Cruz. She lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA. Visit her at: andreaborsuk.com

Program Overview
  • Arrive 15.00 17th June
  • 5 days art instruction with Andrea Borsuk
  • 5 days yoga instruction with Paul Gould and Jenni Fox
  • On site landscape painting
  • Group and Individual Critique
  • Art Studio Access equipped with drawing boards, easels, art supplies (with materials fee)
  • Breakfast each morning, evening meal on all but one evening when the group eats out in a restaurant of your choice in the village.
  • Day Trips to neighboring Siena and San Gimignano (optional) 20 or 21 June or free day to relax/paint at the centre
  • Departure about 9.30am 24 June
*Onsite package:

7 nights accommodation, breakfast, dinner and wine. To see available rooms click here.  Prices are shown in GB£ and US$.  To reserve a room please contact Andrea or Paul and Jenni by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Pay deposit for Accommodation with Paypal


Tuition Fee:  895 US$ or 995 US$ after 1 May

Tuition Fee (payable to Andrea) Includes:

  • Art tuition on 5 days both individual tuition and group demonstations and evening slide shows
  • Yoga tuition twice daily on 5 days

Materials Fee:  $40


Accommodation for 7 nights at the Verrocchio Art Centre: 

Single Room: 

Double Room per person when sharing: 

Double Room per person when single occupancy.  Please note single occupancy is only available if no couples/sharers apply: 

Non-residents Centre Fee*: 
  • Centre Fee with evening meals: £300
  • Centre Fee without evening meals: £167
  • Breakfasts each morning if wished: £28

*If suitable accommodation is not available in the centre there are rooms, apartments and a hotel in the village.  The above fees apply to those staying outside the centre but taking a course at the centre. 




Accommodation price (Payable to Verrocchio Art Centre) includes:

  • 7  Nights accommodation
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Evening meal on 6 Nights (one evening the group is free to go to a restaurant of their choice)
  • Use of all the facilities on site - studios, library, plunge pool etc




Not Included in the price:

  • Transfers from the airport to the Centre. Please contact Andrea for advice.  To give you an idea of cost, last year a shared minibus from Pisa airport cost about €35 per person.  Poggibonsi is the closest train station to Casole and transport from there would be less. Italian trains are pretty reliable and low cost and journey planner easy to navigate:  trenitalia.com
  • Lunches - plenty of choice available in the village for all budgets
  • Evening meal on one evening when you are free to dine out at a restaurant of your choice.  If you prefer, you can prepare you own meal in one of the guest kitchens. 
  • Transport for optional trips

How to Book:

  • First reserve a place on the course with Andrea Borsuk or Paul and Jenni.  A $250 deposit holds your space, refundable less a $100 cancellation fee until 70 days before departure when balance is due. (No refunds thereafter). Please send your deposit made out to:
    Andrea Borsuk 230 Sheldon Ave,
    Santa Cruz,
    CA 95060 831-458-3275 
    or to:
    Paul Gould and Jenni Fox
    7635 W Zayante Rd
    CA 95018, 831-335-1910
  • To arrange your room choice contact either Andrea or Paul and Jenni by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Your room reservation is secured with a £200 deposit paid by Paypal
  • Arrange flights to Tuscany with airline of your choice once accommodation is confirmed. 
  • Balances for tuition and accommodation are payable 8 weeks prior to the start of the course.

This Retreat is limited to the first 19 who sign up, so reserve your space early!

Bonus early price for a full 5 days of classes: Before May 1, $895 (thereafter, $995)



andrea borsuk


Comments from this and past retreats:

Eleanor, VA

Thank you to our fearless and energetic teachers Andrea, Jenni and Paul, for putting together such a rich, varied and pleasurable program for us. I truly feel from our time in Casole d’ Elsa that the Tuscany spirit has entered my body and being. Ciao!

Christina - Canada

After I left the group I spent some time in Siena and Rome. They were beautiful but nothing could beat Casole d’ Elsa and the wonderful art and yoga instruction that we had. Laurie – San Diego It really was a special time, just a terrific week, and all of you helped to make it so. Thanks to the three of you for your superb company, inspiration and support.

Jeanne - US

I returned on Friday (via Paris), catching up on life and getting reacquainted with my cats, but mostly I am still thinking about art and yoga...still in Casole Heaven! It was a very special time and fantastic group to be with.

Kathy – New Mexico

What a pleasure for us to have a beautiful week in Tuscany, a great yoga and art experience and meet such amazing and interesting new friends. Thank you to all for making it memorable.

Laurie – San Diego

Paul and Jenni - So glad to hear you were able to have some "downtime" after doing such an outstanding job of accommodating our various yoga needs. You guys are really and truly the best!!! You are such a remarkable team. We were so blessed to have you two and then Andrea's artistic talents.

Nicole – San Francisco

Paul and Jenni - I hope the rest of your trip has been and continues to be amazing. I want to let you both know what an incredible time all members of my family had at the retreat thanks to your wonderful yoga classes. We all walked away feeling motivated to continue our yoga back in California/New York/wherever we go!

Nancy G-T, Santa Cruz, CA

I love taking Andrea's classes. Last time I took a course she created such a stimulating atmosphere that I forgot to eat lunch all week because I became so engrossed in my work! It was really exciting. I first met Andrea at the home where my elderly mother stayed. She and her two teenage daughters (who are lovely by the way) volunteer there every Sunday to do art classes. She is a really kind person and a wonderful teacher for any age student. Her mixed media classes are amazing.

Maggie K, Santa Cruz, CA

I have studied painting with Andrea Borsuk for three years. I consider her a marvelous teacher. She clearly defines her expectations and is obviously well prepared. Andrea pulled from me work I did not know I was capable of painting. I think she is inspirational and gifted; I love her work, but aside from all that, she's as funny as a tree full of galahs and her classes are very popular.

Corrine T., 2011, Aptos CA

Andrea is a fabulous instructor. She is so full of life and her enthusiasm is infectious! She is passionate about her subject and imparts a wealth of information about artists, styles, etc to her students. I would absolutely recommend Andrea to others. She stretches, encourages, inspires and truly loves her students.

Lise C, Watsonville, CA

Taking Andrea's classes has a been fun and packed with personal growth for me. I think she makes it possible because she allows for a relaxed, non-judgmental environment I am always pleased with the direction I ask for when I get stuck in a piece. She seems to know exactly what I need and when I need it. I would encourage all artists to take her classes and rediscover what fun art can be.

Alicia, Santa Fe

Hi Jenni and Paul, I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for such a wonderful experience during my week with you. Your knowledge, patience and attitude make everyone that meets you a fan of "Yoga". Sincerely, Alicia, Santa Fe

Laurie, Stockbridge, MA

Thank you Paul and Jenni for adding such beauty and richness to my life and for giving me the gift of yoga in a magical setting. I hope to hold the peace in my heart for a long time.

Love, Laurie

Lindsey, SF, CA

Paul and Jenni, Thank you both so much for putting on such an amazing week. It was just what I needed, some relaxation, some amazing yoga and instruction. What an amazing group of people. I can't wait to come back next year! Thank you for all the guidance and good spirits!

Marian, Ontario, Canada

Dear Jenni and Paul, I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of the many aspects of yoga and total wellness you both worked so hard to include in your classes. As a former teacher of special education, I know how difficult it is to meet the needs of such a variety of abilities, and I want you to know that I noticed every modification and accommodation that you provided for the group. I hope that I am able to return next year.

Cheers, Marian

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