2020 Works on Paper Workshop

Imagine Artist Retreats is excited to welcome Graeme Drendel to lead our upcoming Works on Paper workshop.

Graeme is a highly regarded Melbourne-based artist born and raised in the Mallee. His distinctive style has been strongly influenced by this region as have the works of Italian Renaissance artists.

He has held 30 solo exhibitions since 1990 in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. His works have been included in more than 100 group exhibitions. Among the more recent are the Archibald Prize, Sulman Prize, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Gallipoli Art Prize, Rick Amor Drawing Prize, Dobell Prize for Drawing and Salon de Refusés. He is represented in many public and private collections throughout Australia.

Graeme will create a positive learning environment that ensures participants will benefit from his expertise and experience. His relaxed and encouraging approach to teaching has made his masterclasses a favourite among both emerging and experienced artists.

Graeme Drendel is represented by Australian Galleries in Melbourne and Sydney and Beaver Galleries in Canberra.

Read CV.

About the workshops

Graeme will be running Works on Paper workshops covering watercolour, gouache, sketchbooks and drawing masterclasses.

About the Retreat

This is a boutique and intimate experience with a maximum of 10 guests to allow optimal individual attention and teaching.

We have exclusive use of the private Villa San Rocco, set in a mountain village high above Bagni di Lucca. There you can participate in workshops in a relaxed and inspiring environment.

Once you have settled in, you’re done; all that’s left for you to do is focus on your art and maybe get to know the locals. In preference to packing and unpacking and moving around every few days, we offer a slower paced, immersive experience. You will, of course, spend time at other locations but the villa is our base. You are encouraged to treat the place like a home away from home. There are lots of wonderful locals to meet. Past guests have forged firm friendships with village locals. Our group visits are now a familiar and welcome part of the community.

Who is this retreat for?

For artists of all levels of experience who are interested in drawing, sketching, watercolour and gouache. You have an excellent opportunity to hone existing skills or develop new skills under the guidance of a highly experienced professional artist and teacher.

Suitable for solo travellers or those travelling with a partner or friend.
Non-practicing guests are welcome and can join the group in most activities if they choose. There is plenty for non-practicing guests to do – as active or passive as they like.


Eight Masterclasses in Graeme Drendel’s Works on Paper workshops including watercolour, drawing, sketching and gouache all en plein air plus interiors, still life and portraits.

Accommodation at the private and exclusive 17th century Villa San Rocco for the duration of the retreat. This Baroque era villa has been lovingly restored to retain authenticity while still providing modern conveniences.

Each bedroom has its own bathroom or en suite. All bedrooms are doubles and there are two twin rooms. Free unlimited and secure WiFi is available to guests. All linen is provided and laundry facilities are available.


* Daily Italian style breakfast buffet
* Prepared lunches each day at the villa, except day/s off or day away at a
   different location
* Nightly dinners at the villa and local restaurants

Any special dietary requirements can readily be catered for. A fabulous local cook prepares meals using beautiful regional produce.

Off-site plein air locations where Graeme Drendel will advise and support you in plein air practices.

Transfers to and from Lucca train station on arrival and departure days.
Transport to other locations by car, minibus or train.

Itinerary Outline

* On arrival, settle in to your home for the next 12 days.  Get to know your
   fellow artists and the retreat team over welcome drinks and dinner.
* Each day will start with an Italian style buffet breakfast in the dining room.
* A three hour workshop in the morning
* Lunch at the villa – usually outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather at that 
   time of year
* Free afternoons. You can continue painting and drawing, relax at the villa, go
   for a walk and explore the gorgeous landscape and village, walk down the
   road and have a vino at the cafe, read, snooze…
* Dinner at the villa or at a local restaurant accompanied by stories galore;
   some true, some embellished!
* On the two days off, breakfast and dinner are provided however lunch is up
   to you as most people tend to go out for the day

Your Retreat Team

Graeme Drendel  – Teaching artist
Jonny – Villa owner and host
Franca – Fabulous coo
Sana – Retreat organiser

Retreat details at a glance

Dates:  20 October to 31 October 2020
Duration:  12 days / 11 nights inclusive of arrival and departure days
Location:  Tuscany, Italy
Cost:  AUD$6,350



Image: Graeme Drendel “View from Fortress – Arezzo“  watercolour on paper 14 x 21 cm