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Island Girl Art Studio goes to Florence / FAll 2023

  Come spend a week with me in the birthplace of the Renaissance.
This is the place I call home and where I have        lived, loved, studied and created art in my studio & experienced some of the best seasons of my life!
We will learn about and be inspired by Italian art
( past & present), be immersed in the history, culture and beauty of this spectacular city and it's people as well as  follow in the footsteps of some of the great sons and daughters of Florence and create our own art. You'll enjoy great food, shopping and local markets meet some  of my friends ( artists and artisans), some of  the great museums and local sites and maybe take an Italian cooking class!
Mio Dio! are going to be captivated, inspired and amazed, that much I can promise you!
Come during the slow season, escape the crowds and the heat and experience  the real " la dolce vita"
( the sweet life). Speaking of the sweet life, we'll do things Italian-style, so participants are given 'opt-out' times from the itinerary for some down time or to attend one of the many local events on their own. 

Note: Each participant is responsible to arrange their own flights &  medical /cancellation insurance
(Recommendations & information is available.)

Fees are for Art classes/instruction, events & group  itinerary with some shared accommodation available for week/Group # 2.

Week #1 - NOW FULL.

Week#2 - NOW FULL

Dates are for Fall 2023

Additional ground transportation fees may apply.
Fees do NOT include food/alcohol, tips/tax.
Students can bring  their own art supplies or buy them in Italy. 

Contact Penny at IslandGirlArtStudio @ for more information and to be put on a contact list.

Information regarding dates, deposits and costs are available. Registration has begun. Rates subject to change without notice. Registration & deposit holds your rate.


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One Part Creativity,
Two Parts Magic!

Love letters to Leonardo - Mixed Media, by Penny Maday Ciochetti © 2021

Located in Nanaimo, BC, Island Girl Art Studio offers fine art courses for the curious newbie to the emerging professional artist.

With an emphasis on creativity and freedom of expression, Penny Maday Ciochetti guides students through Drawing, Watercolour, Acrylics and more. 

Register Online or email Penny to join a Waitlist for the course of your choice.


Please take note that class participants must be immunized to attend or be prepared to wear a mask that fully covers their face at all times if they are not. 

While local regulations may have changed, there is still an active and ever-changing global pandemic.

Please respect that other class participants and the instructor(s) have a different comfort level and /or health-risk or live with people who do. For many people this is not a choice but a potentially life- changing situation both health-wise and financially.
Please be Kind
There are no sick days for the self-employed. 

If you register online and come to a class/workshop but refuse to wear a mask or provide proof of your immunization your registration is void.

Course deposit refunds due to non-compliance with this registration policy will incur a $25 non-refundable cancellation fee as I am charged by the bank, credit card, Paypal and the website system to reverse these funds.
No exceptions.
By registering for a class on this site, you are agreeing with these conditions. The full notice can be read by clicking on the Orange tab at the top of the Courses page.
Thank you for being a considerate, responsible and thoughtful member of our community and caring for the health and wellness of others.



  • What's New at
    Island Girl Art Studio?

* Classes

* Weekend workshops

* Art Shows / Events

*  My Art Books, Art cards, Art at Home Kits
These Special offerings will be shown here soon!

Please go to the Courses Tab for full  information on all classes and to Register.

What people are saying
about Island Girl Art Studio


“I took the Introduction to Drawing Class from Island Girl Art Studio in the Fall of 2019. I looked forward to it every week and thoroughly enjoyed every class. We laughed our way through learning and left a little later than planned each week because we didn’t want to leave. Although I didn’t know it at the time, what I learned in those weeks helped to sustain a creative practice throughout the next year’s lockdowns and beyond.

I am forever grateful for that! “


– M.K.

“I love my weekly painting classes with Penny! We not only learn about colour, texture, and various painting techniques, but we experiment and play with paint! We laugh and have a good time while creating a painting of our choice. I feel totally relaxed after a painting class - it helps me disconnect and recharge, almost like a painting meditation."


– Jen. K

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to know how to draw to take a Painting class?

No, you do not have to know how to draw to take the Acrylics or the Watercolor classes I offer
as I teach you how to use a reference image or photo and how to enlarge it using a grid. This
technique has been around for centuries and used by all the great Masters!
If you know how to draw already, that's a bonus as you can use your sketches to complete
paintings or develop ideas/compositions - but not knowing how to draw won't hold you back
when you are just learning to paint!


Do I have to bring any art supplies or materials to class?

All materials and supplies are included in my classes. If you have supplies/materials - or brushes for example, that you love and use at home, feel free to bring them along, but it's not necessary. For example, in the Acrylics class - an assortment of canvases are provided for students to use (up to a maximum size of

16 X 20 ''). If you wish to paint on a canvas that's larger than 16 X 20'', then just bring this to class with you.

All the paints, brushes, mediums and materials for painting are available for student use in the studio. I also glaze your finished paintings free of charge. In the watercolour class, all materials are also included and in the Drawing class, students are provided with a drawing kit.

Should I register for a Beginner's class if I have painted before but don't feel very
accomplished or have been away from painting for a while?


If you have painted in watercolour or acrylics before, but feel like you need more instruction or
can't complete a painting you are satisfied with -from start to finish, then I recommend taking
the Beginners to get going again!

What do we paint in the Acrylics class, does everyone do the same thing?

From the very first class, I want students to paint what they are interested in or what they
love. Of course, this does depend on your experience and comfort level, but almost any subject
can be tackled. We don't paint portraits, figures, and abstracts in the beginners class, but after
you have taken that you are better prepared to move on to more advanced projects.

What is different about your watercolour classes?

I teach transparent, modern watercolour with lots of room to make mistakes, break the rules and
fix mistakes. This approach makes students confident and unafraid! I have been fortunate to have studied and learned from some of the best teachers in North America and Europe and all have one thing in common they are fearless! I paint in watercolour almost every day and although I work in a long list of other mediums (photography, printmaking, acrylics, encaustic, Italian limestone fresco to name a few) - watercolour is a very old love. Students learn how to jump right in and to build on their technique, colour, composition, skills and creativity as they go along. So many people are very intimidated by watercolour, but really it's a lot of fun and very relaxing! The range of this medium is absolutely endless and can produce beautiful artwork right from the start, even if you've never painted with it before.

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