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From Valentin Yotkov, Italy


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Dear friends,


I fell in love with Italy on my very first trip many years ago. When you see the warm colors of Tuscany, the rolling hills with cypress trees on top, the never-ending vineyards with romantic old villas and farm houses, your eyes fill with tears of happiness, and you long to go back.


I always ask myself why Italy has been the birthplace of some of the world's best painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, singers, and craftsmen? What inspired these people to create the most spectacular pieces of art?


Is it the warm Mediterranean breeze that fills your chest with freshness and energy or their larger than life fascination with harmony and perfection? Maybe it is the most delicious food and the best wines that make your spirit dance and celebrate all that life has to offer. I keep going back looking for answers and I keep falling in love deeper and deeper.


Many of you have shared my love for Italy and have joined me for a workshop. We spend an unforgettable week in Tuscany - learning, exploring, finding inspiration and ideas to incorporate in our work, and have the best of times celebrating art and friendship.


Join me in September 15 -- 22, 2009 for an amazing adventure in Italy. Registration is now open on a first come first served basis. For information and registration contact the Valentin Yotkov Studio at: http://www.valentinyotkov.com/FM.htm or call 718-852 8640.


We will stay at a 16th century farmhouse Villa at a winery in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Surrounded by this breathtaking beauty will make you feel as though there is a slice of heaven here on earth.


The focus of the workshop will be shading and drawing designs for repousse. Creating dimension through shading will enable you to see how that design will appear when executed in metal by repousse or other three dimensional techniques. You will learn how to stylize antique and medieval patterns and adapt them to the taste of your customer.


In the afternoons we will visit beautiful little villages in the area as well as the cities of Siena and Florence. We will also visit a privately owned and operated Silver factory where skillful masters create incredible works utilizing chasing and repousse right in front of our eyes.


Rocio, our webmaster, has uploaded new pictures from this year's workshop. Please follow the link below to view the pictures.




I have also included a comment by our Canadian friend Chris Cook III who attended the workshop in 2008 and wants to join us again in 2009. Enjoy reading it.


Once again I look forward to exploring Italy with you. Wishing you all a beautiful Holiday Season and waiting for your replies.





What a trip!!! OMG! Tuscany, Italy is "soul-enriching". I can't imagine it having gone any better; Great company, incredible sites, masterpieces by masters, exquisite food, and world class vino. I am SO grateful Sharon and Valentin for your open hearts and guidance with my artistic evolution. Being in Italy enriched my soul and set a whole new standard to live by for me. There are no adequate words to describe being guided to the legendary Renaissance artworks with Valentin's master perspective. Gratefully, this trip has forever expanded my horizons. I wish we could all be so lucky to have such life affirming experiences.


With Deep Love and Respect,

Chris Cook III


Victoria BC, Canada

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