photo Jason Arkles

Jason Arkles is an American sculptor working in the traditional methods and materials one would normally associate with a sculptor in Florence. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America, including on the façade of Saint Mark’s English Church, here in Florence. Trained locally in the studio of Charles H. Cecil (the human figure in clay), in Studio Sem in Pietrasanta (marble), and in a Pontifical Academy in Rome (sacred art), Jason himself now runs a small teaching studio in Florence, Studio Della Statua, in tandem with his professional career. Regarding himself as a practitioner of sculpture rather than an academic, Jason nevertheless has presumed to self-publish two small books on sculpture; Sculpting From Life, a manual for sculpting in clay using a living model , and the other, a translation and commentary on Leon Battista Alberti’s Della Statua. he is currently working on his third, which will detail the history of visually- oriented sculpture technique as practiced in the ateliers of 19th Century France.

Why the podcast? Jason has become a popular and sought-after lecturer on art history, bringing to the lecturer's podium the perspective of a practitioner rather than that of an art historian. Jason has given lectures on sculpture at the 'big three' ateliers in Florence - Charles H. Cecil studio, The Florence Academy of Art , and the Angel Academy. He is also on the History of Art Department at the British Institute of Florence, and has in the past given an entire season of lectures in conjunction with the St. Mark's Cultural Association in Florence, which spanned the whole of the Western European tradition of figurative sculpture. After receiving numerous requests to put his engaging lectures online for others to enjoy, the idea for the podcast was born.

photo Lana Ballot

Lana Ballot is a contemporary realist pastel painter. Born and raised in Russia, Lana discovered her passion for the art at an early age but it was only after she moved to the United States that she decided to pursue her dream and enrolled in the Studio Arts major at Stony Brook University, NY. Having received a good foundation in drawing and painting in college, Lana continued painting while working as a graphic designer. Lana is now a full-time artist and pastel painting instructor. She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. Long Island landscape has always been Lana's primary source of inspiration for both plein air and studio work. She credits the time she spent painting outdoors for developing a better understanding of the relationship between light, color and atmosphere, so important for a landscape painter. Working primarily in pastels, Lana is interested in painterly application of this medium.

Lana has exhibited her work in numerous juried local and national exhibitions. In 2015, her work received an Honorable Mention in the 17th Annual Pastel 100 Competition held by Pastel Journal.

Learn more about Lana and see her artwork by visiting her website

photo James Beihl

James Beihl has been illustrating professionally since 2011. In 2011 he graduated from Pratt Institute BFA program in Communications Design, and has been a regular guest at New York Comic Con one of the biggest comic conventions in North America and has seen several books published in both print and web. James is currently working on several projects that are both comic and concept art related one of which was in collaboration with Halo and Star Wars author Karen Traviss. James is also a member of the Glasshouse Graphics Talent Agency, whose stable includes many Marvel and DC creators. Before doing Illustration full time James worked for Victoria's Secret Pink as a graphic designer and cites this experience as helping inform the way he approaches designing pages. Since James was very young he fell in love with comics as a medium, because of the creative freedom that comics offered as well as the way they provoked the imagination. 

Learn more about James and see his artwork by visiting his art station

photo Linda Catucci

After 34 years as an administrative assistant in the financial services industry, Linda left the hectic business world and began pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a freelance artist and art instructor. Linda has been studying classical art since June 2017 at the Atelier at Flowerfield under the direction of her teacher and mentor, William Graf, who has helped Linda hone her skills in drawing and painting.

Passionate about art since childhood, she paints in acrylics and, but also creates artwork in graphite, charcoal and colored pencil Linda’s favorite subjects are animals, wild and domestic, but she has broadened her horizons to include still life, landscapes and portraiture. Linda has a successful pet portrait business and sells painted pumpkins during the Halloween season. Her paintings have been featured at The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, Gold Coast Bank, East Setauket and Mills Pond Gallery, St. James where her painting, The Waiting, won Second Place in the Time Juried Fine Art Exhibition in May 2019.

photo Tyler Hughes

Tyler Hughes is an interdisciplinary visual artist residing in Patchogue, New York. He attended the State University of New York at New Paltz for four years, earning a Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts.  

Tyler’s work centers around the figure as a representation of sensitivity, energy, and emotion. His quick, expressive marks convey a sense of embodiment that draws the viewer into an ephemeral moment of time. He is captivated by the way in which the figure moves and how it can be abstracted while still holding weight in its forms. 

Learn more about Tyler and see his artwork by visiting his website
photo Leeanna Chipana

Leeanna Chipana M.F.A graduated from the Grand Central Atelier where she studied under artist Jacob Collins. Ms. Chipana is a three time recepient of the Hudson River School Fellowship and earned her MFA from the New York Academy of Art. In addition to teaching classical drawing and painting privately and at the Flowerfield Atelier, Ms. Chipana is a studio art college professor. She has extensive experience teaching at various ateliers, studios, workshops and college programs throughout NY and Long Island. She developed portolio programs for college bound high school students for art programs such as The Long Island High School of the Arts, The Long Island Academy of Art, and Teaching Studios. Ms. Chipana has exhibited at the Wasau Museum of Contemporary Art, the Zhou B. Arts Center and various galleries and museums throughout the U.S.  Her work is rooted in classical painting with a contemporary topic centered around portraits of indigenous women.

Her work can viewed on her website: www.leeannachipana.com
Email her here for course questions or information on course materials: 

photo Marc Dalessio

Marc Dalessio is a classically trained naturalistic painter who at a young age established himself as one of the foremost plein-air painters working today. Marc’s artistic training began at the University of California Santa Cruz where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Fine Art. He then moved to Florence, Italy and apprenticed as a portraitist for four years under Charles Cecil at his atelier. After receiving a full scholarship at Cecil studios, Marc taught portraiture and landscape painting at the school. He later taught landscape painting for the Florence Academy of Art. Currently an independent painting instructor with workshops in the US and Europe, Marc travels for much of the year. Recent painting expeditions have included North and South Carolina, Maine, France, Russia, Ireland, England and Wales. His works are in notable private collections worldwide.

Learn more about Marc and see his artwork by visiting his website

photo Bill Graf

Bill Graf’s art career started after finishing his art education from SUNY Farmingdale, having received an Associates Degree in Advertising Art & Design. He went on to study for one year at The School of Visual Arts, at which point he continued for an additional 4 years of intensive study in academic drawing & painting from life at the Art Students League. Bill received the Frank Reilly scholarship from ASL which afforded him one full year of study. He went on to study classical realist drawing & painting in Florence, Italy at Cecil/Graves Studio.

Upon returning to New York City, Bill embarked on a career as an Art Director. However, illustration was his passion, and so began his freelance career acquiring clients such as Doubleday Books, Harlequin Enterprises, Thomas Nelson, Penquin Books, Readers Digest, Bethany House, and Voice of the Martyrs. During the course of his career, Bill was asked to teach figure painting from life summer series at The Arts Students League in NYC teaching the Frank Reilly painting method.

His portraiture has won numerous Awards throughout his career. Bill has kept true to his fine art training by accepting several portrait commissions, and working on private & public mural projects, one of which is in the Museum of American history, and depicts historical scenes from Theodore Roosevelt’s time in the White House. His Awards have also included his book cover illustrations from the Art Directors Guild and he received the Christy Award for best Christian Fiction illustration.

Bill continues to illustrate & design children books as well as teach at the Art League of Long Island, and the Rockville Centre Art League. Bill also teaches privately to students who are passionate about drawing & painting in the time honored tradition.


Learn more about Bill and see his artwork by visiting his website

photo David Shevlino

David Shevlino studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (certificate ’84) and the University of Pennsylvania (BFA ’92).  His work has been featured in national publications and he has exhibited his work and taught workshops throughout the U.S.  He has also produced a series of videos and DVDs about his artwork and painting methods.


photo Leo Mancini

Leo Mancini studied art at the Florence Academy of Art, and, after graduating in 2005, stayed on for six years as an instructor of plein air landscape painting and later became the director of the school's drawing program for sculptors. Today, Leo works and teaches from his studio in Waltham, MA. After classical training, he chose to explore a more personal impressionistic style employing evident brushwork and layering to create resplendent tonal effects of color and light. Leo’s work can be found in private collections worldwide and his work was recently acquired by the New Britain Museum of American Art.


"The most important element in painting is the creation of imagery. A beautiful image must be considered in composition, color, drawing and execution; it is not enough, however, to just make an image including all four elements. Already that is well difficult. A painting should be painted, you must see the process, the brushstrokes, creation of the ground, glazes and impastos. No two inches of any picture should be treated the same. What always drew me to painting was the contrast between rough and smooth, harsh and subtle. That is where beauty is. I hope to draw the viewer in, to see the world a moment in the way I do." 

photo Christian White

Christian White was born in Rome, Italy in 1953, while his father, sculptor Robert White, was on a Prix de Rome fellowship at The American Academy in Rome. He grew up in a family of artists studying drawing, painting and sculpture from a very young age. He began taking life drawing at Stony Brook University at age 10. He studied welding, stained glass and mosaics in Holland at age 13. He began studying painting in 1966 with Paul Russotto before attending Liceo Artistico in Rome, Italy in 1968-69. Christian has a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Major early influences include his maternal grandfather, Dutch painter Joep Nicolas, family friend Fairfield Porter, Paul Georges, and Robert Kulicke. In Rome, Christian developed relationships with Jack Zajac, Gregory Gillespie, Gilbert Franklin and many other artists. He moved to Harrison Street in lower Manhattan in 1977 after graduating from RISD. He had his first solo exhibition in 1975 at The Harbor Gallery in Cold Spring Harbor, NY. His first solo show in Manhattan was at The Steven Adams Gallery in the East Village in 1986, followed by shows at Ingber Gallery, The Garrison Art Center and The Great American Salvage Company. He has had yearly one-man shows at Gallery North, in Setauket, Long Island, since 1983. Mr. White's work has been reviewed many times in the New York Times, notably by Hellen Harrison, as well as in many other newspapers and magazines articles. His work is included in many public and private collections.


For more info: http://www.christianwhitestudio.com/

  Anthony Davis