Italian Winged Figures Workshop in Orvieto, Italy Sept. 9-15, 2018

I taught in Orvieto, Italy in the fall of 2016. This was my first trip to Italy. I fell in love immediately, but I always knew I would! We flew into Rome and spent a couple of days before traveling to Orvieto. After unpacking we took a walk to the nearby piazzo where I had my first Italian street musician experience. This site and sound was definitely meant for me! I know this is quite common place for Italians, but for me it brought me to tears. It was just one on those magical moments I will always remember.....always!

I love Rome! It has that New York vibe, but with so much more beauty! I can't wait to go back and explore more. It just wasn't enough time.

After a couple of days we traveled to Orvieto. The 2nd most profound experience I had was walking into the Duomo. What I loved was the quiet and sacred environment. The museums and Cathedrals in Rome are amazing but the intimacy felt in Orvieto made a bigger impact on me. I was able to take in the enormous space, sit and meditate, and really breath in the energy where a Eucharist Miracle happened.

In 1263, a visiting priest stopped in Bolsena to celebrate mass at the St. Christina's Church in Bolsena. He had begun to doubt that the Eucharist was really the Body and Blood of Christ, however, the priest was shocked when the host began to bleed right after the prayer of consecration. Unable to hide this fact, he interrupted the Mass and went to nearby Orvieto, where Pope Urban IV was in residence.

After thorough fact-finding investigation the Pope ordered the miraculous host and the linen alter cloth (Corporal) stained with blood be brought to Orvieto, and placed on display in this Cathedral. If you are interested in learning more about this here is a website that is interesting

This is just the start of my journey through this Cathedral. I have been researching The Final Judgement by Luca Signorelli. The Fresco artist that painted this incredible story. His knowledge of anatomy was quite astounding at that time in history. I stood under that fresco and feasted my eye on every single figure as I followed the story represented in several acts, The Anitichrist, The End of the World, The Resurrection of the Flesh, The Final Judgement, and Hell and Paradise. You don't have to be religious to appreciate this powerful work of art. This will be a part of my lesson for my workshop. To interpret these stages in a mandala will create as a halo surrounding the head of one of our figures. This interpretation is for the student to make personal and meaningful for them.

Here are some examples of Signorelli's work as well as a video I took of the fresco.




IMG_1142 from Kate Thompson on Vimeo.

Here are some pictures from 2016 retreat. I just loved our studio and where we stayed, San Lodovico, our B&B, an ancient convent. There is so much beauty and art throughout this place. Here are some pictures of our studio. I took this video one day walking towards the studio...pure magic and wonderment.


IMG_1230 from Kate Thompson on Vimeo.

Here is a view near our B&B and my friend Lorri and I eating grapes at a vineyard

O.k....onto the workshop I am preparing for you. We will be creating winged figures, including one figure with a mandala halo. The mandala theme will be based on our interpretation of Signorelli's fresco masterpiece, The Last Judgement.

 These will be dramatic figures and assemblage pieces using linseed oil, charcoal, watercolors, acrylics, gesso, plaster and wire on vintage fabrics and watercolor paper.

Drawing with pencil as well as needle, thread and wire. I will have a beautiful pair of plastered fabric wings for you to incorporate into your figure. You will get directions on how to make your own wings if you wish to make your own for future projects.

I am creating a wonderful, beautiful class in a magnificent part of the world and I would like to invite you to be a part of this Fall 2018 Workshop! Here is all the information below. You can email me as well at

Finally one last picture of me in Florence!


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