Painting by Emiliano Marini

Emiliano Marini, Soars from Scholarship to Artistic Success


It was only a few years ago that Emiliano Marini applied for and was awarded a Scholarship to join us at Workshops in France. He was invited to paint at one of our premier art retreats or study in a workshop setting along with an international group of artists to focus on painting. We wrote this blog so that you could catch up with Emiliano’s journey and his artistic successes.

With a barrage of applicants and limited resources, we have to be selective when it comes to our scholarship winners. We look for painters who not only seek knowledge but have a purpose to share their skills and help others by creating a ripple effect in their community of artists.

Making Waves

Due to the pandemic, it took a while to get Emiliano on board. Despite that, he dove into the program when he arrived and in retrospect, we can see the effects of the artistic waves that Emiliano was riding not only in his hometown of Cagliari on the island of Sardinia, but to mainland Italy and farther to the USA.  Since the beginning, Emiliano became part of our Workshops in France community, joining us on several occasions, initially as a student and also as a crew member. Our most recent rendezvous with Emiliano was at the Daniel Gerhartz workshop in Scotland.

We asked Emiliano some questions about his experience as a Scholarship Recipient and how that has affected his life and career.

Emiliano Marini

Painting by Emiliano Marini

Workshops in France & Susan Lyon

Out of many impressive choices of workshops and art retreats with Workshops in France, Emiliano chose to join us and study with Susan Lyon at her Paint Provence Workshop in May 2022. 


WIF: What did you find most inspiring about working with Susan Lyon?

E.M. I’m a huge fan of Susan’s work, so studying with her was a dream come true for me. I loved the way she arranged her compositions; she showed us how she spent some time studying her subjects before deciding on the final design for her paintings, and she inspired me to do the same with my own work. 

WIF: Two years ago we had a wonderful opportunity to meet you briefly in Tuscany when you were working as a part-time artist. Your career seems to have grown fast since you attended that first workshop in early 2022. What can you tell us about how your career has taken off?

E.M. Attending the workshops organized by Workshops in France has changed my life for the better. Since my first workshop in early 2022, I’ve started working as a full-time artist. Every workshop has been an incredible experience and given me the opportunity to grow as an artist and as a human being. All of the great artists I was able to study with have not only focused on the technical aspects of painting but they have provided insight into how to interpret the subject each in our own personal way.


WIF: What were your biggest takeaways from attending the program?

E.M. Beyond everything I learned from Susan Lyon, her partner Scott Burdick, and the other artists at the retreat, I think my biggest takeaway was just to keep painting with passion every day. 

Attending the workshop motivated me to be a better painter and gave me the opportunity to connect with some really wonderful people. I’m still in contact with some of the other participants today.


WIF: We loved hosting Susan at the workshop. She is so generous with her knowledge and painting skills. Both she and Scott seem to be the perfect complement for each other. They both use the basic painting fundamentals while their styles are so different. Did Susan have any advice or suggestions that impacted your work?

E.M. Absolutely! During the workshop, Susan taught me a lot about the hierarchy of edges, which was something I had never really thought about in great detail. Now, whenever I paint, I try to be aware of where my edges are lost, found, sharp, etc. She also encouraged me to use looser brushstrokes in my paintings. While my brushstrokes still aren’t quite as free as I’d like them to be, her advice definitely gave me a push in the right direction. She was great at capturing the sitter’s likeness through the pattern of light and shadow. It was amazing to see.


Emiliano Marini

Susan Lyon Workshop 2022


“Attending the workshops organized by Workshops in France has changed my life for the better. Every workshop has been an incredible experience and given me the opportunity to grow as an artist and as a human being”.


-Emiliano Marini


WIF: We love to provide a unique workshop experience for each instructor and also for the guest artists who came from all over the world to attend this workshop. It’s amazing to talk art all day long with such a group of international artists. What did you learn from the other artists at the workshop?

E.M. I spent a lot of time talking to the other participants about the types of materials they used and how they prepared their panels or canvases for painting. I also learned a lot about the different countries people came from. It was so interesting to hear about everyone’s experiences growing up in other countries and living outside of Italy.



Emiliano Marini

WIF: Our program included painting in the studio at the workshop with a model under fixed light, then on the terrace with the model in dappled light. We also explored the region and visited some off-the-beaten track iconic Provençal locations. What did you enjoy the most while spending time at the workshop?

E.M. There were a lot of things that made my experience at the workshop special, but I think what I enjoyed most was just being able to spend every day painting with like-minded people. It isn’t often you get to interact so closely with other artists, and everyone in the group had something interesting to share.


WIF: What is painting in France like compared to Italy?

E.M. The two countries are similar in many respects; both are dotted with small picturesque towns, and both are famous for their rolling hills and lush country landscapes. I did find that the architecture in France was distinctly different to what you get in Italy, however, and there is a different atmosphere around town in general. The streets were definitely a lot tidier, too!


WIF: How has your work grown and has your life changed at all since you attended Susan Lyon’s workshop?

E.M. Since the workshop, in terms of work, I’ve started teaching at the Art Academy in Cagliari.  I’ve continued putting Susan and Scott’s suggestions into practice and I’ve seen noticeable improvements in my paintings. I’m also now collaborating with a gallery in the US.



I think my biggest takeaway was just to keep painting with passion every day. Attending the workshop motivated me to be a better painter and gave me the opportunity to connect with some really wonderful people. I’m still in contact with some of the other participants today.“.

-Emiliano Marini


Above: Emiliano’s award-winning watercolor.

Artistic Growth and Life as a Professional Artist

In addition to this participation in the scholarship program, Emiliano has joined us for a couple more events including the Americans in Paris Paint Provence, a workshop in 2022, our annual Joseph Zbukvic Watercolor Workshop and more recently, Daniel Gerhartz’s Workshop in Scotland 2023. During this time, his artistic growth is evident and he has even taken on watercolor as another medium. He’s now working full-time as a professional artist.

We wanted to ask him a few more follow-up questions.

WIF: Tell us about your recent award from the International Watercolor Academy. 

E.M. In June 2023, the International Watercolor Academy and Vivarium Novum Academy organized an important event in Frascati, near Rome. This festival was held in Villa Falconieri, one of the most wonderful villas on the Tuscolano Grand Tour. In this event there were demos, conferences, talks, lectures, concerts, outdoor painting sessions and other cultural initiatives. It was amazing to not only watch other international stellar watercolor artists paint on location and share their knowledge about the medium, but also to meet other like-minded artists.

There was also a painting competition as part of the event open to both professional and amateur artists. The competition, “L’Acquarello Sulle Vie del Gran Tour 2023”, was sponsored by the International Watercolor Academy and Vivarium Novum AcademyNoted watercolorist, Leonid Ilyukhin, a Russian artist from the Moscow Academy, judged the competition. I was awarded second place which was a huge shock! All in all I had a fantastic time at the event and I’m looking forward to attending this event again in the future.

WIF: Congratulations Emiliano, that is amazing and a wonderful testament to your dedication to your art. Watercolor is getting a lot of attention these days, and rightly so! We had the privilege of hosting a workshop for internationally renowned watercolorist Joseph Zbukvic. You joined us for this workshop in Provence. What did you enjoy about studying with Joseph and learning more about watercolor?

E.M. The workshop with Joseph Zbukvic radically changed the way I approach the scene in front of me. Before attending the workshop, I would try to replicate the subject I was looking at without making changes to the scene itself; this meant that I was allowing fundamental design flaws to spoil the composition of my paintings. Zbukvic taught me that it was okay to alter the scene in order to improve the overall design, which has since made my paintings more harmonious, interesting and of course, personal.

WIF: As a student and as an artist working as a professional, do you have any advice for artists who are thinking of joining us about how to get the most out of an art retreat or painting workshop?

E.M. Be as technically prepared as you can before attending.

Make sure you have a solid foundation so that you can make the most of the high-level advice the teaching artists have to offer you. Listen to the artists’ suggestions and definitely don’t be afraid to ask questions – the artists are there to help you achieve your art goals, no matter how big or small!

WIF: It seems that things are moving in the right direction for you. We saw that a painting of yours just sold at the Vanessa Rothe fine Art Gallery in Southern California.  You are reaching new collectors. Are there some other things that you are looking forward to in the near future? 

E.M. My goal for this year is to make bigger paintings using my plein air studies as a reference. After that, I would also like to hold exhibitions in several cities in Italy and abroad. I’d love to collaborate with other galleries, too. But my main goal has always been to study, improve as an artist and to explore the greater meaning of art in our world.

WIF: Where can we find your work?

E.M. You can find my paintings in the Vanessa Rothe Fine Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, California, and in different locations around Italy. The best way to contact me about my paintings is to find me online.  You can see my work on Instagram @emi83marini, Facebook (Emiliano Marini) or on my website (


Above: Emiliano is featured in American Art Collector with his boat painting. 

We look forward to seeing more of Emiliano’s paintings and encourage you to follow him through social media. His instagram is @emi83marini. We know we will see Emiliano again soon!

More of Emiliano’s Artwork

Lauren Carlo

Blogger: Lauren Carlo

Lauren Carlo is an artist and also the Marketing Director of Workshops In France.  She lives in Baltimore, MD, and enjoys traveling, dancing, and rock climbing.  You can learn more about her painting on her website or follow her on Instagram: @lauren.carloart.

If you are curious about the other activities we offer non-painters and artists alike you should read Non-Painters at Workshops and Art Retreats.  We also explore the region and go to places like Les Baux where Vincent van Gogh’s works were projected up to 30ft tall in Tech, Art and a Starry Night, and the spectacular  Quarry of Light featuring Sorolla, Picasso and the Spanish Masters. 

Check out more blogs about art workshops, tips and hacks for artists traveling in France and Scotland.

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