About Arniano, William and Amber
At The Arniano Painting School we offer week-long residential art holidays for artists and enthusiasts of all levels. Guests are hosted at Arniano, a romantic, elegant and secluded farmhouse villa thirty minutes from Siena. Courses are designed for both beginners and more experienced painters, and are run by best friends, William Roper-Curzon and Amber Guinness. William does the teaching, while Amber concentrates on cooking delicious, seasonal meals from locally sourced ingredients. Both make sure that, above all, guests have a relaxed and fulfilling stay at Arniano, whilst improving their creative skills.
Situated in a rolling landscape dotted with green-black cypresses and hilltop villages, Arniano commands a panoramic view across southern Tuscany at its rural best, and provides plenty of beautiful subjects and views to inspire both painting and drawing. The house is a rare find and has been lovingly converted by interior designer Camilla Guinness, into an unusually light and airy property. It is exquisitely furnished with a mixture of grand bohemian chic and simple Italian style, creating a beautiful, comfortable, and much-loved family home.
On our courses we can accommodate up to ten guests in one of our five lovely and luxurious bedrooms. Guests who would like to bring a non-painting partner or friend are more than welcome to do so, and equally for those intrepid travellers who are coming on their own, these courses are a fabulous opportunity to meet other like-minded painters, and have a relaxing and productive time in glorious surroundings.
William studied at City and Guilds of London, and latterly at the Prince of Wales's Royal Drawing School, where he studied under Catherine Goodman. Both of these schools uphold a tradition of technical drawing which has been pivotal to William's work and teaching style. His exhibitions consist of dynamic figurative and landscape drawings, displaying a strong rhythm of line and mark-making; it is this emotive and highly expressive way of working that William endeavours to instil in our students. His wonderful charm, sense of humour, enthusiasm and encouragement ensure that students of all levels at Arniano can confidently grow in their artistic ability.
Amber's parents bought Arniano in 1989, where she grew up with her mother, father and sister until 2003. Throughout her Tuscan childhood, Amber's mother Camilla, who was a cook herself before moving into interior design, taught her all about the importance of making the most of seasonal, local ingredients to create splendid feasts for family and friends, all the time remembering the two cornerstones of cooking - good, fresh taste and beautiful presentation. An artist herself, it had always been a great wish of Amber's to share the beauty of her home and its stunning views with new people, and she could think of no better way than organising art holidays with her talented friend William.