L'information ci-dessous concerne le séminaire de 2009.
Le seminaire 2010 aura lieu également
à Torri Superiore.

Cette année j'enseignerai avec Amanda Sage.
J'espère mettre à jour cette page bientôt.

L'enseignement de groupe est en anglais,

mais l'enseignement personnel en français est possible

* * * * * * * * * *

Rejoignez-nous dans un éco-village dans les basses Alpes
(frontière entre Menton et Ventimille)
pour apprendre la méthode des Maîtres flamands
- la Mischtechnik (technique mixte) -
ravivée par Ernst Fuchs et transmise à L. Caruana.

Rejoignez un groupe international de jeunes artistes pour passer un été
rempli de créations visionnaires, rencontres et découvertes écologiques.

Contactez Laurence Caruana directement (en français) à:





~ MENU ~


       Torri Superiore is a labyrinthine village of spiralling stairs & narrow passages, built from the local limestone in 1300...

       In this cosy & creative atmosphere, students will develop 2 original works, one following the classical Mischtechnik employed by Ernst Fuchs, and the other following a modern variation developed by Laurence Caruana & employed in several of his paintings.

        The teacher will set up his easel and paint alongside the students. ...Visionary methods & materials, practical tips & secrets of the craft ~ all will be demonstrated and applied ‘hands on’. You will learn how to make fine lines, apply smooth glazes, eliminate brush strokes and paint details like eyes, hair, jewels & haloes. The teacher wishes to guide his students with intuition, humor & understanding ~ knowing that these techniques are not easy, and require much patience & skill.

       Everyone will live communally, sharing all meals and spending the evenings in relaxed conversation or creative exploration, enjoying the town’s bohemian charms. On one weekend, the group will travel to the village of Damanhur, whose Temples of Humankind offer a maze of sculpted & stained-glass chambers dug in the Valchiusella hillside. Since Ernst Fuchs’ home and studio are not far off, we will also try to visit the Viennese master (depending on his availability).

       The hill-top eco-village of Torri Superiore is a small community where the inhabitants live in harmony with their environment, practicing perma-culture & sustainable living. We will become part of village life ~ sharing in communal meals prepared by the local chef from fresh, organic ingredients grown in the surrounding fields...


       Students should come prepared with 2 drawings, 12” x 18” in size. These can be fully-developed compositions or simple sketches which will be further elaborated while painting. Using photocopies, we will transfer these onto wooden panels prepared in advance by the teacher. (The methods & materials for preparing panels will be explained.)

       The students must bring their own oil paints and brushes. The seminar will provide the easels, the prepared panels, the ingredients for making the painting mediums and for washing brushes. A list of recommended colors & brushes is included in the file: Required Materials.

       On the 1ST panel, you will learn how to develop a painting using Ernst Fuchs’ Mischtechnik. Laurence Caruana learned this ‘mixed technique’ directly from Ernst Fuchs, having worked with the Viennese master for one year in his nearby studio at Castel Caramel.

       You will learn how to layer the paint, alternating between ‘whites’ in a  water-based egg tempera and ‘color glazes’ in an oleo-varnish medium. Since these layers take time to dry, you will also work simultaneously on another painting...

       On the 2ND panel, you will learn a modern variation of the Mischtechnik. This painting will still be developed in alternating layers of whites & color glazes, except now the mediums will differ significantly. The student will learn the alchemy of making mediums through hands-on experience. A PowerPoint presentation with illustrated hand-outs will also be provided.

       We will also explore a number of Creative Methods for developing new imagery in the painting. By its nature, the Mischtechnik invites perceptual games & chance encounters. All these will be exploited creatively.

       Most of all, the teacher will impart Visionary Methods for painting. Beginning with color, we will actively explore the Visionary color spectrum, and the way in which unique colors & harmonies may be created ~ not only by laying colors side by side, but by laying one color atop another, through glazing. This will be illustrated through another PowerPoint presentation on Visionary Colour. We will also explore the subtle distortions that can be achieved through different systems of perspective & sacred geometry. Variations in a figure’s style, line, volume & expression ~ all will be explored in depth...

       The techniques of the Old Masters require discipline & dedication. We will paint each day, all day ~ while pausing for a decent lunch and using our evenings to explore all the facets of visionary creation in a more informal manner. Weekends will be reserved for day trips such as Damanhur and for exploring the fabulous Nature around Torri Superiore.


~ Animated .gif ~
Laurence Caruana's
The Face of Kali


       Torri Superiore is unique: a small hilltop village that consists of one labyrinthine building built on five varying levels and containing some 162 different vaulted chambers. During its 700-year existence, the community witnessed prosperity & calamity. Finally it fell into ruin because of the economic upheavals & rapid agricultural changes of the 20th century.

       In 1989, the Associazione Culturale Torri Superiore was founded to restore the village and bring its community back to life through a broader world-vision based on sustainable agriculture & permacultural design. Although parts of Torri Superiore remains a Romantic ruin, the fifteen full-time residents (with the help of association members & teams of international students) have restored most of the chambers & apartments ~ including a communal kitchen, dining areas, living space & teaching facilities.

       Torri Superiore’s Cultural Association is happy to host our painting seminar, providing us with a studio space while offering students full accommodation (a bed plus breakfast, lunch & dinner). Since most participants are struggling artists or students on a tight budget, we have taken great pains to find accommodation that is both interesting & affordable.

       Torri Superiore is an Eco ~Village, not a resort. They aim for sustainable living, not luxury, and their prices are reasonable & variable. They have put various living quarters at our disposal, and have even offered the outdoors option of staying in tents. However, since all food is grown organically and shared communally, the price of accommodation will include breakfast, lunch & dinner (which will always include a vegetarian option. Vegans can also be accommodated).

       Accommodation is in Old European-style Apartments or the less expensive option of Tents. Most Apartments contain 2 bedrooms (sleeping 2 people per room) plus a bathroom. These thick-walled, vaulted chambers have plenty of character, and some have balconies overlooking the Ligurian hills. For the cheaper Tent option, Torri Superiore offers a grassy space on terraced slopes shaded by Mimosa trees, with a beautiful view onto the distant Alps. In Torri's building near by, individual bathrooms (including a shower, sink & toilet) are provided for campers. Participants choosing this option must bring their own tents & sleeping bags, but Torri Superiore will supply 3" thick mattresses to sleep on (!).

       Since this is a Summer Seminar, we will take full advantage of the beautiful Alpine setting. Students can go swimming in the fresh-water stream or hiking along trails in the mountains. Lunch may be enjoyed as a picnic on the grass, and evenings we can gather together on the large terrace overlooking the Alpine hills...

       Students will also have the opportunity to learn and experience Sustainable Living. This means that they, like the villagers, will integrate their lifestyle with the land ~ seeking to be its custodians rather than its exploiters. Permaculture is a form of long-term planning in which an integrated model of life is developed so flora, fauna & humanity may interact harmoniously & holistically. Agriculture is specifically tailored to the shape of the land and the cycle of the seasons.

       This model attempts to incorporate as many dynamic life-interactions as possible to create sustainable forms of living. Often a more labor-intensive polyculture (planting mixed crops) is preferred to the single-crop industrial method (which erodes top soil). All in all, the residents and their guests will seek out a form of communal living ~ a template for the future based on earth harmony rather than environmental destruction.

       The Associazione Culturale Torri Superiore lead their own Summer Seminars in Sustainability, Communal Living and Permacultural Design. Our seminar students will work on their paintings, not in the fields. Still, they will benefit from tours, presentations & discussions with the village experts while actually living the life of the community. The Associazione Culturale Torri Superiore is a founding member of the Italian Permaculture Academy and belongs to the Global Eco-village Network; it has no religious or political affiliations.


       The French Côte d’Azur & Italian Riviera are unique places on earth. From the height of the Alps, the landscape plunges to below sea-level at the Mediterranean. This steeply-sloped area faces south and is fed by Alpine streams. As a result, the foot-Alps remain one of the richest places on earth for natural varieties of vegetation: pine & palm trees, wild basil & mint bushes, endless fields of lavender... Our Mediaeval Eco-Village is located in the gorgeous foot-Alps on the border between the French Côte d’Azur & the Italian Riviera.

       More precisely, Torri Superiore lies 5 km north of Ventimiglia ~ a quaint coastal town nestled between Monaco in France & San Remo in Italy. For centuries, Europe’s rich & famous have built their villas along this shared coast, since all homes have a southern exposure onto the vast expanse of the Mediterranean.

       Driving west from Ventimiglia, it is a 15-minute drive to Menton & Castillon ~ where Ernst Fuchs has his home atelier. Continuing west along the Cote d’Azur for ten more minutes, you come to Monaco (where Fuchs has a studio) and - one hour after that - to the holiday town of Nice.

       Three hours north of Ventimiglia ~ passing along a beautiful Alpine road ~ one reaches Torino. From here, it is a one hour drive west to Damanhur in the Valchiusella valley.

       On one weekend, we will drive up to Damanhur. As Alex Grey has written in his book on Damanhur: “We were introduced to a virtually unprecedented collective of devoted artists, craftspeople and villagers who had founded a new way of life.” The history of Damanhur began on a summer night in 1978 when eleven friends sat around a campfire and watched in awe as a meteor slowly passed overhead. Taking this as an important augury, they spontaneously  began digging into the Vidraco hillside. Construction of the subterranean temples continued in secret for another thirteen years ~ until the Damanhurians themselves unveiled to the world their Temples of Humankind.

       These consist of long Subterranean Passages leading to 7 different temples dug some 5 storeys deep into the hillside. Each temple is ornately carved & illuminated by glowing orbs or stained-glass ceilings. One labyrinthine passage leads to the Hall of the Earth and the Hall of Metals. Another passage, beginning at the Blue Temple and the Hall of Water, leads through the Hall of Spheres to the large and central Hall of Mirrors. All the columns & walls are covered with Visionary figures, forming a complex iconography dedicated to spiritual unity.

       Today, Damanhur is a Community of Artisans, Scientific Researchers, Agriculturists & Educators divided into 40 small communities of 20 members each. Collectively, they are trying to create a new model for community living based on sustainable agriculture, global co-operation & spiritual growth. While seminar participants may take an interest in Damanhur’s spiritual aims, our main interest will be its Visionary art and iconography.

       On another weekend, we will try to visit Professor Ernst Fuchs, the founder of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. This renowned group of painters revived classical techniques of painting and applied them to fantastic subjects. Fuchs in particular has become ‘the grandfather’ of Visionary art, pioneering many of its approaches while teaching its techniques to such former students as Mati Klarwein, De Es Schwertberger & Roberto Venosa (as well as Laurence Caruana).

       Professor Fuchs has his large home & studio in nearby Castel Caramel ~ as well as another studio in Monaco. Although we will try to visit him there, students should take note that the professor is now 79 year's old and has begun to retire from public life. All will depend on how he feels at the time and will forcibly be decided at the last minute.


       The number of activies is endless, depending on what you, the student, can bring to the group. Nevertheless, a steady stream of events seems to happen spontaneously and almost effortlessly ~ ~ ~

       During last summer's seminar, one student gave Tai Chi lessons, another offered Visualizations, and a third taught the Santur (a hammered dulcimer from Persia). Music was our constant companion, with impromptu collaborations between students, guests & residents. One night a group of musicians from Naples gave a concert of Tarantellas while the seminar students came up with a Live Painting. Other nights, guitars were strummed while the students passed around Cadavres Exquis or collaborated on a Mandala dedicated to Torri Superiore.

       Film Nights featured dvds on Visionary subjects (Entheo:genesis, Renegade) or Permaculture (Peak Oil, The End of Suburbia). One evening, the village wise-woman read everyone's Tarot cards; another evening, the residents treated us to a large barbeque. Guest lecturer Alex Lehmann, on his way to the Boom Festival, gave us a preview of his lecture on Trance Music & Altered States of Consciousness.

       Italian Beer & Wine were readily available through the 'trust fridge' (drop €2 in the box, take a bottle...) and one of Torri's villagers offered a special Cocktail evening. Sitting on the large balcony overlooking the beautiful hills, conversation lasted late into the night. Sunsets were spent at the secluded swimming hole, and painting in the studio went on all through the night.

       The Twelve Students demonstrated how Visionary Art is indeed an international phenomenon. They hailed from such diverse places as Argentina, Norway, Turkey, New Zealand, Germany, Italy & all quarters of the U.S. Each brought the distinctive taste of their own culture with them, and offered a global perspective on the present transformation of world-consciousness.

       At the end, a Farewell Party was held, including an Exhibition of the students' works. The friendships forged during the seminar lasted long afterward. One group of students visited Ernst Fuchs at the Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt, Austria. There, thanks to Laurence's arranging, 3 of them remained & worked with the master in the chapel for a month (Laurence joining them there afterward...). Another student founded The Temple of Visions, a gallery in Los Angeles which has held successful exhibitions featuring works from that summer's seminar students.

       The possibilities are endless...  


* Due to available studio space, this seminar is limited to 12 Participants.
* Places are reserved on a first come, first serve basis.
* Last year's seminar was entirely booked up by April.
* To reserve your place, you must register with a €500 deposit.
* Last date for reservations is June 1st.
* The balance of payment is due by June 15th, 2009.

~ Tuition ~ ROOM Accommodation ~ Full Board ~ Excursions ~
€ 1800
(approximately $ 2400*)

~ Tuition ~ TENT Accommodation ~ Full Board ~ Excursions ~
Subtract 15%
Hence, the REDUCED PRICE is
€ 1550
(approximately $ 2000*)
*The seminar price is in Euros. For other currencies,
the current conversion rates will be used at the time of payment,
as listed at xe.com.


* Tuition for the 3 week painting seminar
* 22 nights of accommodation at Torri Superiore
* Full board: breakfast, lunch & dinner
* 1 day trip to Damanhur's Temples of Humankind (not including € 66 entrance fee).
* 1 day trip to visit Ernst Fuchs (if he is available)
* Painting materials (mediums, panels, easels)
* A weekend hike, swim & picnic
* A farewell dinner


* Tuition includes teaching 6 days per week, 7 hours per day
* Classes are held 10:00 - 1:00 and 2:00 - 6:00, Mon - Sat.
* Your accommodation at Torri Superiore begins Saturday July 11th and ends the day of Sunday August 2nd.
* Room accommodation is in apartments, most with 2 people per room (4 to 5 people per apartment).
* Tent accommodation is in a shaded grassy area near the main buidling. Campers must bring their own tents and sleeping bags (though Torri Superiore will supply thick mattresses and individual bathrooms).
* The choice of sleeping places in the apartments will be decided by the organizers, based on gender considerations (e.g. keeping couples together, separating women from men). Please request if you wish to be paired with someone in particular.
* Breakfast, lunch & dinner will be mostly organic & vegetarian.
* The day trip to Damanhur includes transportation costs. However, the € 66 entrance fee for a guided tour of the Subterranean Temples must be paid by the student.
* The day trip to visit Ernst Fuchs includes transportation costs.
* For the painting seminar, we will provide materials like ingredients for the medium, prepared panels, easels and brush cleaners.
* Students must provide their own oil colors, brushes, palettes, bottles and jars. See Required Materials.


* All prices are per person.
* Prices are in Euros.
* For other currencies (dollars, pounds), the current conversion rate will be used at the time of payment. This will be calculated automatically through PayPal or credit card agencies. For bank transfers, we will use the current rate listed at xe.com.
* Payment may be made by credit card through PayPal or via bank transfer.
* The €500 deposit for registration is non-refundable.
* Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the seminar.
* Students are responsible for their own health insurance. Registration for the seminar constitutes a waiver on the participants' part regarding injuries or illnesses sustained during the seminar.
* In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the organizers reserve the right to cancel the day trips. The budget reserved for the day trips will be transfered to the farewell dinner.
* In the unlikely event of the seminar's cancellation, all payments will be refunded, minus 5% of the deposit (i.e. €25) for administration costs.


Requests, Questions & Payments may be directed to:

Visit his website at:

To Make Your €500 Deposit
Through PayPal
Click the Buy Now Button:

Thanks for your Interest in our Seminar!
I hope to spend some great times with you...

~ Laurence ~