Painting Castles and Gardens in the Loire Valley
Along the lush Loire River Valley, more than 1,000 châteaux bathe
in their own beauty and stunning grandeur. Embark on this eight day
painting holiday which takes you on a journey of discovery through
some of the most prominent chateaux and gardens of this famous UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Your paintings will be inspired by some of the
grandest and most beautiful architectural structures in France like
Chenonceau, Clos Luce and Amboise.
Day 1: Arrival
We will pick you up at the Tours train station early in the afternoon
(TGVs ride from Paris Montparnasse station to Tours in 1 hour
and 15 minutes).
Hotel check-in: you will have time to rest in your comfortable
bedroom or to explore your surroundings before the Champagne
reception and orientation meeting, followed by a gourmet dinner.
Day 2: Painting on Location
The first day will be a slow day for you to deal with jetlag.
In the morning, the teacher will give you the necessary basic advice to start the workshop in a group meeting,
and start on your first painting.
In the afternoon, you will go on with the painting session on the hotel property that offers a variety of typical vignettes to paint.
Day 3: Discover Leonardo DaVinci's Mansion and Inventions.
We will go to Amboise, where Leonardo Da Vinci lived at the
end of his life. We will visit his home, the picturesque mansion
of Clos Luce, where he developed many of his most visionary
Clos Lucé houses a museum and park filled with prototypes
of some of Da Vinci's most imaginative creations, including
the machine gun, helicopter and paddle boat.
The museum's basement also features a display explaining on
how tech giant IBM brought some of his inventions to life. Food
You will have the opportunity to paint in the garden, inspired
by the magic of the park and surrounded by centuries-old pines,
Italian cypresses, yews, madonna lilies, yellow irises, horned
violets, European alders, cyclamen repandums, and of course,
the famous Mona Lisa rose.
Day 4: Garden Festival at Chaumont Castle
Chaumont is a Cinderella type castle. But in addition to being
a very beautiful castle, Chaumont is famous for its international
garden festival. Every year since 1992, the gardens of chateau
Chaumont-sur-Loire play host to the annual ‘Festival des
Jardins’, a garden festival with up to 30 themed gardens.
These gardens are created by different landscape architects,
designers and artists around a theme, which changes every year.
This brings the chateau surroundings to life with the colour
and fragrances of the many plants and flowers on display. You
will discover the most incredible garden structures.
Day 5: Market in Amboise
Markets are part of everyday life in France, with almost every
town and village having their local "marchés" .
A visit is not complete without a wander around the stalls
sampling and taking in the atmosphere of French life. You will
find fish, meat, bread, fruit & veg., cheese, flowers, clothing,
kitchen supplies, furniture, jewellery, handbags, garden supplies,
live birds...and just about everything you can think of.
Then, weather permitted, we may be able have a picnic by the
Loire in the afternoon with the bottle of Vouvray, bread cheese
and rillettes just bought on the market.
The whole aftenoon is yours to paint the quaint houses in
Amboise, the Loire river or the castle.
Day 6: Romantic Castle of Chenonceau, built over the river
In the morning, we will visit one of the gems of the Loire Castles:
Chenonceau. This amazing castle was built on a bridge and the
proximity of water is delightful. The history of this place
is incredibly rich, from the love intrigues under the reign
of Henry II to the hospital it was turned into during WWII.
Afternoon: Painting in the sprawling Renaissance gardens of
the castle, which are sure to leave you breathless. You will
be able to pick among many subjects to paint: the orderly French
style squares, the views of the castle, the river plunging under
the castle or the amazing vegetable patches.
Day 7: Wine Tasting
We are based in the centre of the world- heritage Loire Valley
wine region, where some of the finest wines in France are produced.
The wines drunk by the French Kings centuries ago. There are
69 Controlled Place of Origin (AOC) (Appellations d’Origine
Contrôlées) wines in the Loire Valley offering
a wealth of colourful oenological delights as there is a diverse
range of still, rosé, white, red and sparkling wines
produced throughout the region.
So, it is a must to taste some of them. We will visit a little
winery owned by a family. The owner will show you the cellar,
explain how he produces the different wines and we will finish
the visit by some tastings, of course!
We will come home early to give you time to finish up some
paintings and do a little "vernissage" with all your
art from the week.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, we will drive you to the Tours train station for you
to catch a TGV to Paris or for an extended stay in the area to visit
Dates & Rates 2017
|June 9-16, 2017
1 spot left
Sonja Hamilton, swa
Watercolor Painting and Journal
(ink & watercolor)
Price is $3,190
(+ $550 for single room)
-$400 off for non painters
Watercolor painting, Sonja Hamilton, swa
Join Sonja Hamilton,
swa, on her 9th tour with French Escapade.
Register early to insure your spot! We have added a second week
because the first one is already sold out!
Castles and Gardens are breathtaling in the Loire valley!
The chateaux look like they've come straight from a fairytale
with their turrets, pinnacles, lanterns and moats. The most
beautiful parks and gardens reside within the Loire region appropriately
named "the garden France."
What better places to create memories with paint!
And let's not forget the Gourmet Fench food and wine!!
Demonstrations will help you with composition, color
harmony and the play of light on objects.
Sonja will do a demo every day and also give you some one to
one help. All skill levels are welcome.
Plan on small format sketching plus painting in ink/ or watercolor-a
doable size for the traveling artist.
Sonja has been a teacher for over 40 years and is the author
of a book called: "Watercolor - It's just a piece of
paper". It is a watercolor reference book published
and printed in Oregon in 2015. 176 pages of information with
Sonja's paintings and exemplars from her teaching experiences
in the classroom.
She says of her work, "Although I draw and paint in many
mediums, I find watercolor exciting, spontaneous, and challenging.
When I paint, my cares leave and I become totally immersed in
what I'm doing. Watercolor is a joy - exhilarating, yet most
relaxing for me. It is who I am".
- Tours train station pick-up and drop-off
- A welcome reception
- 7 nights at our hotel
- All breakfasts
- 2 lunches and 5 dinners including drinks
- All art classes
- A personal bilingual guide throughout the week
- Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
- Flight and train to/from France and Tours
- 5 lunches and 2 dinners
- Optional activities
- Personal expenses and tipping