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Painting in Provence

Discover why Provence has been an inspiration for generations of artists like Van Gogh, Cezanne,...

Day 1: Welcome Champagne Reception

We will pick you up at the Avignon train station. Upon your arrival at our guesthouse, take time to settle in or explore the village. In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a gourmet dinner.

Day 2: Ochre village of Roussillon

Roussillon, one of France's Most Beautiful Villages, sits on top of the world's biggest vein of ochre, the reddish pigment which has been used by artists for centuries. Paint red houses, ochre trails, cafes, what ever inspires you.

At the end of the day, we will take a walk inside the park, on the Ochre Trail revealing many fantastic rock and cliff formations.

You will also have time for shopping: don't miss out on the unique reddish poteries.


Watercolor Journal
Roussillon Village
Sandy Delehanty (teacher)

Day 3: Most spectacular village in Provence: Gordes

Gordes, also listed one of France's most beautiful villages, is the most spectacular village in Provence, perched on the southern edge of the high Plateau de Vaucluse.

The view from the village is a southern panorama out across fields, vineyards and forests, and small-perched villages to the Montagne du Luberon. You can choose to paint the breathtaking panorama, the village houses, or even the outdoor stalls.


Oil Painting Workshop
Watercolor Journal Workshop

Day 4: Market and Canals in "Isle sur la Sorgue"

L'Isle sur la Sorgue is a real paradise for painters and photographers.

Its colors are nature's green and the bright reflection of the water shines from the several canals running through its center.

In the morning, we will shop the incredible and colorful market: colorful arrays of Provencal fabric, tablecloths, pottery, silk scarves, natural soaps with dozens of scents and of course lavender products.

Day 5: Painting at the House or in the Village

Today will be a non driving day to allow even more time to painting.

We will spend the day painting either at the hotel or in the cute and non touristy village of Venasque: cobblestone streets, 18th century houses, flowers, doors,...

The view from the terrace of the hotel, on Mont Ventoux, the highest mountain in Provence, will take your brath away.

Day 6: On Van Gogh's trail in St Remy de Provence

We will paint along the paths that Van Gogh used to walk the last years of his life.

This tour is an emotional trip through the wonderful landscapes, which inspired the great impressionist.

It displays 21 sign posts with reproductions of Van Gogh paintings, chosen among 150 others, painted by the artist during his stay in Saint Remy de Provence.

At the end of the painting day, we will visit the beautiful old monastery of St Paul Mausole with the bedroom where Van Gogh stayed during his very troubled time in 1889-90.

This is now a nursing home that has a permanent exhibition of paintings made by the patients and beautiful reproduction of some of Vincent van Gogh's paintings.

St Paul Mausole
Red poppies
Oil painting by Brian Murphy (teacher)
Garden of St Paul de Mausole

Oil painting of Senanque Abbey
by Victoria Brooks (teacher)

Day 7: Non Touristy Village of Oppede-le-Vieux and Senanque Abbey

Venasque is a non touristy jewel, not listed in travel books. While strolling the streets you will come to appreciate the quieteness and wonderful atmosphere that will seduce you, as it has dozens of artists.

With those interested, we will go to the famous Cistercian abbey of Senanque, a beautiful and still-working 12th century abbey, tucked into an isolated valley.

Day 8: Departure

It is time to say: "au revoir" but not "adieu" because you will be back. We just know it.

After our last breakfast together, we'll drive you to the Avignon train station by 10 am.


You will be well taken care of from your pick up at the Avignon train station to your drop off at the end of your stay.

Every day, we will drive you in a comfortable A/C mini van to different painting locations.

Accommodation (except for the trip with Erin Hill and Ted Matz in 2015 and Nancy Medina in 2016)

We have chosen a restored farmhouse located in the heart of Provence.

In many ways this house speaks of Provence. The large salon with its fireplace will seduce you with its charming and friendly atmosphere. The view towards the Mont Ventoux from the terrace and from your bedroom is breathtaking. The blue shutters of the house will give you a real flair of Provence.

Each room has a full private bathroom.


Courtyard of our villa

Click here to see more pictures and description of this acccommodation.

View from the terrace

Each bedroom has a private bathroom

Dates & Rates 2015

June 8-15, 2015: 1 spot left
Teacher: Keiko Tanabe
Watercolor Painting Workshop

Price: $3,190 (+$550 for single room)
- $350 off for non-painters
+$300 for single room with shared bathroom
+$550 for single room with en-suite bathroom

"I felt in love with Provence long before I was a painter.

Having been there numerous times, I can say my love for this absolutely delightful region of France has stood the test of time, and I'm excited I will go there with Jackie after a successful painting trip to Spain with her in 2013.

Beautiful landscapes, friendly people, charming villages, scrumptious food and wine, and the sunny sky most of the year, everything conjured up in the image of the south of France awaits when we go there in the summer of 2015.

Please join us as we explore and paint outdoors while enjoying the joie de vivre the region has to offer. If you're looking for a cozy, personalized therefore very special painting holiday organized by a tour operator who is completely bicultural and bilingual, this is it.

Since we will be a small group, I can also closely work with each one of you for a semi-private painting experience.

À bientôt!"

June 15-22, 2015: SOLD OUT
Teacher: Adrienne Retief
Sketching with Watercolor

Price: $3,190 (+$550 for single room)
- $350 off for non-painters

Join us for a week of sketching with watercolor as we explore the breathtakingly beautiful landscape and architecturally unique villages of Provence.

"As a practicing architect, architectural illustrator and watercolor painter, I am passionate about travel sketching and painting, and love to share that passion with others. It does not matter if you have never sketched or painted (or think you can do neither) since I believe everyone can do this with just a little coaxing and coaching.

I will demonstrate the fundamentals of simple perspective and composition; cover basic color theory and simple watercolor techniques, but the focus will be on individual expression and exploration.

There is nothing that anchors memories (the view; the feel of the sun; the sounds; the smells; the immediacy of the moment) quite like the act of sketching and painting on location.

Having been a participant of one of Jackie's painting tours in 2014, I know just how magical the experience can be!"

June 16-23, 2015: SOLD OUT
Teacher: Erin Hill
Journal Sketching Workshop

Price: $3,190 (+$550 for single room)
- $350 off for non-painters

Erin is an experienced Travel sketcher and Sketch Tutor from Sydney, Australia.

'My greatest pleasure is to see someone who didn't think they could, discover that they CAN sketch and the joy it brings."

You'll learn to sketch in the time you have, from little moments to bigger vistas as well as how apply colour to your sketches. No experience needed because you'll be shown 'how to see' the subject you're sketching.

We travel about, peering at cathedrals, sketching in cafes, exploring villages and markets, quickly sketching people.

Your sketchbook becomes a record of your sketches notes and thoughts, treasures and memorabilia that you'll value forever.

Every day there'll be new places to explore and before long you'll have the confidence to sketch anything, anytime, anywhere. And you won't be afraid of perspective, sketching people, etc.

Travel sketching will be a skill you'll take with you wherever you go from now on.

Click here to see the accommodation for the trip with Erin.

July 1-8, 2015:
Teacher: Martha Johnson
All Media Painting Workshop
1 spot left

Price: $3,190 (+$550 for single room)
- $350 off for non-painters

Join Martha Johnson for a plein air painting workshop in Provence, following Van Gogh's footsteps.

Suitable for all media and levels or experience, this workshop will include developping atmosphere with emphasis on sketching, composition and creating finished work.

Each day will include a positive, encouraging informal critique at the day's end.

Martha is known for her passionate approach to landscape painting. She always develops a great sense of camaraderie with her students.

Lavender and sun flowers will be in bloom!

Aug 25-Sept 1, 2015:
Teacher: Daniel J. Keys
Oil Painting Workshop

US $3,190
+$300 for single room but shared bathroom
+$550 for single room
- $350 off for non-painters

A Provence Painting Experience

Internationally known artist, Daniel J. Keys, will be taking a small group of artists throughout Provence, to paint and learn in the south of France, August 2015.

During each of the painting days, Daniel will offer demonstrations and teach each student the fundamentals of painting, both “en plein air” and still life. Topics of discussion will include…

Drawing: Getting the shapes accurate.
Values: Understanding light and shadow.
Color & Color Temperature: The secret to life-like paintings.
Edges: Using hard, soft, and lost edges correctly.
Composition: Designing your painting with confidence.

I believe that any artist would benefit from a workshop experience such as this, no matter their usual painting subject-matter. It’s all about painting shapes of color, and with a locale like Provence, inspiration is bound to be plenteous!

A supply-list of Daniel’s materials will be provided upon registration. Space is very limited (max 10 participants).

Dates & Rates 2016

June 11-18, 2016 (max.10 pax)
June 19-26, 2016 (max.10 pax)
Teacher: Brenda Swenson
Watercolor Sketching Workshop

$200 before Nov 30, 2015 so price is $2,990
$3,190 after Nov 30th
+$300 for single room but shared bathroom
+$550 for single room with private bath
- $400 off for non-painters

Provence en Plein-air

"Join me for a week of sketching with watercolor. We'll enjoy the free-flowing and colorful nature of watercolor at its best while sketching and having fun!

I’ll help you develop observation skills, color awareness, simple design principles and learn about light and shadows. We’ll investigate various techniques, sketching tools, and approaches to watercolor. Enjoy time with fellow artists, instruction and friendly critiques".

Space is very limited (max 10 participants/workshop).

Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook (Award of Excellence Finalist) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. Her paintings and sketches have been featured in numerous books (Splash 11, 12 & 14, Artistic Touch 4, Creative Freedom, Incite 2), and magazines (Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Plein Air Magazine).

Brenda has achieved signature status in WW, NWWS, and SDWS. An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West.

July 3-10, 2016
Teacher: Lisa Fu
Watercolor Painting Workshop

$200 before Nov 30, 2015 so price is $2,990
$3,190 after Nov 30th
+$300 for single room but shared bathroom
+$550 for single room with private bath
- $400 off for non-painters

Come explore the South of France with us! The lavender fields will be in full bloom.

Lisa Fu is a professional artist, tutor and demonstrator in watercolor. Her paintings are inspired by her travelling experience and the simple beauty in nature and life. Deeply inspired by the French Impressionists, Lisa has developed her own impressionist style to express the beauty of nature through forms and colors. Today Lisa concentrates on creating and teaching art and is slowly gathering a lot of recognition by both followers and collectors from all around the world.

After spending some time in Provence, Lisa felt in love with this sunny, romantic, happy and beautiful place in South of France.

“With French Escapade, we will follow French impressionist like Van Gogh. We will do plein air painting in beautiful and spectacular villages, in colorful markets, by charming water canals and in “Van Gogh’s garden in St Remy de Provence. The lavender will be in full bloom so you will also have a chance to paint these gorgeous blue fields.”

You will be able to follow Lisa’s loose and fresh painting approach through her demonstrations. She will help you understand perspectives better, simplify a complex scene and teach you tone values, color mixing, light/shade and composition.

Because of the small size of the group, you will be able to get one on one help from Lisa.

The course is suitable for fellow artists, art lovers and beginner painters.

Sept 6-13, 2016
Teacher: Frank Eber
Watercolor Painting Workshop

$200 before Nov 30, 2015 so price is $2,990
$3,190 after Nov 30th
+$300 for single room but shared bathroom
+$550 for single room with private bath
- $400 off for non-painters

Come explore the South of France with us! Bring your painting skills to a higher level.

In this workshop Frank will share intermediate and advanced watercolor plein air techniques based on tonal values that create atmosphere, balance and unity in your work. Whether painting a french market scene, a farm or landscape, learn the secrets to painting luminous watercolors by manipulating tonal value, color and edge!

Basic watercolor background washes will be covered, as well as time sensitive and challenging wet-on-wet and dry-on wet techniques.

Frank does numerous demos on site, broken up into parts, to help students keep up and absorb all aspects of painting techniques. Included are discussions and demonstrations on composition, direct color mixing, positive and negative painting as well as the 'state of mind' while painting.

Frank has lived in the south of France in 2008 and 2009 and is intimately familiar with painting sites and locations there.

Small class setting only, plenty of one-on one teaching time' Students must have a basic understanding of the watercolor medium. Outdoor painting gear required.

Sept 13-20, 2016
Teacher: Nancy Medina
Oil Painting Workshop

$200 before Nov 30, 2015 so price is $3,190
$3,390 after Nov 30th
+$650 for single room
- $400 off for non-painters

Put a little joy in your brush and join award winning artist Nancy Medina for 8 days of making brilliant colors bloom in Provence.

Known for her bold, impressionistic floral and garden paintings that are immediately eye-catching, Nancy shares a loose, bright technique that evokes brilliant color.

"I love color - it makes me happy. My greatest joy is sharing that love and enthusiasm with my students. Painting is a journey. It's learning the language of shape, light and color. Teaching impressionistic painting and sharing my passion for color is my dream job. As a teacher, my number one goal is to give my students every possible tool to help them reach the next level."

During your Provence painting workshop, Nancy will share all her favorite tips for creating brilliant color on a transparent background in oils, and methods for making your floral and landscape paintings look authentic and beautiful. Students are encouraged to take lots of photos and ask many questions, and will take home the tools needed to create paintings and memories they will enjoy for years to come. You can learn more at Nancy Medina

In this workshop, you will learn to:
  • Simplify shapes
  • Brighten colors
  • Add drama
  • Paint loosely with confident brush strokes

Click here to see the accommodation for the trip with Nancy.

Sept 20-27, 2016:
Teacher: Joyce Hicks
Painting Workshop

$200 before Nov 30, 2015 so price is $2,990
$3,190 after Nov 30th
+$300 for single room but shared bathroom
+$550 for single room with private bath

" Join me for an unforgettable painting holiday in Provence, France! The regions stunning light and color has inspired artists for centuries and is possibly one of the most gorgeous places in all of France to visit and paint! Provence is known for its charming villages, picturesque views, lively markets, sunny flower fields, fragrant wines and scrumptious cuisine! It’s an extraordinary place! One that can’t help but inspire us to create beautiful paintings in a place that just might take our breath away!

This tour is suited to every level of experience from serious beginners to seasoned painters and since this will be a small group I’ll be able to work closely with everyone. I’ll share my simple methods for turning complicated landscape scenes into compelling designs with easy-to-paint shapes! You will learn to move away from painting “things,” which leads to information overload, and learn to design compositions that will reach out and connect with viewers! Following are a few of the artistic concepts we’ll focus on:

• how to create the illusion of depth in your landscape scenes
• how to simplify and streamline complicated subjects
• important steps for building strong compositions
• how to make artistic decision based on “relationships”
• how to paint sunlight and shadow
• the importance of the value sketch for a successful outcome
• working with your travel photos, sketch book and small color studies
• planning strategies that will allow you to paint with confidence".

Joyce is a Signature Member and three time award winner of the prestigious American Watercolor Society. Her paintings have appeared in numerous books and publications and she keeps a full calendar juroring exhibitions and conducting workshops across the USA and Internationally. In addition she had the pleasure of authoring her first book “Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes” in 2014 as well as producing two instructional DVDs.


  • Avignon TGV train station pick up at 3:30pm and drop off at 10am
  • A welcome reception
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches (picnics) and 4 dinners (incl. drinks and wine)
  • All nights at the villa-hotel
  • All art classes
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
  • Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C
  • A personal bilingual chauffeur/tour leader throughout the week
  • A free Paris planner for a self guided visit in Paris: suggestions of hotels, restaurants and places to visit

  • Flights to and from France
  • Trains to/from Avignon
  • Three lunches and three dinners
  • Optional activities/personal expenses and tipping

Tel: 1-510-483-5713