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Painting in the Alps: villages, lakes and mountains.

The Alps is a dream destination for a plein air artist because of the spectacular scenery you will encounter: alpine meadows, cobblestoned villages, waterfalls, glaciated peaks, wildflowers, clean lakes, chalet with flowers from windowboxes, ...

Let us show you these hidden treasures.


Day 1: Welcome to the Alps

We will pick you up at the Geneva airport and drive to our beautiful chalet in the Alps. Upon your arrival at the hotel, you will have time to sette in and relax, before our welcome reception, orientation meeting followed by a gourmet dinner.


Painting by Sonja Hamilton, SWA

Days 2-3: Alpine Village: from wooden chalets to flowery balconies

Today we will be heading towards the mountains to our new accommodation, a cute chalet in the Alps.

The village offers a breathtaking 360 degree view towards Mont-Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe.

It will be like stepping back in time: wooden chalets, baroque church, green pastures and grazing cows.

Cheese is of course the specialty of the Alps. You will find it in many local specialties like fondue, raclette, tartiflette, etc...

Day 4: Chamonix-the queen resort of the Alps

Chamonix, the biggest ski resort in the world, is surrounded by majestic high mountains and glaciers.

You will have the opporttunity to take the highest gondola in the world to go to the top of "L'Aiguille du Midi" at 12,000 ft. A breathtaking view of the Alps and Chamonix down below awaits you.

Many painting vignettes await you in Chamonix and when you will be tired of painting,shopping will be all around you.

Glacier in the Alps.

Days 5-6: Annecy or 'The Little Venice of the Alps'

Today we will be driving to our new hotel. Annecy is the French show-piece of lakes-and-mountain beauty. The Canal crossing Annecy brings Venice to mind as you stroll along its banks.

Your choice for the painting site will be unlimited: medieval narrow streets, renaissance houses along the canal, the famous old prison (one of the most photographed monuments in France!) or the Annecy lake surrounded by mountains.

The old prison of Annecy

We will also have the opportunity to go to the local market in the old Annecy and shop for the numerous wonderful cheeses, sausages, honeys and all local products. You can also rent a boat and navigate the cleanest lake in Europe, Annecy Lake.

Watercolor painting, Sonja Hamilton, swa

Day 7: Romantic Village of Chanaz

We will drive east along the Rhone River, through beautiful vineyards and picturesque villages to the lovely village of Chanaz. Sitting accross the canal, in the middle of trees, you will enjoy painting this quiet village.

After your painting session, we will attend a walnut oil making demonstration in a 19th-century mill. This is a unique opportunity since this mill is the only one left in France listed historical monument.

Day 8: Departure

After our last breakfast together, we'll drive you back to the Geneva airport.

Hotel 1 (4 nights): Chalet-hotel in the Alps

This chalet, in the heart of Haute-Savoie, boasts stunning views of Mont-Blanc and the Aravis Massif. The beauty of the panorama, the charm of the cosy wooden interior, the gourmet restaurant, the well-being of the Spa, the comfort and amenities of the wainscoted rooms (flat-screen satellite TV, free WiFi...), all make this unique spot a haven of peace.

Hotel 2 (3 nights): by Annecy Lake

Just in front of the lake of Annecy and in the heart of the historic and commercial part of the city, the situation of this 3-star hotel is one of the best in the whole town.

The rooms are equipped with one double bed or 2 single beds depending on your preference.

All rooms are equipped with either a bathtub or shower, a flat screen TV with international satellite channnels and free Wi-Fi internet access.

Canal in front of the hotel

Dates & Rates 2017-2018

Aug 25-Sept 1, 2017
Elaine Monnig is looking for artists to join her and paint.

Painting Retreat for all artists with no instructions

Painting retreat for all artists with no instructions

$200 off before Nov 30 so price is $2,590 (double occupancy room)
After Nov 30: $2,790
+$550 for single room

Recharge your creative battery with this Retreat for artists (no instruction).

"Join us for a relaxed week of plein-air painting and fun among artists (all skill levels and all media are welcome) in the beautiful setting of the French Alps.

Everything will be taken care of so you can fully immerse yourself in beautiful locations while enjoying the camaraderie of other artists without having to worry about the logistics.

Spend your time painting, taking photos for future paintings and learning many of the customs and traditions of the area – and of course, enjoying the food and wine!

There will not be any instruction on the trip, only artists painting together. Surrounded by other artists of different skill levels and different background, you will benefit from their experiences. “Show and tell” will be organized and you will be free to participate while sipping a glass of wine.

Initiated by artist Elaine Monnig , this exceptional retreat for artists will take you to several beautiful locations during the week. On location, each artist can choose the view and spot that inspires her/him.

Sept 2-9, 2018
Teacher: Frank Eber
Watercolor Painting Workshop
$200 off before Nov 30th so price is $2,990 (double occupancy room)
After Nov 30th: $3,190

+$550 for single room
- $400 off for non-painters

See what rates include.

See the itinerary of this workshop

Come explore the magnificient French Alps 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 France in 2008 and 2009 and is intimately familiar with the country.

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.

  • Geneva airport pick-up and drop-off
  • All nights accommodation at the hotels
  • Transportation every day in a comfortable van with A/C
  • A welcome reception
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners including wine
  • Entrance to the spa
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
  • A free Paris planner for a self guided visit in Paris: suggestions of hotels, restaurants and places to visit.

  • Flights to and from France
  • 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Optional activities not described in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses and tipping

Tel: 1-510-483-5713