Watercolor Sketching in the Loire Valley with Kathy Rennell Forbes-June 10-17, 2022

Day 1: Arrival

loire-introAlong the lush Loire River Valley, more than 1,000 chateaux 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.


We will pick you up at Saint Pierre de Corps train station early in the afternoon (TGVs ride from Paris Montparnasse station is about 1 hour).

After the check-in,  you will have time to rest in your comfortable bedroom, enjoy the swimming pool or explore some of the 20 acres of forest that belongs to the hotel before our 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 jet lag. 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 inventions.

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.

loire-day-3-DaVinciThe museum’s basement also features a display explaining on how tech giant IBM brought some of his inventions to life. Food for thought.

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

loire-day4-aChaumont 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.

loire-day4-bThese 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 color and fragrances of the many plants and flowers on display. You will discover the most incredible garden structures.

Day 5: Market in Amboise

loire-day5-marketMarkets 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 afternoon 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

loire-day6-chenonceauIn 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.

We will visit a little family-owned winery.

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 followed by a special farewell dinner.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, we will drive you to Saint Pierre de Corps train station for you to catch a TGV to Paris (1 hour ride) or for an extended stay in the area to visit more castles.

Workshop Description:

We will spend an amazing week in the Loire Valley filling our watercolor journals with memories for a life time and inspiration for larger paintings back home.

Kathy will share how she chooses and composes a composition with quick colorful sketches.

As a master plein air artist at the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational (2016) and Olmsted Georgia Color (2019 & 2020), she has a wealth of painting knowledge to share with each of you, no matter what your level of experience.

We will travel light with a small pack of supplies that can easily fit into your backpack or satchel. Kathy will work with each of you individually to create your best watercolor sketches. Kathy has a love for art, adventure and people.

About Kathy Rennell Forbes:

Kathy has taught watercolor classes to adults for 20+ years and 15+ travel workshops around the world. She is a signature member and past president of the Georgia Watercolor Society. She earned a BFA in  art/art education from the University of Georgia. Her impressionistic paintings are in private and corporate collections around the world. 

Website: www.RennellForbes.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artbykrf/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathyRennellForbesArtist

Our 4-star hotel in the heart of the Loire Valley

Set in a 50 acre private park and surrounded by woods, this 17th-century mansion, located in the heart of the castles of the Loire Valley is now a 4 star hotel. 

You will enjoy  and a covered and heated swimming pool.

All of the rooms are individually decorated and have a private bath, flat-screen TV, a mini-bar free Wi-Fi internet access.

The hotel’s restaurant prepares traditional cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients for you to enjoy either in the veranda or in the traditional dining room with its fireplace.

Dates & Rates

Dates:  June 10-17, 2022  Sketching in Watercolor Workshop with Kathy Rennell Forbes – Max: 12 Participants

Rates: $3,590 for a shared room

+ $550 for single room

Non Painters are welcome to join. They will get a $400 discount. They will go on excursions  with the group and share the meals.


  • Saint Pierre de Corps 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
  • The use of folding chairs
  • A personal bilingual tour leader throughout the week
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour


  • Flight and train to/from France
  • 5 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Optional activities (those not described in the itinerary)
  • Tour leader(s) tipping
How to Book

1Fill out the reservation form below. You will receive an email with information on how to pay your deposit. You can pay via ZELLE, credit card (using paypal) or bank transfer

2Send us a $600 deposit within one week. The deposit is not refundable but $300 is transferrable to a future trip. See our Cancelation Policy below.

3The remaining balance is due 3 months before departure.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel a US workshop:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 90 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
(however $300 can be transferred to another trip with a departure date within 1 year of cancelation date)
61-90 days before departure50% of total cost forfeited
31-60 days before departure75% of total cost forfeited
0-30 days before departure100% of total cost forfeited
If French Escapade cancels You get a full refund

Thank you for traveling with us!

French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 | contact@frenchescapade.com
California Seller of Travel Licence-CST #: 2091909-40
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