Watercolor Sketching in the South West of France, June 14-21 and June 22-29 (one spot open)

Teachers: Cindy Briggs and Theresa Goesling

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome to Red Brick territory also called the French Little Tuscany.

Southwest France is the hidden gem you have been dreaming of. You will love it for its natural beauty and its authenticity. Nested between Toulouse and the Massif Central mountain range, the Tarn area is a succession of rolling vineyards,  picturesque dovecotes and fortified medieval towns on gentle hills. Away from the spoiled touristic areas, its purity is a delight for painters. The highlights of this tour will be to paint all the vignettes at the exquisite luxurious estate you will be staying at, the visit of Albi with its cathedral and Toulouse-Lautrec museum, the plein air painting locations in hilltop villages and vineyards, and walking on colorful markets in medieval towns.


We will pick you up at Toulouse Airport at 2:30pm and drive you to our estate.

You will have plenty of time to settle in your comfortable bedroom. You can decide to rest, enjoy the pool or take a walk around the estate which boasts a 10th century chapel and views of the most beautiful medieval hilltop village in the area, before our orientation meeting and welcome reception/ dinner where you will enjoy local food in this paradise of gastronomy that is the southwest of France.

Days 2 & 3: Painting on Location

The first day will be a slow day for you to deal with jet lag. After your first breakfast on the terrace, you will have your first painting session with your instruction on location.

Whether in the studio or on the property, you will have plenty of vignettes and scenery to work on, on your first day, as a way to warm up your artistic skills: the 10th century chapel, the old tower, the garden, views of the nearby medieval hilltop village,  etc…

The garden and the estate offers so many beautiful vignettes and sceneries to paint that we will spend two full days on location.

Finish the day by diving in the swimming pool.

Day 4: Medieval Hilltop Village of Cordes

The medieval village of Cordes was elected French people’s favorite Village in 2014.

Cordes-sur-Ciel enchants and charms everyone who visits it. Even from afar, since it is like a mirage from the very beginning: a city disappearing into the sky.

Strolling in this remarkable site is like going back to time. The village is like an eagle’s nest on a hilltop looking out onto the Cérou valley. The beautiful fortified town is still circled by several medieval walls.

Today, it’s an arts-and-crafts city with artisans occupying many of the old houses on the narrow streets—blacksmiths, enamellers, graphic artists, weavers, engravers, sculptors, and painters. You will have free time to shop at the artisan shops, stroll in to admire the views from over the city wall or visit the chocolate museum.

Day 5: Albi and Toulouse-Lautrec Museum

Morning: Albi, the red city

Albi boasts an amazing 13th century medieval cathedral that has the largest and oldest collection of Renaissance frescoes in France, contemporary with the Sistine Chapel.

Lunch: Albi’s covered market is held in a place full of character, a ‘Baltard’ style pavilion, built in 1903.
This has been a lively place for more than a century and is a popular meeting place for all Albi residents and visitors. Twenty stalls display quality, traditional products. Perfect place for your lunch.

Afternoon: Museum of Toulouse-Lautrec in a 13th century Palace

We will visit the the prestigious Toulouse-Lautrec museum, of international reputation, located in the Berbie palace that was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. Built in the 13th century, the Berbie Palace is one of the oldest castles in France, older than the famous Popes Palace in Avignon.

The Toulouse-Lautrec museum houses the largest public collection in the world devoted to the famous Albi painter. The paintings, lithographs, and drawings, along with all the posters ever made by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, are outstanding illustrations of every facet of his versatile and innovative talent.

You will find many locations to paint in Albi: timbered houses, red brick bridge over the Tarn river, the amazing cathedral, the gardens of the Berbie Palace, etc… We will spend morning and early afternoon painting before visiting the museum.

Day 6: Market and Wine Tasting

It would be impossible to visit France without visiting a market or doing some wine tasting.

Most large villages or small towns have a weekly market. Depending on the market, you’ll find fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, hams and dry sausages and local specialities. This is a fun place to take pictures for your paintings later.

Gaillac is one of France’s oldest viticultural areas, established in Roman times or even earlier that still produces a wide variety of wines today. You will have the opportunity to taste several Gaillac wines. 

Day 7: Garden Painting

Today, we won’t be driving anywhere, giving you time to finish up your week paintings and get ready for the vernissage. You can paint in the studio or in the garden.

At the end of the day, while sipping wine and eating hors-d’oeuvres we will have a little vernissage to see what everyone has been painting during the week.

This will be followed by a gourmet farewell dinner.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye hoping to see you again. We will drive you back to Toulouse airport around 11am.

Workshop Description:

Join us in the South West of France and have a creative life experience. You’ll enjoy inspiring locations, daily painting demonstrations, personalized instruction, and encouraging support with Cindy and Theresa.

“We show you how to simplify and design your subject, draw confidently, jazz up your colors, paint with serendipity and experiment with new techniques. Create colorful paintings en Plein Air with an emphasis on celebrating your own unique point of view.

“We’ve traveled for years with French Escapade and are always impressed with the personal attention to details; Jackie and her team took amazing care of our group as we painted, explored and dined.”– Cindy & Theresa

We look forward to making this our 2023 European workshop and sharing this dreamy adventure with you. We are excited about the amazing accommodations with a studio for us to paint on site, plus we’ll explore the hilltop towns, colorful markets and charming villages as we make the most of our time all together”. – Cindy & Theresa

Paint in your travel watercolor sketchbook or on materials you prefer.

Cindy and Theresa co-authored a watercolor lesson book called “Make Every Day A Painting” which is available for purchase at  www.MakeEveryDayAPainting.com

Cindy Briggs's Biography

From Park City, Utah to charming historical villages throughout Europe, Cindy Briggs enthusiastically shares the creative journey with her students. Teaching locally and internationally for 25 years, Cindy has now worked with French Escapade for over 5 years, and appreciates how Jackie and Valerie take such great care of their guests.

An award-winning artist, Cindy’s work has been featured in many international juried National Watercolor Society exhibitions among other Watercolor Society, University, Gallery and Museum exhibitions. She has been published in Watercolor Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, Outside Artist, Conde Nast Magazine among local and regional magazines.

Cindy has worked with Daniel Smith for decades as a feature demonstrator and instructor. She also teaches watercolor workshops for the Smithsonian Art Studios, University of Utah, and many arts organizations. She has also served as a juror for regional events and national arts festivals. Cindy produces numerous online watercolor program packages and enjoys providing a virtual front row seat for all of her students.

Cindy has also co–written a successful watercolor manual with Theresa Goesling. You’ll find the life-long friends teaching individually and together on V.I.E.W, overseas with French Escapade and in beautiful destinations closer to home.

More info about Cindy Briggs at www.cindybriggs.com

Theresa Goesling's Biography

Theresa Goesling, has traveled the world finding the most picturesque places to paint and enjoys sharing these destinations with her students. As a signature member and past President for Northwest Watercolor Society, Theresa has dedicated her time towards helping others find their passion for watercolor. She was an Art Director for Eddie Bauer, and is an accredited representative and honored demonstration artist of Daniel Smith Artist Materials. Theresa’s paintings have been published in “Splash”, Plein Air Magazine, Outdoor Artist, Watercolor Magazine & juried into the American Watercolor Society International Open Exhibition. Theresa is an internationally recognized instructor, author & juror.

In 2021, Theresa was awarded one of the most prestigious honors for an artist by Daniel Smith Artist Materials with her own palette “Dot Card”. The card is of her paint sample of her 18-color palette and is distributed globally and is only available through Theresa in her classes. Theresa has been teaching international workshops for over 25 years. Whether she paints impressionistic or contemporary in feel, her eye-catching painting style is distinguished by rich, vibrant color and strong in design principles.

She co-authored a watercolor instruction book, “Make Every Day A Painting” with her life-long friend, Cindy Briggs, whom she enjoys team teaching with French Escapade on V.I.E.W. and beautiful destinations.
Theresa Goesling Website: www.TheresaGoesling.ART

De Luxe Historical Estate

Set in the lush valley which overlooks the historic and picturesque hilltop village of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the heart of the beautiful Tarn region in the South-West of France, this estate is a stunning, large stone house nestled in landscaped gardens and meadows surrounded by over 150 acres of private hillside woodland.

The estate has an outdoor platform for painting classes with a breathtaking view of a hilltop medieval village but you can use it even just for watching the sun go down.

The owners of the estate support the growing ‘bio’ (organic) movement where possible and use vegetables from their very own kitchen garden whenever they can to prepare daily gourmet dinners.

The estate offers ten rooms for guests to stay in, all of them either en-suite or with dedicated private bathrooms.

There is also an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by mature shrubs and plants, furnished with Moroccan sun loungers. The grounds include a tennis court, a 10th century chapel and a dedicated painting studio. There are many lounge areas, indoor and outdoor. A real little paradise of quietness.

Note that the estate is not suitable for people with walking difficulties. There are stairs everywhere (no elevator): dining room is on the 2nd floor, most bedrooms are also on the second and third floor. 

Pricing Details

Each Trip is limited to 11 Participants

June 14-21: SOLD OUT

June 22-29: one spot open 

US$ 3,790 pp for a shared standard room (not available anymore)

For a couple or 2 friends: US$ 4,090 pp for 2 single rooms (a bit smaller) with private bath in a suite that has a terrace, living room and kitchenette (not available anymore) .

US$ 4,390 for single standard room with private bathroom (one available ) .

US$ 4,790 for a single superior room with private bathroom (not available anymore) . It has access to the living room, kitchenette and terrace from the suite.

Due to space limitation, non painters are welcome but will pay the same price as the painters (they will benefit from the same excursions and meals with the exclusions of the art classes).


– Toulouse airport pick-up at 2:30pm and drop-off at 11am
– A welcome reception
– All nights  at the estate
– All breakfasts
– 3 lunches
– 5 dinners (including drinks and wine)
– All art classes
– Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
– Transportation every day in a comfortable van
– The use of folding chairs
– A personal chauffeur/tour leader throughout the week

Not Included:

– Flights to and from France
– 4 lunches and 2 dinners
– Painting supplies (we provide folding chairs)
– Tour leader(s) tipping

Cancelation Policy

If you cancel the trip:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 120 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)
61-120 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

Fill out the registration form on this page: https://frenchescapade.com/reservation-form/

You will receive an automatic response with ways of payment. Since the trip is within 3 months, the full amount of $4,390 is due.

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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