Vibrant Watercolor Sketches in Provence with Sarah B.Hansen, Aug 31-Sept 7, 2024

Workshop Description

Create watercolor sketches in a loose, splashy manner, quickly capturing the vibrant, lush countryside of Provence in this 7-day workshop.

Enveloped by the beauty of France, you will be guided in creating impressionistic watercolor sketches, learning techniques of painting with expression, and incorporating the principles and elements of art into your work. Daily demos, studies, and warm-ups will provide you with guided assistance in creating dynamic compositions, choosing vibrant colors from a limited palette, simplifying complicated forms, understanding the importance and application of values, as well as incorporating inspired edgework.

Each day, we will be focusing on a particular subject(s) or technique that will be applicable for that day’s destination. This workshop is focused on immersing oneself within the country, absorbing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and then translating those experiences into sketches. Several studies and paintings will be done every day, including intuitive warm-up exercises and technique exploration. Group and one-on-one teaching will be provided daily.

In this workshop, my goal is to give you the tools and techniques to expressively paint your own surroundings, no matter where you find yourself. Group and individual painting. Studio and plein air work. Beginner to intermediate. Drawing skills are helpful. Draw and paint directly from your surroundings, and/or your own photographic references.

Sarah B. Hansen Biography

Award-winning Northwest Watercolor Society Signature member, artist, and instructor, Sarah B. Hansen has been painting for over 30 years. A self-taught painter, Sarah began by painting traditional transparent watercolor on paper, primarily portraits. By more recently converting into an acrylic landscape artist, Sarah has found an expressive way to convey her love of nature through an open door of limitless possibilities.

Born and raised on a farm in Southwestern Colorado, Sarah moved to Oregon in 1987, working as a commercial and residential designer in Portland. While raising three boys, she began to delve into traditional watercolor painting, studying on her own with the help of videos, books, magazines, and Northwest Watercolor Society. After a short time, she began to earn recognition and gain awards for her realistic, emotional portraits. 

Now, Sarah can be found creating acrylic and watercolor landscapes from her studio in Terrebonne, Oregon. Her collectors range regionally and worldwide, both in residential homes and hospitality facilities, such as Kaiser Permanente, Central Oregon Family Medicine, Lifetime Vision Care, Sunriver Resort, Charter Media Headquarters, Western Title, and Cascade Medical Imaging. She teaches workshops both regionally and abroad, returning to instruct at Winslow School of Art, Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, Colorado, Northwest Watercolor Society in Washington, and other local venues in Bend, Oregon. She has led workshops in Italy and Costa Rica, and has her sights set on other locations abroad.

Sarah has exhibited several years with High Desert Museum’s Art in the West Show, in Bend, Oregon, where she has been awarded Juror’s Choice. Other exhibitions include Expressions West at Coos Art Museum, in Coos Bay, Oregon, where she received an Honorable Mention Award; Pacific Rim Institute of Marine Artists in Bellevue, WA; Northwest Watercolor Society’s Waterworks and Annual Exhibits in Bellevue, Washington; and Watercolor Society of Oregon’s annual exhibit. She is a member of American Women Artists, American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Painters of Oregon, and a signature member of Northwest Watercolor Society. 

Collaborations include an audio/visual exhibit with Gordon Hempton, aka, The Sound Tracker, at Laura Vincent Design & Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Sarah is represented by the following galleries: Marmot Art Space, Spokane, Oregon, Clearwater Gallery in Sisters, Oregon, and Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon.

For more information, visit 

Samples of Sarah's Art

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Day 1: Welcome Champagne Reception

We will pick you up at the TGV Avignon train station at 3:30pm. 

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

prov-day2-roussillon2Prov-day2-roussillonRoussillon, 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 potteries.

Day 3: Most Spectacular Villages in Provence – Gordes and Luberon Villages

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 to the village is a breathtaking panorama out across fields, vineyards and small-perched villages to the Montagne du Luberon.

Although Gordes is beautiful, we will spend more time painting/sketching in the a tiny non touristy village of the Luberon whose name we keep secret!!

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. The afternoon is all yours to paint the canals, the stalls, the village.

Day 5: Painting in the Village

Prov-day5-homeprov-day5-home2Today 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 village: cobblestone streets, 18th century houses, flowers, doors…

If we are staying at the hotel in St Remy de Provence, you will have time to paint in the olive fields, the same trees Vincent Van Gogh painted 150 years ago.

Day 6: On Van Gogh’s Trail in St. Remy de Provence

Today, 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 reproductions of some of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings.

Outside the hospital, you will be able to paint the wonderful landscape that inspired the great impressionist with the same olive trees Van Gogh painted and the Alpilles mountains as background.

Day 7: Medieval Village in the Luberon

Prov-day7-villageThis non touristy jewel, not listed in travel books is our little gem, our favorite village. While strolling the streets you will come to appreciate the quietness and wonderful atmosphere that will seduce you, as it has dozens of artists who live there. This is our little kept secret village, the favorite of all our artists.

Back at the hotel, you will be able to work in the garden to finish up some of your paintings and finish the week with a “show and tell” or critique.

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 TGV Avignon train station by 9:30 am.



Beautiful 3-star hotel in Luberon, the heart of Provence

We will be staying in the heart of the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse. Our hotel used to be an old mill that has been restored with a lot of Provencal charm. A little river meanders through the garden, surrounded by impressive mountains. The hotel is centrally located, at walking distance (2 min) to restaurants and shops.

The hotel has a living room, breakfast room, outside swimming pool, a hot tub, a riverside terrace bar and a sunny conference room that we will use as our painting studio.










Each bedroom has en-suite bathroom, mini-bar, flat screen TV, air-conditioning and free wifi.

The hotel has two categories of rooms:

Standard rooms: 150 sq ft, one double bed and view towards the back of the hotel (trees, see picture below).


Superior rooms (only 3 twins with 2 single beds and 2 singles with one double bed) : 170 sq ft, 2 single beds or 1 double bed with view towards the mountains and the garden of the hotel.

Tell us your preference and we will do our best to accommodate you.




Pricing Details:

The trip is limited to 13 participants

Save $200 before Nov 30th!

Click here to see the difference between standard and superior rooms

Standard rooms:

Shared room: US$ 3,790 pp (before Nov 30th)

Single room: + US$ 550

Superior rooms with view towards the garden:

Shared room: US$ 3,965 pp (before Nov 30th)  (only 3 available)

Single room: +US$ 725 (only 3 available)

Non Painters: Price is the same because non painters take the spot of a painter



– Avignon TGV train station pick up on day 1 at
3:30pm and drop off on day 8 at 10:30am
– A welcome reception
– All breakfasts,
– 3 lunches (picnics)
– 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
– The use of folding chairs
– A personal bilingual chauffeur/guide throughout
– A free Paris planner for a self guided visit in Paris
if you decide to extend your trip: suggestions of hotels,
restaurants and places to visit.

Not included:

Not Included:

– Flights to and from France
– Trains to/from Avignon
– 3 lunches and 3 dinners
– Painting supplies
– Required travel insurance
– 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

To reserve your spot, please complete the form below (one per person) and pay US$ 600 deposit.  After receiving your form, we will send you the information for the payment. Note that the deposit is not refundable but a portion is transferrable. See our cancelation policy below.

You will be able to pay:

1- By check

2- Via ZELLE, free instant pay, offered by many major US banks

3- By bank transfer

4- By credit card

Reservation Form

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