Travel Sketching in Watercolour with Shari Blaukopf in Provence, June 15-22 & 22-29, 2024

Workshop Description

There’s a bookshelf in my studio that holds more than 30 travel sketchbooks. Every time I browse through them, memories of a specific place come flooding back — and not just the sights. Sounds, scents and flavours, snippets of conversations with a farmer, the taste of my morning coffee and brioche — it’s all still there, fresh in my mind, the moment I crack open a sketchbook. 

That’s what I love best about travel sketching. How the act of putting pencil and paint to paper enriches the total experience, and preserves it forever.

Come sketch with me in Provence !

Whenever I arrive at a new place, I immediately ask myself: What colours and shapes best define its architecture? What about its flowers, plants and trees? Where do people gather? What make this place special, worth capturing in my sketchbook? 

Join me in Provence, where we’ll answer these questions. Where we’ll capture this historic region’s beauty and character in our sketchbooks. And where I’ll share my techniques for painting the red houses of Roussillon, the warm stones of a Medieval village, the monastery and olive trees made famous by Van Gogh, and the narrow streets of a charming market town. 

I’ve designed this workshop to give you confidence sketching wherever you happen to be, whether it’s a quiet street in a small village or a shadowed garden in the gathering dusk. As we work spontaneously, I’ll show you how to keep your watercolour sketches loose, fresh and vibrant.

We’ll begin each day with a short demo and end with a review, leaving plenty of in-between time to work on your own sketches. As part of a small group, you’ll get plenty of individual attention and feedback, as we work on value studies, vignettes and composition — the essentials to simplifying a scene and capturing its essence. Most important, we’ll make sure to have fun as we sketch, recording our daily impressions as we move from café to hilltop, from canal to garden to market. At the end of the week, my goal is that you’ll return home with a fat book filled with fresh, colourful sketches — and memories.

Shari Blaukopf Biography

Shari Blaukopf is a Montreal-based workshop instructor, watercolor painter and sketch blogger. She loves to teach, travel and fill sketchbooks with her observations — skills she’s channeled into creating online sketching courses at Learn.shariblaukopf.com.

Shari is also the author of The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with ColorShe’s been active in the Urban Sketchers community since 2012 and has given many watercolor workshops both on her own and internationally through the Urban Sketchers Workshop Program. Her watercolors are in corporate, government and private collections in North America and abroad, and she’s a signature member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour.

You can follow her sketches on her blog at shariblaukopf.com or on Instagram @sharisketcher.

More Samples of Shari's Sketches

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Arrival and Welcome

Prov-day7-village

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

Upon your arrival at our hotel, take time to settle in, enjoy the swimming pool or explore the village.

In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a gourmet dinner.

Fontaine de Vaucluse

The main beauty of Fontaine de Vaucluse is the river Sorgue on which it sits. The river has a fantastic green colour, very striking with the blue sky above. The village of Fontaine de Vaucluse starts after the rapids where the wondrous green river calms itself.

You will find plenty to paint there between the river, the main plaza and the one hundred year old trees.

On Van Gogh's Trail in St. Remy de Provence

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.

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.

Ochre Village of Roussillon

Prov-day2-roussillonprov-day2-roussillon2After a morning of painting around Roussillon, we will go to the village,  one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages, that sits on top of the world’s biggest vein of ochre, the reddish pigment which has been used by artists for centuries.

We will take a walk inside the park, on the Ochre Trail revealing many fantastic rock and cliff formations.

This village is perfect for shopping: don’t miss out on the unique reddish potteries.

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.

Our little secret village, a jewel in the Luberon

This 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. This is our little kept secret village, the favorite of all our artists.

During lavender season (June), you will of course has the chance to paint a lavender field.

Painting in the Garden or in the studio

The hotel has a nice garden and a studio. We will  alternate painting days at the hotel with days on excursions to other villages.

On the last day, 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.

Gourmet French Food

French cuisine. The mouth-watering gastronomical wonder.

Food culture is just one of the many facets of French culture to experience. Because food brings people together, we will take many of our meals as a group, in a restaurant or sometimes we will prepare a picnic for the group.

Our French dinners include an entrée, a main course and a dessert. All paired with amazing French wine of course. If you love cheese, you will also be in heaven.

Departure (Day 8)

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 around 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 trips are limited to 12 participants

June 15-22, 2024:  1 spot open 

June 22-29, 2024:  SOLD OUT (wait list available)

Click here to see the difference between standard and superior rooms

Standard rooms:

Double room: US$ 3,990 pp -one double bed

Single room: + US$ 550 (one double bed)

No standard twin rooms available (only superior twins)

Superior rooms:

Shared room (twins or doubles): US$ 4,165 pp  (only 3 available)

Single room: +US$ 725 (only 3 available)-(one double bed)

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

Included:

Included:

– 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

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 either 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 in the registration form.

3The remaining balance is due 4 months before departure.

Reservation

June 15-22:  1 spot left. Email us at contact@frenchescapade.com to receive the link to the registration form.

June 22-29:  sold out but we often get some cancelations so email us at contact@frenchescapade.com to be placed on the wait list.

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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