Travel Sketching in Watercolor with Rita Sabler – Provence: May 2025

Workshop Description

Join me for one week of sketching with watercolor in beautiful Provence.

Drawing while traveling is the best way to experience and remember a new place. In his book “The Art of Travel” Alain de Botton notes that “A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is the desire to hold on to it: to possess it and give it weight in our lives.” Sketching and writing while you travel provides one meaningful way of doing just that.

Traveling is also a perfect opportunity to learn or hone your drawing skills. When we see new sights everything strikes us as unusual, memorable and inspiring. We have a natural desire to admire new vistas, taste new flavors, inhale unusual aromas and record these sensations through taking photos, but also through drawing and writing. For me, drawing while traveling is instinctual, and I am eager to share my passion to fully immerse yourself in a new place through the practice of travel sketching.

During our time together we will learn how to capture scenes on the go in a style of a quick vignette. We will also learn how to make longer meditative drawings that allow us to truly immerse ourselves in a scene. I will show you how to compose your drawings, how to simplify and extract the essence of what you are seeing when you only have a short time to capture something while enjoying a cup of coffee on a sunny terrace. I will share some of my favorite watercolor techniques and tips on drawing architecture, water, and greenery creating a beautiful travel diary that will bring joy and memories for years to come.

Rita Sabler's Biography

Rita Sabler is a visual journalist, artist, and educator based in Portland, Oregon, USA. She has taught Drawing, Urban Sketching and Visual Journalism courses for Parsons School of Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Portland State University. She also works on a variety of freelance illustration and visual reportage projects. Rita Sabler serves as the Education Director on the board of the global Urban Sketchers organization.

From Brazilian favelas in Rio de Janeiro and Hindu celebrations in the temples of Singapore, from the driest desert in the world in Chile and a leprosy settlement in Kalaupapa, to political protests in her native Portland Rita Sabler has happily trotted the world documenting its wonders in her sketchbooks. Drawing is Rita’s therapy, her passion, and her refuge. It is her way of understanding and communicating with the world around her.

Rita Sabler is one of the contributing authors in Pete’s Scully’s “Creative Sketching Workshop” book and the author of “With a Sketchbook Around the World”. Her work is also featured in many publications on Urban Sketching.

Check Rita Sabler’s Website at: https://www.ritasabler.com

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.

Painting in the Garden or in the studio

The hotel has a nice garden and a studio. It is also located inside a very cute village of the Luberon so easy access to restaurants, shops and many vistas.

We will spend most of our time painting outdoor but there will be some studio time as well.

The studio will be available for you to use anytime.

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 many scenes there for your future paintings, between the river, the main plaza and the one hundred year old trees. We will take many pictures and go back to the studio to paint from them.

Visit of Van Gogh's bedroom 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 enjoy 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-roussillon2Roussillon, 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.

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 market is an endless source of inspiration for your paintings back in the studio.

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

How to Book

The trip is limited to 12 participants

Sign up before 11/30/24 and save $200!

Use the code EARLYBIRD at check out. 

All rooms have an ensuite bathroom.

– Standard Shared: US$ 3,790 pp (twin or double)

– Standard Single: US$ 4,340 

– Superior Shared: US$ 3,965 pp (twin or double)-view towards the garden

– Superior Single: US$ 4,690 -view towards the garden

 

Non Painters are welcome: Price is the same

Included:

– Avignon TGV train station pick-up at 3:30pm and drop-off at 10am
– A welcome reception
– All 7 nights at the hotel
– All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners including wine
– All art classes
– All entrances to sites
– Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C
– The use of folding chairs
Two tour leaders throughout
– A free Paris planner if you wish to extend your trip to Paris

Not Included:

– Flights and train to destination
– 3 lunches and 3 dinners
– Painting supplies
– Required Travel Insurance
– Tour leader(s) tipping

Payments:

– $600 non refundable deposit required at booking (see cancelation policy below)

– Remaining balance due 4 months prior departure

View from standard room

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View from superior room

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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 by check, 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 Form

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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