Art Workshops, Classes & Retreats

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"'Blooming Beautiful' Flowers of the Pyrenees with Mary Dillon"
April 27 - May 4, 2024
 

Join Mary Dillon on this fabulous botanical art retreat! An explosion of colour arrives in the pastures and woodlands surrounding Clos Mirabel in late April. Fields of bee orchids, pyramid orchids and early purple orchids on the lower slopes of the Pyrenees lead to alpine plants like gentians, saxifrages and butterworts dotting the upper slopes. Simple observational drawing techniques will help us to explore and examine the structure and habit of our subjects. Using controlled wet and damp watercolour techniques and finishing with dry techniques, we will work in layers, practicing painting in a simple but systematic way. I will also help you grow in confidence in how you use and choose colour.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Mary Dillon
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Painting Holidays: Mixed Media Workshop with Ali Hargreaves"
May 4-11, 2024
 

During this fun painting holiday in South West France, Ali will introduce a variety of additional media to watercolours including the exploration of interesting surfaces such as tissue paper, gesso and watercolour ground. She will encourage you to experiment and then guide you through planning and executing paintings. Ali is extremely innovative and will introduce you to interesting techniques with collage, acrylic inks and pen work that may be incorporated in to your work. Her lessons are always fun and her paintings and demonstrations are full of colour and texture. You will be painting and sketching “En plein air” as well as in the studio. Artists of all abilities are welcome and will be given plenty of one-to-one tuition.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Ali Hargreaves
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + £300 tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Postcards from Provence"
May 4-11, 2024
 

This watercolor painting workshop in Provence is open to both beginners and more advanced painters. There will be classes both in basic watercolor techniques as well as specific travel journaling methods. Travel journaling is the complete opposite of how many of us travel these days: taking photos after photos with our phones. Travel Journaling gives us a chance to slow down, to sketch scenes around us, and to add color to our travel journals. Provence is the artist's dream destination. During the days, we will explore Luberon, and its spectacular countryside of vineyards and orchards, fascinating "perched" hill-top villages, outstanding natural produce and the light of Van Gogh and Cezanne. You will see why artists of all calibers are drawn to this alluring area.
 
Location: Bonnieux, Provence, France
Instructor: John Keeling and Lo Peyron Mathews
Cost: $3,590
Sponsor: Alpine Creative Tours
Website, email, 970-846-9000


"Painting Big - Enlarging Roses, Petals and Leaves with Úrsula Romero"
May 18-25, 2024
 

The week will begin with a walk around the enchanting grounds of Clos Mirabel, where you will source your fragrant roses and lushious leaves. Back in the studio, Úrsula will guide you through the process of how to create a large, supersized painting of your chosen flower, petal or leaf. You will learn more about the structure of flowers and how to use different paper types, brushes and paints and how to take risks with your art. Úrsula will show you how to paint black backgrounds in watercolour, how to light subjects and how to mix natural greens, browns and greys. How to create textures using dry brushes and how to layer watercolours without them turning muddy.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Úrsula Romero
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Botanical Drawing and Painting with Catherine Watters"
June 8-15, 2024
 

Join Catherine Watters for one week of drawing and painting the incredibly diverse flora of Clos Mirabel, using watercolours and/or coloured pencils to capture the colours and textures of the plants. Discover the fascinating world of Botanical Art, starting with a walk around the magnificent property to choose your subject. A variety of plants will be in bloom including Roses, Hydrangeas, Iris, Lupin, Lilies and numerous fruits and vegetables growing in the Orchard. Catherine will introduce her 10 stages to successfully illustrate a subject. You will carefully observe, measure and draw your subject focusing on form, light and texture. All levels of experience are welcome.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Catherine Watters
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Painting Holidays: Gestural Figure and Essential Still Life Watercolour with Wendy Artin"
June 15-22, 2024
 

Join international artist and art educator Wendy Artin at Clos Mirabel in South West France for a week-long painting workshop. During this class, emphasis is put on watercolour techniques and live drawings. Painting instruction will explore the finer details of nature through wet washes, colour, light and form. All levels are welcome. We will spend 5 mornings painting the live model for 2 hours, with poses ranging from 30 seconds to 20 minutes. After personally picking a still life subject from the gardens, we will paint preparatory sketches and work on longer paintings, experimenting with wet on wet, edge control, composition, shadows, and colour. There will be one free day for visiting the surrounding area or painting on one’s own.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Wendy Artin
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 500€ tuition fee + 50€ model fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Painting Beautiful Fruit on Vellum with Denise Walser-Kolar"
September 28 - October 5, 2024
 

Learn my approach to painting on vellum during this five-day workshop at the beautiful Clos Mirabel in South West France. We will begin by doing some exercises on small bits of vellum to learn technique and to get a feel for painting on this surface. We will explore the grounds of Clos Mirabel to choose painting subjects. Apples, pears, plums, figs, kiwis, and berries will be at their peak this time of the year. You might also choose to do a Hoefnagel inspired painting of the treasures you find in the gardens. This class is designed for students new to vellum as well as for more experienced vellum painters – to learn new tricks and techniques.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Denise Walser-Kolar
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Creating Contrast Highlighting Highlights and Deepening Darks"
April 26 - May 3, 2025
 

Join Botanical Artist Ann Swan, RHS Gold Medalist and author of ‘Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils’ for a week of Botanical drawing focused on creating contrast using coloured pencils. “In order to create realistic images we need to fully understand light and observe how it reacts with our subjects to describe their shapes.” Ann will show you how to interpret light and shade and to accurately capture these contrasting tonal values for a true sense of three-dimensional form and volume in your work. Ann will demonstrate ways of creating realistic highlights and sheen and help you choose convincing shade colours to create depth in shadows whilst maintaining vibrant colours so that your work will come to life on the page.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Ann Swan
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + £400 tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Techniques to make Botanical paintings more detailed with Michelle EunYoung Song"
May 3-10, 2025
 

Join Michelle EunYoung Song (SBA Fellow) for one week of botanical art using coloured pencils. Michelle will guide you on how to capture a beautiful moment at Clos Mirabel. Together, we will explore the grounds of Clos Mirabel which has an abundance of plants growing in May. Back in the studio, Michelle will guide you through a detailed study of your specimen. You will use pencil drawings in a sketchbook that will produce data for your detailed painting. You will also practice making the proper colour using coloured pencils. The tuition is exacting and clear so that by the end of the week you will have the capacity to create a more detailed botanical painting.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Michelle EunYoung Song
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Watercolor Painting Workshop"
May 8-15, 2025
 

Join me in Carmel and Pacific Grove, where we’ll experience the wild beauty of rugged Pacific shores, the enchanting fairy-tale cottages, and historic Mission architecture that make this place so unique. I’ve designed this workshop to give you confidence sketching wherever you happen to be. I’ll show you how to keep your watercolour sketches loose, fresh and vibrant. And I’ll share my techniques for capturing the beauty that surrounds us, so you can savour it for years to come.
 
Location: Provence, France
Instructor: David Daniels
Cost: $3,790 before Nov 30th
Sponsor: French Escapade
Website, email, 510-483-5713


"Plein Air Painting in Provence, France!"
May 15-22, 2025
 

Join me for an amazing week of plein air painting in magnificent Provence, France! This is ‘Red poppy season’ and we’ll explore and paint the exciting spring colors of glorious Provence. I’m super excited to teach you painting in such an inspiring place! We’ll paint flower fields, countryside villages, waterways and hillside castle towns, quaint, flower-filled alleyways, medieval churches, fountains and ancient archways. We’ll paint our impressions, dine exquisitely, share gorgeous sights and creative companionship, all while learning and growing our craft. I will share my methods for creating successful paintings with loose brushwork and exciting color harmonies. I will demo in oil primarily, but am proficient and happy to help with watercolor, acrylics and pastels as well.
 
Location: Provence, France
Instructor: Maggie Hellmann
Cost: $3,940 before Nov 30th
Sponsor: French Escapade
Website, email, 510-483-5713


"Botanical Sketching and Painting with Lara Call Gastinger"
June 7-14, 2025
 

During this week of Botanical Sketching and Painting in the French Pyrénées with Lara Call Gastinger we will be observing, drawing and painting the local flora of Atelier Clos Mirabel. We will go through the process of how to create a botanical painting, starting with sketching and learning the important characteristics of plants. We will seek botanical inspiration from the acreage of Atelier Clos Mirabel and with a trip to the blooming meadows of the Pyrénées. After the first day of sketching, we will focus on using watercolours to capture the colours and textures of the plants. In the end, we will work on composition and how to create a finished botanical painting. All levels are welcome.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Lara Call Gastinger
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Illustrating the Plants of Clos Mirabel with Catherine Watters"
June 14-21, 2025
 

Join Catherine Watters for one week of drawing and painting the incredibly diverse flora of Clos Mirabel, using watercolours and/or coloured pencils to capture the colours and textures of the plants. Discover the fascinating world of Botanical Art, starting with a walk around the magnificent property to choose your subject. A variety of plants will be in bloom including Roses, Hydrangeas, Iris, Lupin, Lilies and numerous fruits and vegetables growing in the Orchard. Catherine will introduce her 10 stages to successfully illustrate a subject. You will carefully observe, measure and draw your subject focusing on form, light and texture. All levels of experience are welcome.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Catherine Watters
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + 450€ tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Perfect Imperfection: Capturing decay & fading blooms in watercolour with Jarnie Godwin"
September 13-20, 2025
 

Study with Jarnie Godwin at Atelier Clos Mirabel during a 5-day botanical art workshop in the French Pyrenees ~ South West France. Enjoy wonderful surroundings, delightful accommodation and delicious meals. Jarnie Godwin will guide you into the ethereal mysteries of the fading bloom. As blooms begin to fade you will learn how to capture these intimate, fragile and fleeting moments of decay. Using a range of watercolour techniques, Jarnie will show you how to create the unique acute textures and colour transitions of decay and fading colour. You will learn more about the unique form and detail of fading flowers, and will gain confidence in using and manipulating watercolour to convey an intimate moment in time.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Jarnie Godwin
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + £400 tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Autumn Produce of the Pyrénées with Laura Silburn"
October 11-18, 2025
 

Join Laura Silburn at Atelier Clos Mirabel for a 5-day botanical art workshop in the French Pyrenees ~ South West France. Enjoy wonderful surroundings, accommodation and delicious meals. Explore the botanical delights of this flora-rich part of the world. Laura will help you examine a chosen plant or vegetable through careful observation and sketchbook work. You will then compose an image that reflects its natural character whilst observing botanical truth. You will be guided on how to take your drawings through to a completed botanical watercolour and shown techniques for dry-brush finishing. Laura has work at Kew Gardens, The Hunt Institute, the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, and the Eden Project Cornwall.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Laura Silburn
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


"Seasonal Treasures: Celebrating Fading Flowers, Fruit and Autumnal Leaves in Watercolour"
October 18-25, 2025
 

Join Julia Trickey at Atelier Clos Mirabel for a week-long botanical art workshop in the French Pyrenees ~ South West France. Enjoy wonderful surroundings, delightful accommodation and delicious meals. Using fruit and vegetables, flowers and leaves from the gardens and grounds of Atelier Clos Mirabel, we will explore how to make less-than-perfect botanical specimens centre stage. We will start by experimenting with wet-in-wet techniques to create initial form and merging colours, before considering other techniques used to deepen colours and add details. There will also be opportunity to work larger than life or with black backgrounds. Teaching by Julia Trickey will be delivered via live demonstrations, slide presentations and lots of individual support.
 
Location: Pau, France
Instructor: Julia Trickey
Cost: 1595€ to 2695€ for accommodation + £400 tuition fee
Sponsor: Atelier Clos Mirabel
Website, email, +33.6.79.59.04.91


 

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