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


"Travel to Western Sicily and learn en Plein Air Oil Painting"
May 4-11, 2024
 

Come join Andrew Lattimore, as you explore the exciting and varied history of Sicily’s diverse architecture, stunning landscape, fabulous food and rich culture! We’ll be staying in Marsala at Salinara, an 18th-century villa owned by our gracious hosts, Yumi and Adriano. It is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and is only a 10-minute walk to the Mediterranean sea. Each day we’ll enjoy an early morning breakfast following a full day of painting, exploring the sights and sounds of Sicily. We’ll paint the captivating landscape at the villa but we will also take day excursions to the city of Marsala, the Marsala Salt Pans, Erice, and the Park of Selinunte.
 
Location: Marsala, Sicily, Italy
Instructor: Andrew Lattimore
Cost: From € 2175
Sponsor: Salinara - Art Farm | Retreat Centre
Website, email


"Travel to Western Sicily and learn en Plein Air Oil Painting"
May 11-18, 2024
 

Come join Andrew Lattimore, as you explore the exciting and varied history of Sicily’s diverse architecture, stunning landscape, fabulous food and rich culture! We’ll be staying in Marsala at Salinara, an 18th-century villa owned by our gracious hosts, Yumi and Adriano. It is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and is only a 10-minute walk to the Mediterranean sea. Each day we’ll enjoy an early morning breakfast following a full day of painting, exploring the sights and sounds of Sicily. We’ll paint the captivating landscape at the villa but we will also take day excursions to the city of Marsala, the Marsala Salt Pans, Erice, and the Park of Selinunte.
 
Location: Marsala, Sicily, Italy
Instructor: Andrew Lattimore
Cost: From € 2175
Sponsor: Salinara - Art Farm | Retreat Centre
Website, email


"Dynamic Still Life in Tuscany"
May 18-25, 2024
 

“One of the greatest things in the world is to train ourselves to see beauty in the commonplace.” - Charles Hawthorne. Sarah Sedwick is an oil painter whose still lifes celebrate the beauty of the everyday, inspired by color combinations and dynamic composition. Her paintings explore the undercurrents of meaning we impart to the objects around us - whether through a system of personal emotional symbolism or a buildup of familiarity over time.
 
Location: Cortona, Italy
Instructor: Sarah Sedwick
Cost: From $3850.00 per person, all inclusive
Sponsor: Toscana Americana Workshops
Website, email, 978-407-7127


"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


"Painting Lake Como in Watercolor"
May 25 - June 1, 2024
 

A Sketchbook Journaling Workshop with Karen Ramsay. Come join us and capture Lake Como in watercolor! As we fill our art travel journals with sketching and watercolors, Karen will give us tips and tricks for improving this special skill. Sketching on location, while traveling, is an art form that you can take with you on every future trip and the sketches that you create will become a treasured visual diary of your travel. During the week, we will guide you to the finest spots along the shores of the picturesque Lake Como with its charming lakeside towns, its Renaissance architecture, Italian villas and terraced gardens. Lake Como has a timeless beauty where you will find endless inspiration to create art!
 
Location: Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
Instructor: Karen Ramsay
Cost: $3,890
Sponsor: Alpine Creative Tours
Website, email, 970-846-9000


"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


"Pen & Watercolor Illustration in Tuscany!"
June 12-19, 2024
 

Picture yourself sitting in an outdoor cafe in one of the piazzas, sketchbook in hand, immersed in capturing the life around you while enjoying a cappuccino. Let me share the techniques I use in my work using a very portable means of sketching - pen and ink and watercolor – to record the beautiful, sensitive lines of an old building or the bold strokes of a street scene. Learn to zoom in on the important elements when working in the field to create interesting compositions and lasting memories with texture and rich washes of color! This class covers pen and ink and watercolor wash techniques, composition and simple perspective.
 
Location: Cortona, Italy
Instructor: Ann Thomas
Cost: From $3,850.00 per person all-inclusive
Sponsor: Toscana Americana Workshops
Website, email, 978-407-7127


"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


"A Sense of Place in Tuscany"
September 4-11, 2024
 

Join Alison for a week of joyful exploration of Place, in the beautiful city of Cortona. Sitting in ancient squares, by fountains, or in cafes, I’ll show you some simple ways to capture buildings. In markets we’ll talk about how to include figures in your sketches. Overlooking vistas of vineyards and far off hills, we’ll explore how to simplify the scene to focus on important elements and create depth. Drawing and painting on loose pages rather than in a watercolour journal, allows us to loosen up and have fun with experimental techniques and a variety of media. We’ll work with watercolour, pen, ink, marker, on different papers, to create images, which we will curate into a concertina book.
 
Location: Cortona, Italy
Instructor: Alison Watt
Cost: From $3,790.00 per person all-inclusive
Sponsor: Toscana Americana Workshops
Website, email, 978-407-7127


"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


"Painting Mallorca in Watercolor"
September 28 - October 5, 2024
 

A Sketchbook Journaling Workshop with Karen Ramsay. Come join us and capture Mallorca in watercolor! As we fill our art travel journals with sketching and watercolors, Karen will give us tips and tricks for improving this special skill. Sketching on location, while traveling, is an art form that you can take with you on every future trip. The daily sketches that you create will become a treasured visual diary of your travel. During this week in Mallorca, we will explore the island, its many scenic areas - from the gorgeous views over the Mediterranean Sea to the small towns in the Tramuntana mountain range: the artist town of Deia, the scenic towns of Fornalutx and Valldemossa and the capital Palma.
 
Location: Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain
Instructor: Karen Ramsay
Cost: $3,890
Sponsor: Alpine Creative Tours
Website, email, 970-846-9000


"Creating Dynamic Botanical Compositions using Coloured Pencil Techniques with Ann Swan"
October 5-12, 2024
 

Join Ann Swan – SBA Fellow, ASBA for a week of botanical inspiration and creativity in the French Pyrenees. The focus in Ann’s botanical art workshop is on improving drawing skills, mastering coloured pencil techniques and creating dynamic botanical compositions. Strong composition is essential to creating memorable works of art and this is particularly so in botanical art. Good composition can lift a work from the mundane to the sublime. Ann is happy to include all levels of ability in the group. Everyone will be encouraged to work at their own pace with support, advice, individual attention and demonstrations from Ann whenever needed.
 
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


"Painting Retreat in Sicily, “Spirit, Mind, Body”"
October 27 - November 3, 2024
 

We invite you to join us in this relaxed, beautiful, historic place. Give yourself this time and space to joyfully become a better painter! The setting of Salinara, with its rustic beauty, farm fresh meals, and interesting excursions provides the perfect environment for our “Spirit,Mind,Body” experience. Your artistic SPIRIT will be recognized, encouraged, and celebrated as you work with other creative participants. Your MIND will be engaged by discussions of Art within the group, and your problem solving skills will be challenged as you are improving your painting ability. Your BODY will be nourished with fresh food, walks, biking, and yoga sessions. The emphasis on this workshop is to help promote skill-building with your painting, regardless of your level.
 
Location: Marsala, Sicily, Italy
Instructor: Qiang Huang and Suzanne Enriquez Dougher
Cost: From 2000 $
Sponsor: Salinara - Art Farm | Retreat Centre
Website, email


"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


"Oil Painting Workshop: Acrylics, gouache and pastel welcome"
May 9-16, 2025
 

I am so excited to teach you in this inspiring place while working outdoors in Plein Air as the Impressionist masters did! Paint the crystal blue Mediterranean waters with breathtaking vistas of the Catalonia coast, a hidden gem fishing village, botanical gardens, and medieval villages. As a painter and colorist, I have learned that the best way to achieve the feeling of light and color in your paintings is to paint outdoors. I will be your guide and teacher for an incredible week of painting, sightseeing, dining, and artistic community while we all learn and grow our artistry during the week. The experience of painting with other artists will be a treasure you carry with you for a lifetime.
 
Location: Costa Brava, Spain
Instructor: Rose Irelan
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


"Watercolor Painting Workshop"
May 23-30, 2025
 

You probably fell in love with making art before a painting holiday occurred to you. Classroom lessons, online sessions, or time in the studio are typically safe environments in which to learn. But once we venture outdoors to paint, the light can be dramatic, the air is filled with sights, sounds, and smells of nature. While this can all be new, it enriches the painting experience even more. When we arrive on the Costa Brava, my job is to help you capture the nuances of our surroundings with confidence. Even before departure I’ll provide practical pointers on what to bring, what to leave behind. My plein-air workshops are jam-packed with helpful tips to help you make powerful statements through your art.
 
Location: Costa Brava, Spain
Instructor: Randy Hale
Cost: $3,790 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


"Loose and Free Watercolor Workshop"
June 22-29, 2025
 

In this watercolor workshop, I will help you discover new approaches to your works. Values and Color are the two main elements I will focus on and a dramatic sense of design. My personal style is basically a loose and carefree approach. Leaving a lot of the white of the paper, for me, is paramount in my watercolor work. We will work mostly from our own reference photos, in a relaxed studio environment. You can choose which genres best suit your personality - florals, landscapes, structures, etc. Critiques of the work and one-on-one directions will also be a part of this workshop. I hope you will join me in Bruges for this fantastic painting experience.
 
Location: Bruges, Belgium
Instructor: Rae Andrews
Cost: $3,840 before Nov 30th
Sponsor: French Escapade
Website, email, 510-483-5713


"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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