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Americans in Provence
Location: The Rhone Retreat, Gaujac France
Level: Any
Booking Request
    • June 11th – 17th 2018

Observe, sketch, paint the Rhone valley.

The world is at the end of your paintbrush. Prove that to yourself this June: join us to be inspired in the south of France. Focus your art and fill your sketchbook with the wonders and adventure of travel. Follow the road of the masters and troubadours!  Inspiration is at its best!

We’ll follow the paths many masters who, under the enchantment of this landscape, invented courtly love 900 years ago. These were painters, poets and musicians who created many of the classics that we know and speak of today, painters to the likes of Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, Picasso. Learn some of their techniques; add a few pixels to your images and music to your thoughts.

We’ll venture from the village of Gaujac each day, sketchbooks in hand, to explore the country pleasures of the Rhone valley and Provence. We’ll return to the Rhone Retreat for time to  draw and paint our daily inspirations. We’ll gather again in the evenings before dinner to reflect to one another, a glass of wine in hand, and indulge in more visionary inspirations.

Paul Cezanne might have said it best “Pure drawing is an abstraction. Drawing and colour are not distinct, everything in nature is coloured.” These are some of the doors we’ll open on excursions from Gaujac this June:

  • SEE - Pont du Gard and the summer color of the Rhone from this ancient Roman aqueduct
  • HEAR - the echoes of troubadours among the castle ruins at Château des Baux
  • TOUCH - the bijous and bibelots from the markets and boutiques of Uzes
  • TASTE - the fruits of local orchards and wines from nearby vineyards
  • SAVOR - the incense of Avignon, the Palace of the Popes, Renaissance painting of Botticelli, Gozzolli, and more
  • BREATHE - the air as we hike to the Oppidum Saint Vincent, for a summer harvest picnic

Our many brushes may experiment with the of throws of light back across the sights we’ve seen, and fill a canvas you’ll smile to find on your wall  years from now.


Cost of the 7 day / 6 night tour / workshop is $3250 USD per person double occupancy (sharing one bedroom). For a single room (one bed in one bedroom with en suite bath), the cost is $4000.00 USD. A deposit of $1200.00 USD will secure the workshop participant’s place and registration. The balance will be due no later than 60 calendar days from the start of your workshop. There is a limit of 8 people per week. There is no refund or discount for staying less than 6 nights. Tour attendees that do not wish to participate in the art workshops but are accompanying / rooming with a student in the workshop, may join our excursions and all planned tours, meals, etc for the full tour price less $500.00. (ie $2750 pp/do or $3500 pp/single)

Proposed Itinerary

Day 1 Monday

  • Participants arrive and get settled in Gaujac
  • Orientation and welcoming meal.
  • First evening in the garden, a quiet evening to get over jet lag.

Day 2 Tuesday

  • Morning - Breakfast at Rhone Retreat, then class is officially open…..painting under the willow tree.
  • Lunch - In the garden before we set out to one of the most Romanesque sites of our region.
  • Afternoon - Visit to Pont du Gard, to take in the incredible Roman Aqueduct.
  • Evening - Back to Gaujac to find out what Chef Jerome has prepared for us.

Day 3 Wednesday

  • Morning - Early breakfast at Rhone Retreat, studio time before we head out to St Remy de Provence.
  • Lunch - We will aquire all we need at the market to satiate our appetite and inspire sketching. A few minutes away we find the “Carrière de Lumière.” More inspiration!!! [Alternatives: Caesar’s Camp, St. Victor La Coste]
  • Evening - Dinner at Rhone Retreat.

Day 4 Thursday

  • Morning - Breakfast at Rhone Retreat, then off to Avignon known as “the city of the Popes.” We’ll walk through the cobble streets and marvel at one of the world’s most spectacular fortified cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With time, we will visit Musée Angladon to see one of the best French impressionist art collections in the region.
  • Lunch - A pique-nique in the gardens of the Pope’s Palace in Avignon. Of course, after tasting one of the best wines from our region …Chateau neuf du Pape!! With our palates full, back in Gaujac we will fine the inspiration to put on canvas!
  • Evening - More fabulous delights from our garden and region, as we start to understand why the Provencal diet is so healthy; it’s fresh!!!

Day 5 Friday

  • Morning - Breakfast at Rhone Retreat, then it is time to put brush to canvas again.
  • Lunch - Pique-nique is a walk away when we go to the Oppidum of Gaujac! Again, Romanesque!!
  • Evening - A walk away from the gates of Rhone Retreat, we will be wowed by Christine and Pierre at La Maison, as Christine brings Provence to the plate with fabulous French flavors, and Pierre helps us find the perfect local wine to wash it all down!

Day 6 Saturday

  • Morning - After breakfast it’s off to Uzes, for their fabulous Saturday market.
  • Lunch - At the wonderful and very local “Les Terroirs”.
  • Evening - Our farewell wine and dine in the garden of this truly special place that even you may start to call home, the Rhone Retreat. We will invite local artists, sculpteurs and critics to give us some insight on your creations. A garden gallery as we like to say!

Day 7 Sunday

  • Morning - Breakfast and Good byes … But not to worry because as we say here at the Rhone Retreat; Once you Gaujac, you always go back!!!!!!

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