I always wanted to try a painting holiday and was afraid of the prices, the location or what would happen if the people are strange, the hosts funny, or the tuition not so good. What the teachers would be like, what painting subjects? Will they suit me? Is the food going to be good and would I have time for myself and would I be allowed to paint what I want? many more questions like that… When my friend Danny comes with the idea and the holiday place which he knew, I decided to have a go.
Very quickly I realised that I was too hesitant in the past and should have gone on a holiday like this sometime ago. Mind you I could not comment on other places which I did not try, but I have now discovered, that this is a special place.
We went to ‘Bandouille’ the painting monastery in France and what a great choice it was.
We have chosen to join a watercolour week with special portrait tuition by my friend Danny (Daniel McGowan) and boy what an experience it was.
The location is divine and the people who run it, Bixxy and Drew could not do enough. They fed, entertained and showed us their beautiful incredible renovated 12th century monastery that was immaculately clean and warm. Their hospitality was second to none. The tuition was great and all the equipment was included in the price. You probably could paint on site for ever and never run out of subjects, although we were also taken out to see and sketch, paint some beautiful villages and beauty spots around the area. To be honest a week was not enough to paint it all and I doubt if a month would do. With Bixxy’s cooking and Drew’s wine and the great hospitality who wanted it ever to end and go home?
After a superb refreshing breakfast each morning you meet in the big studio to start the day. The studio is equipped with everything you need and it’s a great saving on your luggage weight and space travelling to France. Each day you have a program, but if you wanted, you could do your own. The tuition is professional and easy to follow. You don’t need to be a Rembrandt to join in but you might leave as one. It is amazing to see the options and the quick progress people make and there is no pressure what so ever. All day the hot, cold drinks, nibbles and super home baked cakes are provided. A lighter mouth watering lunch is provided and all diets are catered for each meal. In the afternoon you have an aperitif and each evening you have an amazing dinner that a reputable hotel would not be ashamed to serve on its menu. I did not need to ask for a thing extra as it was always was provided and more. You have plenty of art books, magazines and videos to watch during the day or in the evening or retire to the lounge. Meeting the other artists there, I feel we will remain friends for ever after the holiday.
The Class – Group
The paintings got better each day and it was entirely up to you to choose the media and tools as you wished. I feel that the week was a great holiday that I will always remember and have no doubt that I’ll return for more, but now I am rushing to the gym to lose a pound or two…
Some of the Techniques used in the Warm-up
I am sure you are rushing to book your holiday now… if you mention that Doronart sent you, you might be for a treat…. Enjoy