Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Fall in love in Paris

Fall in love with painting in Paris    & the Limousin find your inspiration!
Absolutely NO previous experience necessary

Wonderful floral excess at a Parisian florist

Local flowers collected in baskets on a walk in La Foret Du Temple, home to French Art School

From Parisian florists to painting your own canvas of roses and hydrangeas in your own French art atelier...

The Ballroom studio is ours to paint and play in as much as you like.
Fill your suitcase with finished paintings to take home!

The Creuse area of the Limousin southwest of Paris is a luscious abundantly productive rural region
with meandering rivers, cool oak forests, and was the inpsiration for many French Impressionist artists including Monet,
the writer George Sand and the composer Chopin. Guests report feeling inspired and excited on a  daily basis!

Paint from easels in comfort, with your own encouraging painting tutor to help you land your own Impressionistic painting ...

Day dream out the French shuttered windows while the swallows dip and dive over the charming sleepy hamlet of stone houses near a cool forest of oak with wild deer.

L'Hirondelle is just one of three stunning French Villas which are French Art School,
founded by Jacqueline Coates and family in 2016,
ensuring charming accommodation you will immediatley feel at home in.
The tour experience has since been written uop and reviewed in The Weekend Australian as a great success!

Add to that the aromas drifting from the villa kitchen as our private chef whips up a stunning long table lunch we will take in the garden of this stunning summers day in France.

Enjoy your own room, the company of like minded others you will meet, travelling in a small group of 6-9 guests from Paris to Giverny, the Loire and the Creuse region of the Limousin. 

Chateaux and chablis, tapestries and crispy tartiflette, flowers and French vintage linen, Monet to Matisse... what a delicous combination of experiences!

Good news is there are three places left from a total of 9 places for the June 25-July 7, 2018 Paris and the Limousin tour, and now Paris and the Limousin Tour August 11-23, 2018 tour is open for booking! These are the last places available for French Art School for 2018 and every place is a special place to be!

If you are worried about being able to paint, check out my video below! Inspired by the French Impressionists from Manet to Van Gogh, with a modern twist, enjoy a step by step painting demonstration with lots of tips and suggestions for every session whether we are taking in the spectacular French countryside using oils en plein air in the very spot Monet painted, or we capture fresh produce in the Ballroom studio working with acrylics on thick artisan art papers purchased in Paris.  Sighhhh!!!!!

A Jacqueline Coates French Art School Demo

Paris, Giverny, The Loire & the Creuse, Limousin



JUNE 25 -July7, 2018 or 
AUGUST 11-23, 2018

Live it! Breathe it! Paint it!

Picture waking up in Paris, with an inspiring and enjoyable art itinerary planned for you, and a small exclusive group of like-minded others to travel with. Nothing to organise and everything to enjoy.

Imagine then basing yourself in one of two charming French villas near each other in rural France, where we have our own painting studio space and easels, private driver and private chef to take care of us, and even a ballroom studio, where you will paint your own impressions and treat it as home. 

Explore the very area where Monet came to paint his first series of paintings as well as chateaux, the beaux arts, the lakes, woodlands, fresh produce markets and picturesque towns. No wonder Chopin was inspired to write more than half of his output of music in the Limousin. 

This is a tour like no other because it's tailored for a small group, rather than a hoard with generalised venues anyone can get to. Being a small group we can enjoy special experiences and go to places large groups cannot.  

French Art School goes to places you would never know about otherwise. We also have our own painting atelier where we paint and respond to the inspiration.

Jacqueline Coates, that's me, and I take you to some
beautiful palces including Monet's Garden, Giverny, Normandy

Hi, I’m Jacqueline Coates, and it has been a long-held dream of mine to take painting enthusiasts to France to study the Impressionist painters in Paris and to follow in the footsteps of Monet and other Impressionists in rural France and paint in the very same areas they painted in.


To make this dream a reality, I have created my own studio and home style accommodations in France, especially for French Art School. 
This is my 9th international tour and my 8th and 9th tours for French Art School working my outstanding team in France and imported from Australia to assist.

I speak fluent French, and I know how to make my guests comfortable and give them an amazing experience of a lifetime. 

I also like to share what it’s like to live the French life in the charming hamlet where my villas are located. Meet the locals and be part of a very special bespoke experience

I have been leading workshops intensives teaching thousands of people over the past 15 years online and in person with a compassionate approach to painting where my students, even the total newcomers, are fast tracked to get great results. My painting methods are different to what anyone else is doing on the planet and that’s why I get the fabulous results for my students so quickly whether you have picked up a paint brush or not


These guests had never met before the tour and finsihed the best of friends who still catch up!

Enjoy time to relax and enjoy one of the many great art books on hand 

Did someone say aperitifs?

On the Creuse River preparing to paint in the very place Monet painted!

Enjoy a stunning degustation dinner based on the recipes the Monet himself enjoyed

Brushes down ladies! It's dinner time!
Time to relax and enjoy what our chef has prepared for us!

Every client on our Sept and June tours in 2017 came on tour on their own and made a fabulous circle of friends easily on the tour. It's a very inclusive of everyone space. Everyone looks out for each other. Each person has their own room throughout in Paris and the Limousin so you have personal space as well as the opportunity to enjoy like- minded others along the way.

Airfares are yours to do as you like with your favourite carrier or even your frequent flyers or with your travel agent. If you don't have a travel agent we can recommend one to assist you with flights and any other holiday arrangements or transfers.

We meet in Paris. Some clients fly in the same day and others arrive a day or two earlier at our Paris hotel. 

One of the accommodations on French Art School is a converted auberge, typical of a charming French farmhouse style dwelling, and the other villa once belonged to a local wine barrel maker, and has a gorgeous orchard of fruit trees and a grange. Both have shuttered windows and are divine to spend time in.

After 3 nights in Paris we travel through the Loire Valley visiting two exquisite chateaux and gardens, then arrive to our French homes in the heart of the Creuse region, to a beautiful welcome meal prepared by our private chef.

Unwind and take in the rolling unspoiled country side of the Creuse region in the Limousin south of Paris. Enjoy the landscape of the Creuse valleys and the pretty towns where the Impressionists painted. Walk the same path Monet took to create his series of the Creuse river.

Our base at La Foret du Temple, is also close to many other fabulous highlights including officially some of Frances most beautiful villages. Visit Aubusson, where the tapestries were created and see the stunning hand painted cartons. Visit a private chateaux hung with tapestries. 

Be charmed by the beautiful painters’ town of Gargilesse and a regional collection of Impressionist paintings at Gueret.

Live like a local and enjoy the Fresh produce at the markets of La Chatre. The last group purchased stunning linen dresses for a song inbetween touring and having fun paint up a storm in my painting atelier, formerly a ballroom studio.

Land package workshop & tour

Day 1  Our tour commences in Paris meet at 3pm at our hotel
June Tour ( June 25, 2018 )
August Tour ( August 11, 2018 )

Arrive at our hotel, in the charming Opera area, just a short walk to the Louvre and the Tuileries gardens, one of those impossibly cute wedge shape buildings with boutique style fit out, close to everything.

Meet up with Jacqueline at 3pm in the lobby and enjoy a walking tour close to home taking in the local area of the Opera arrondissement, which connects with the Tuileries gardens, the Louvre and one of my favourite Salon Du The’s, where you might like to partake in a coupe de Champagne or a rich and delicious hot chocolate and a pastry.

If you get in earlier, then check out the fabulous Galleries Lafayette nearby with its’ art deco Coupole and stunning range of affordable designer clothing. The basement has a very large selection of shoes and handbags. Or take time out to recover from your journey. 
Dinner out anyone?  It’s a chance to collect yourself or go out on the town. We usually opt for a pavement style dinner not far from the hotel in Saint Honore a charming area

Day 2  Meet the French Impressionists!
June Tour (Tuesday June 26, 2018)
August Tour (Aug 12, 2018)

Breakfast at our hotel, before venturing to visit The Musee D’Orsay,
home to one the world’s finest and largest collections of Impressionists paintings, and occupies a stunning former railway station.

See the masterpieces for yourself close up including peonies by Manet, Tahitian women by Gauguin, Van Gogh’s hay rick paintings after Millet, roses by Fantin Latour and so much more.  We will observe the traits that make these paintings so successful, ready for when we paint together in Creuse.
Enjoy lunch in the fabulous decorative restaurant of Musee D’Orsay.  Then meander in to the Saint Germain de Pre to check out my favourite Parisian art supply store which is practically an Impressionist antique.  Enjoy a late afternoon rest at the hotel before we venture out for the evening. 

Day 3    Visited enchanting Normandy and 
Monet's house and garden and the Nympheas Panoramiques
June Tour (Weds June 27, 2018)
August Tour (Aug 13, 2018)

Today we visit Giverny to visit Monet’s incredibly charming home and studio and the famous garden with waterlily ponds he painted over and over, a favourite motif. Our tickets include visiting Monet’s house and studio.  Lunch is provided for you in Les Nympheas restaurant as inspired by Monet’s own recipes. Monet loved his food and had his own cook! Eat like a French Impressionist!
Enjoy free time to explore the pretty town or visit the American Impressionists Paintings Museum nearby before returning to Paris with our private driver.
Afterwards, we visit L’Orangerie to see the Nympheas panoramiques by Monet to complete this wonderful day. Enjoy the sensual experience of the lily ponds followed by the wrap around contemplative paintings Monet created of the gardens showcased in Paris.

Walk back to the hotel through the beautiful Tuileries gardens. Enjoy a coffee or an aperitif along the elegant Rue de Rivoli, on the way.

Day 4   Immerse yourself in the past through grand chateaux then arrive to the charming hamlet of La Foret du Temple

June Tour (Thursday June 28, 2018 ) 
August Tour (Aug 14, 2018)

Today is the grand chateaus day to make the most of our transit journey.  There are romances, alliances, wars won and lost, and enemies dispatched. Every castle has its own rich atmosphere. We will see two of the best today. Which will be your favourite?  We will be collected by our driver.
First stop is the Royal Chateau de Chambord, in the French Renaissance style blending with Medieval structures. This is the largest chateau in the Loire originally built as the French hunting lodge of Francis 1. The Chateau has 440 rooms, 84 staircases and has countless treasures from the Louvre. The Formal French Gardens have been recently renovated to the original splendour of Louis X1V. IT recently had 380 million euros spent on it!
Second stop is the Chateau de Chenonceau, the famous chateau that was in the care of a line of women through time who constantly added to its magnificence through building and landscaping.

You will especially delight in the floral arrangements prepared for every single room in the chateau prepared by an onsite team of florists using materials from the gardens themselves. Prepare to swoon. 

Chateau de Chenonceau spans the Cher River with graceful arches, and is filled with art treasures by Tintoretto, Correggio, Rubens, Murillo and Van Dyck. We will also enjoy the western rose gardens and yew tree labyrinth created by Catherine de Medicis. There are vegetable and flower gardens.  

We arrive to La Foret du Temple met by our chef  who has prepared a welcoming dinner for us.
Chef is a fabulous professional from Australia, who is taking care of us for the week.

At La Foret du Temple we will settle into our accommodation where you have your own room to enjoy feeling at home in the natural setting and rolling French countryside. There are loads of beautiful walks and wildlife including deer and hedgehogs, hares, sparrows and hunting birds.

The two accommodations are very near each other so you are in walking distance at all times of a few minutes no matter which charming villa you stay in.  Welcome to La Foret du Temple. 

Welcome to our two traditional accommodations L’Hirondelle & La Tonnellerie

L’Hirondelle is a charming home and French villa with a painting atelier just for French Art School, named for the swallow, which once upon a time was an auberge or local inn, and one of three restaurants in the town. There are swallows nests in the barn and ever year they come back in spring just like me!
Though I come back late winter too to see my friends who help me on my tours and to do the tour preparation as well.
Today L’Hirondelle is a comfortable art filled typically French home with a layers of the past evident throughout offering spacious reception rooms downstairs, whilst upstairs has 5 bedrooms and two bathrooms.

La Tonnellerie was for a long time the home of a local wine barrel maker until an English couple took over the property and made it home for eleven years opening up the enormous attic to more rooms and revealing the stone of the villa, and cultivating a gorgeous garden. 
La Tonnellerie has an orchard and lots of lovely places to enjoy the sunshine, and a fabulous grange that is in the process of being turned into a working painting studio. The two properties are within minutes walk of each other in in the centre of a tiny pretty village with multiple accesses and pathways onto open countryside with beautiful walks in nature. Enjoy woods of hazelnut, walnut, oak, chestnuts, and running streams.

Meander along quiet winding back roads with breathtaking views across hedge rowed fields and farming lands, ideal for drawing and painting.  Connect with yourself and nature, in this peaceful and inspiring setting, yet enjoy modern conveniences in a traditional French setting such as free wifi, access all TV channels, and kitchen mod cons to make your stay comfortable and convenient. You can phone Australia for free from the landline.  There are two bicycles available for your usage.

 Catering; All of your meals for breakfast and dinners apart from a restaurant we will go to one night, and a lunch at the markets, are included apart from one night which is free time in case you want to explore another restaurant option locally which we can assist to arrange.
Most lunches and tour picnics, and an at home evening bar for aperitifs and some wines with evening meals during the stay at La Foret du Temple are included.  We even put you in on the train with a baguette and a drink for the journey back to Paris on the final day.

Our own painting studio;
 I have already set up the studio complete with travelling French box easels and studio easels, boards, paints and brushes, and day backpacks and lightweight camping stools. We will be working with portable watercolour palettes, yours to keep (don’t worry I will show you how) and painting on boards for fast techniques we can also get out touring as well as produce successful works you can take home.  There are individual rooms for the guests. Downstairs at L’Hirondelle, the old ballroom makes the perfect spacious painting studio.  At The other house there are four single rooms plus one for Jac and creative options for our art. 

Day 5  Explore your French Neighbourhood and start a painting
June Tour (Friday June 29, 2018)
August Tour (Aug 15, 2018)

 Today after breakfast at L’Hirondelle we will explore the local area with a leisurely walk in the village and nearby forests and pathways of La Foret, our new base. We will gather local wildflowers and seeds to create an artwork with a difference in a morning session. 
Morning tea at L’Hirondelle.  Morning tea is a ‘Clafoutis’, a specialty of the area, served with cream.  
We settle into the ballroom studio for our first in studio painting session. We will be employing some techniques I will show you used by the Impressionists painters as well as some tips on how to manage your paint. Lunch served.  Afternoon paint session painting in the productive style incorporating some of the Impressionistic techniques I will show you. Create some pieces you will love on luscious thick art paper from Paris. No previous experience necessary. 

 Day 6  Explore the local markets of La Chatre
June Tour (Saturday JUNE 30, 2018) 
August Tour (Aug 16, 2018)

This morning we are taken to La Chatre to enjoy the local market atmosphere and choose ingredients for Bouillabaisse and other stunning meals our private chef will prepare for us.  There is a great selection of inexpensive linen clothing, hats and more. Meander the medieval back streets and the interesting homewares stores  
Visit a fabulous Brocante stacked with treasures. Lunch alongside the locals after the markets
I will be selecting produce to prepare for our afternoon session painting  Afternoon tea from the La Chatre Patisserie. Sigh!
Day 7  Visit the Valley of the Painters
June Tour (Sunday JULY 1, 2018)
August Tour (August 17, 2018)

This morning we visit Crozant, where the Impressionists painters hung out together and stayed at the Hotel de L’Epinat. Crozant is famous for its ruined castle that the Impressionists used to paint frequently as a motif of the area. 
Then walk the path to where the Monet trail begins by the river Creuse enjoying the scenery that Monet painted.  We enjoy an en plein air painting session in oils,  Impressionist style and a picnic.Afterwards we drive to the Art Museum of Gueret and see the original paintings by local French Impressionist artists.

Day 8  Paint en plein air by one the prettiest villages in France
June/July  Tour (Monday JULY 2, 2018)
August Tour ( August 18, 2018)

After breakfast, we will paint produce from the markets or local flowers, in the studio
After morning tea and lunch at La Foret, and weather permitting, we will visit the picturesque village of La Celle Dunoise on the Creuse river, a 20 minute drive away using the French box easels to create two local landscapes from two of many stunning vantage points using oil paints and learning more about impressionist painting techniques. 
Enjoy afternoon tea en plein air including delicious pastries. Create and breathe in the wonderful landscape. Live like an Impressionist! I will demo how to easily capture what is in front of us and you will follow suit using an unusual array of painting tools. I am on hand to assist you with your paintings. Clean up on site and join me for a casual dinner at Auberge Des Pescheurs included.

Day 9  Create a masterpiece!
June Tour (Tuesday July 3, 2018 )
August Tour ( August 19, 2018)

Guided morning session in the studio painting. Lunch is Chicken Basquaise prepared by our local Frenchwoman Anne.

Afternoon tour to Nohant, the property of the famous French writer Georges Sand near La Chatre.  Frederic Chopin spent many years in Nohant with his lover Georges Sand, an independent female novelist and memoirist who made the Creuse famous through her romantic descriptions of the wild and natural landscape and the ruins. 

We visit her home and very pretty gardens and enjoy a private tour in English accessing parts of the house otherwise inaccessible.  She was raised for much of her childhood by her grandmother, at her estate ‘Nohant’, which became the setting for many of Sand’s books. She was also well known for wearing men’s clothing, highly unusual in her day, which allowed more freedom to enter bars and other venues.

George’s son Maurice was an accomplished artist, and as well as painting and drawing, created a puppet theatre and 300 puppets which were based on characters of the day, and used in performances at Nohant and in Paris.

Afternoon tea in the gardens. Private tour included  Return to La Foret and relax, take a bike ride, or finish any paintings underway. Tonight get ready for a traditional French raclette meal. 

Day 10  Visit a chateau filled with tapestries and an atelier
June/July Tour (Wednesday July 4, 2018) 
August Tour (August 20, 2018)

A day out at Aubusson. On the way we will break for a visit at picturesque Chateau Villemontieux at Chenaillerie known for its quality tapestry collection and tall turrets with a tour led by the actual owner who has restored the chateau over a thirty year period and lives there.
Picnic in front of the chateau afterwards.

Afterwards we make our way to pretty Aubusson about one and a half hours from La Foret,du Temple.  Aubusson is known for being the village of tapestries. Wool was washed and died by the river, and woven into the tapestries you see in the Chateaus. I have found a gorgeous cafĂ© by the river for coffees
Afterwards you have free time to explore the several museums, or the Aubusson Museum of Tapestry or the Cite Internationale de la Tapisserie. Enjoy a meander around this pretty town.   At home, a beautiful meal prepared by our chef awaits us.

Day 11  Summer garden dining after abeautiful day of painting in the Ballroom studio 
June/July (Thursday JULY 5, 2018)
August Tour( August 21, 2018)

A relaxing painting day at La Foret Du Temple;
Spend a delightful day in the studio painting your own PAINTED CANVAS WALL HANGING inspired by the cartons of Aubusson. You will be able to hang this on your own wall at home to take a little bit of French Chateau style home with you.  This piece will roll up and be able to pack in a tube or your suit case. Chez nous, (at our place) for a beautiful meal in the garden at La Tonnellerie.

Day 12   Discover the beautiful village of Gargilesse
June/July Tour (Friday July 6, 2018) 
August Tour (August 22, 2018)

A relaxing morning painting flowers in season from life, most likely to be peonies and roses and anything else you want to cover off.  Varnish any finished works and allow to dry
Home for lunch then afternoon at leisure at La Foret.

Enjoy an afternoon visit to  the beautiful town of Gargilesse and and the magnificent view of the Creuse river bend at the Boucle de Pin. Explore the towns galleries and take time out for a meander and a coffee. Then home to pack ahead of our farewell dinner.

Dine at my favourite local restaurant, which has a Michelin Star, but not the price tag to match luckily for us This restaurant never fails to delight and impress with its service and food.

Day 13   Transit day to Paris 
June/July Tour (Saturday July, 2018 )
August Tour (August 23, 2018)

Today is the day for departure as our chauffeur collects us to take us to the station ahead of time. We will pack you a snack and some water to take on the train to Paris.

The journey is usually two hours and arrives to Paris at Gare D’Austerlitz which is serviced by taxis.  Allow at least an hour to get to the airport by taxi. I do not recommend the RER to the airport because the trains are infrequent.  Please don’t book too tight a flight connection in case of scheduling and traffic events beyond our control that may require more than the allowed for travel time

For those staying on your details of your stay will be on a separate itinerary provided by your travel agent.
La Tonnellerie is available for booking in the week following the tour should you wish to have wind down time after the tour to relax, read, walk, sketch and hang out. A local driver can be arranged if you would like outings. Jacqueline will be about at L’Hirondelle during that following week.

Total for land package FRENCH ART SCHOOL with Jacqueline Coates tuition & host
Bookings to
French Art School
M 0429 100 929

TO BOOK IN < YOU NEED TO PAY A DEPOSIT OF $2000 with the balance due two mitnhs beforehand.
No previous art experience is necessary to take the French Art School Tour.
I am known for my generous and compassionate teaching methods that open ip painting to anyone who wants to give it a go. The methods i use are always based on taking the pain oit of painting so yoiu can get great results quickly. Typically students take home up to 12 paintings each! So not only will you have a stunning inspirational holiday you will take home beautiful artwork. One of my students from the June 2017 tour used the paintings made on tour in France as the basis for a collection of work that she sold a few months later in August at an exhibition.
Others prefer to keep their work and frame it at home. Some is on canvas and some is on thick artisan art paper so its easy to fit in your suit case.

Packaging materials for paintings to be taken home are supplied and assistance will be given to pack your paintings for travel.
On the previous tours, it has so happened that guests have booked in on their own and made great friends on the trip they have stayed in contact with afterwards because they enjoyed the friendships made on tour. We have a  private Facebook page where you can meet everyone before the tour starts and keep in touch with afterwards.

There is provision for one twin share room in the Limousin of two friends want to travel and share together which is why we can go to 10 guests but if not it will be a maximum of 9 guests.
That depends on how much shopping you want to do! Most of your meals are supplied once in the Limousin as we have a private chef. Its nice to stop for coffees along the way or refreshments when touring. We visit brocanteurs, who sell vintage linen and other fabulous objects. Paris will tempt and you may want to buy perfume somewhere along the way. I also take you to my favourite art supply store in Paris but you don't need to buy anything because I supply all your art supplies and that is included in the price. About $1000 Aussie should be enough if you aren't bringing home chandeliers!
Some people like to extend their stay in a place that they know and feel comfortable in. You are welcome to stay longer at the French Houses in the Limousin at a student rate per night if you want some time to just be, go for walks, play in the art studio, and hang out. The chef will have finished but i will be there and we share the duties for cooking and whose turn to pour the wine. There is a local driver who can take you out in my car if you feel like seeing even more of the stunning area.

Robert Thornberry from Signature Travel Orange is happy to assist you with travel plans before or after the tour if you want to extend your holiday into additional experiences such as a cruise or a visit to other parts of Europe, or ask your own agent to assist with travel ideas and plans for before and after.

At a certain age everyone likes to enjoy their own private space as well as engage with others during the day which is why I have planned that your own room booked is for you in Paris, and in the Limousin. There is only one room in the Limousin that has the option of twin share of two friends come on the tour and would like that otherwise it reverts to a single room.


Please advise any dietary requirements at the time of booking so we can plan in advance as we consider food an important part of the enjoyment of our time together. 

We have FREE WIFI at the hotel and at the villas. At the villas there is a landline your family can call you on.  

French Art School supplies canvases for specific painting exercises bearing in mind you travel with them afterwards so the selected sizes are small to mid-size for your convenience.

French Art School supplies paints, brushes, and everything else you will need so you are not encumbered by weight when you travel. By all means bring any favourite brushes.


A feature of the tour is that we have pur own space and equipment to paint with providing total creative support and freedom whilst on holiday.

Downstairs at L’Hirondelle, the old ballroom makes the perfect spacious painting studio.

Make sure you have a digital camera or iphone for photos or other fave device. There are so many photo opportunities. Bring a charger and a European plug adaptor. You can buy the adaptor at the airport before leaving Australia.


Take comfortable clothing, shoes you like walking in, some smart casual clothing for going out to dinner, and be prepared that the weather will be cool and spring like so trans seasonal is a good idea, plus some tops suitable if its warmer. ie the ability to add warm layers or strip back a layer of it's warmer. 


Fall in love in Paris

Fall in love with painting in Paris    & the Limousin find your inspiration! Absolutely NO previous experience necessary W...