Tuesday, October 18, 2016

French Art Tour Paris and the Limousin June 14-26, 2017

The river at Dun Le Pastel in the Creuse, Limousin
Join me in France for French Art School

Paris &  theCreuse, Limousin

June 14-26, 2017

Immerse yourself in art in Paris and the heart of rural France with renowned art teacher and experienced tour leader Jacqueline Coates. Enjoy being part of an exclusive small group of guests. ( Max of 10 guests ) 
No previous painting experience required! Easy techniques.

Live it! Breathe it! Paint it!

Imagine 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.

This tour coincides with the peonies and roses, irises and poppies of spring!

Imagine then basing yourself in a charming French villa in rural France, where we have our own painting studio space and easels, and even  a ballroom studio, where you will paint your own impressions and treat it as home whilst you explore the very area where Monet came to paint on holidays as well as chateaux, the beaux arts, the lakes, woodlands, fresh produce markets and picturesque towns. We have two equally gorgeous villas virtually next door to each other.

One has a gorgeous orchard and a grange as well.

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 in rural France and paint the same area, the produce and live the life.

To make this dream a reality,
I have created two home and studios style accommodations in the Limousin so we are perfectly set up to relax, tour and paint.

One of them is a converted auberge, typical of a charming French farmhouse style dwelling, and the other once belonged to a barrel maker, and has a gorgeous orchard and a grange. Both have shuttered windows and are divine to spend time in. You will have your own room.

Enjoy Paris then make ourselves at home as we unwind and take in the beautiful unspoiled country side of the Creuse region in the Limousin two hours or so south of Paris. 
Monet enjoyed painting in the region and Georges Sand, the writer and lover of Chopin, wrote about this region.

Enjoy the landscape of the Creuse valleys and the pretty towns where the Impressionists painted.

Our base at La Foret du Temple, is also close to many other fabulous highlights including Chateaux of the Loire Valley, Limoges famous for its porcelain, some of the prettiest villages of Frances, woods and lakes of the

Limousin, local markets full of fresh produce, and more.


  • A series of email French Art Lessons which give you some great snippets of info about where we are going and the artists so you get more out of your tour when you are there and some French Art School Elessons sequences you can enjoy when you come home.

·         Enjoy a total of 12 nights and 13 days including 3 nights in a central Paris Hotel with your own single room and 9 nights in the Creuse area of Limousin in an original French auberge with a ballroom studio or the original barrel makers farmhouse with orchard and grange studio known as La Tonnellerie, both within a few minutes of walking distance of each other.

·         All breakfasts

·         All art materials included including acrylics and oils,  art papers, canvases and boards and the provision of easels and brushes.

A beautiful poppies painting painted from the local red poppies,
acrylic on canvas with a fast technique I have for you.

·         Painting tuition and handy how to demos, inspired by the French Impressionist Painters from Jacqueline Coates for a total of 6 in studio sessions and other sessions including at least one outdoor session. Sessions are usually a half day allowing time for relaxing, walking in the beautiful natural surrounds or touring to nearby destinations though sometimes we paint for a day then have a day off.

·         Private Driver to and from Monet’s Giverny

·         Private driver and luxury coach pickup at hotel in Paris, travel to Chateau de Villandry, and Chateau de Chenonceaux in the Loire before arriving to our homes in La Foret du Temple, Creuse, Limousin.

Learn how to use acrylics in a fresh new way you'll find exhilarating

Learn to paint a rose with everything but a paint brush in my liberating painting exercise on tour

·         Entries to Giverny and restaurant lunch

·         Entry to Musee D’Orsay and restaurant lunch in exquisite surrounds

·         Entry L’Orangerie to view the Monet Nympheas Panoramics

·         Two French cooking lessons at La Foret Du Temple

·         7 dinners at La Foret provided as we have our own cook

·         1 farewell dinner in the Limousin

·         Lunches at L’Hirondelle and picnic lunches on tour ( total 8)

·         Aperitifs and wines at L’Hirondelle ( total 8 evenings)

·         8 Morning or afternoon teas and available refreshments

·         Our own private driver and van for the Creuse section of the tour taking us to Crozant, home of the French Impressionist landscape painters, Limoges known for porcelain and the brocante shops, local chateaux, visit Aubusson,  en plein air sketching and watercolour on the Monet Trail, local market tour and Geuret art Museum.

·         Visit Limoges porcelain factory, Limoges Botanical gardens and Gothic Church, and the Musee des Beaux Arts plus a fabulous Brocante ( beautiful array of French antiques and vintage items in a mill over the river)

·         French Art School Tour E-lessons x 10 prior to the trip to provide a cultural backdrop to your tour plus painting tips.

·         Certificate of completion of French Art School and your own artwork created in France to take home with you.

·         Free wifi and free phone calls to Australia to landline numbers from the landline at L'Hirondelle, one of our houses in the Creuse.

There's nothing like the elegance of a Paris Tea Salon we will be visiting.

Stroll the Champs Eylsees and dream which would be your favourite Paris apartment

Here is how the land package for French Art School works;

Day 1

We meet in Paris arriving Wednesday 14th June, 2017.

You are welcome to add a ticket to the package and travel with me Adelaide-Dubai-Paris with Emirates or meet us at the hotel. Just ask Karen Caba to arrange when you book in. Karen can also book your air ticket to suit your travel plans and needs. Just ask. You can also connect with us in Dubai from your city. Our Emirates flight arrives to Paris in about midday. We then share cabs at our own expense to our hotel.

(taxis not included but approx. 50 euros, ($80) and can fit up to 3 with baggage) Saturday is a great day to arrive as little traffic on the road.)

Arrive at our hotel, the charming Hotel France D’Antin, one of those impossibly cute wedge shape buildings with boutique style fit out, close to everything.

Enjoy your metro train travel pass provided and explore the stunning gardens of Paris with Jacqueline or take time out to recover from your journey.

Dinner own arrangements or as a group not included in itinerary pricing.

It’s a chance to collect yourself or go out on the town.

Day 2   Thursday 15th June, 2017.

Today we enjoy breakfast at our hotel, before venturing to visit The Musee D’Orsay, via a walk through the Tuileries Gardens.

The Musee D’Orsay is home to one the world’s finest 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.

Some of our painting exercises will be based on what we observe and capturing that. Afterwards enjoy lunch in the fabulous decorative restaurant of Musee D’Orsay, included in your visit.

For some people that’s already a big day, so its optional if you would like to come with me via the metro at our own expense to visit the famous Champs Elysees, and take in the glamorous shops before visiting iconic L’aduree, the famous French tea salon for a coupe de champagne or a coffee. Afternoon tea optional and not included but suggested as a wonderful and very memorable Parisian experience. A great place to buy perfumed candles also.

We will take photos we can work from later as artists but feel free to bring your sketch book. I recommend a small backpack for such items.

Dinner own arrangements or as a group, not included in itinerary pricing

Day 3  Friday 16th June, 2017.

After breakfast at the hotel we will have a private return transfer to Giverny to visit Monet’s incredibly charming home and studio. The house is surrounded by his famous garden he painted over and over, a favourite motif, and his Japanese inspired waterlily ponds the inspiration for the Nympheas series.

We will take our sketch books and cameras to capture own impressions. Jacqueline will demonstrate how she captures reference in her camera she can later translate into paintings worth thousands of dollars. Being Spring, expect peonies, iris, and oversized poppies.

Our tickets include visiting Monet’s house and studio.

Lunch is provided for you in a nearby restaurant.

After lunch enjoy free time to explore the pretty town or visit the American Impressionists Paintings Museum nearby (recommended but not included) before returning to Paris. The featured exhibitions have been the equivalent of Australian block buster imported exhibitions in the past in terms of the quality of the shows.

Afterwards, we will be delivered to L’Orangerie to see the Nympheas by Monet to complete this wonderful day. The entry is included in our Musee D’Orsay tickets. Walk back to the hotel through the beautiful Tuileries gardens. Enjoy a coffee or an aperitif at own expense at elegant Angelina Paris Rivoli, the famous tea house dripping with Parisian grandeur, on the way.

Day 4  Saturday 17th June, 2016.


After breakfast at the hotel we check out of our rooms and meet up with our driver to transfer to the Limousin and the next stage of our tour.

Today is the grand chateaus day so we not only transit to the country but we get to explore two superb chateaux and garden. 

Each castle has its own rich atmosphere. Which will be your favourite?  Along the way we stop to enjoy photo opportunities in the stunning countryside.

We will be collected by our driver at our hotel and his very comfortable van complete with tv and aircon, with more seats than we require so loads of room.

First stop is Chateau de Villandry, known for its beautiful interior, manicured lake, garden of love with the best view of the garden design from the turret and stunning potager gardens. Enjoy a prepacked picnic lunch and refreshments.

Second stop is the fabulous 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 on site 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 also vegetable and flower gardens.

On the way to our accommodation, we will stop at Aigurande for additional supplies from the wonderfully stocked Intermarche, before travelling a further 6 kilometres to La Foret du Temple where we will be met by our  cook from Australia who is , assisting 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.

We start this chapter of our tour with aperitifs at L’Hirondelle, and a beautiful home cooked meal prepared by our cook. 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


This charming home, named for the swallow, was once upon a time an auberge or local inn, and one of three restaurants in the town.  Today it is a comfortable art filled typically French home 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 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 the 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.
L'Hirondelle, one of our two accommodations

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.

The Ballroom painting studio at L'Hirondelle. Once upon a time the whole village came here to dance and play
music. The French couple who live next door got married here! We will use this room to paint!

Catering; All of your meals for breakfast and dinners apart from a restaurant we will go to one night, 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 L’Hirondelle are included.

I have already set up the studio complete with
All the rooms are single with a queen or a single bed so you can enjoy having your own space. This one has French shutters so you can enjoy the view across the hamlet and the countryside. All of the rooms are lovely.
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.

2. L’a Tonnellerie

La Tonnellerie, the second French villa for our accommodation has its own orchard and grange

The grange at La Tonnellerie

Another peek at La Tonnellerie ,a very comfy villa with rooms with a view over the countryside

Plenty of places to enjoy the garden and a glass of wine after class!

At La Tonnellerie, our second French villa there are four bedrooms rooms plus one for Jac and creative options for our art. This home was once owned by a French barrel maker.

After you settle into your French home, we will get together for dinner French Style and aperitifs at L'Hirondelle.

Day 5

Sunday 18th June, 2017.

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  create an artwork with a difference in a morning session.

Morning tea at L’Hirondelle.
Jacqueline Coates wishes to advise she takes no responsibility for any extra calories gained on tour.
Here is a fruit flan from the local patisserie, standard morning tea fare whilst painting.

Morning tea tasting something produced locally from the patisserie. All of the choices are amazing.

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.

Studying Impressionism can help your painting. Here is a quick study similar to what we might do.
Below is a study after Manet the impressionist painter of a detail of his painting of a peony.

Lunch served.

Afternoon paint session painting in the loose and productive style I will show you. Create some pieces you will love. No previous experience necessary.

Dinner French style prepared by our in house cook.

Day 6

Monday 19th June, 2017.

This morning we are taken to the pretty village of Crozant, where the Impressionists painters hung out together and stayed at the Hotel de L’Epinat, now a museum depicting the history of the painters in the area. Crozant is famous for its ruined castle that the Impressionists used to paint frequently as a motif of the area.

We will enjoy a walk along the Monet trail by the river Creuse and a picnic lunch enjoying the scenery that Monet painted.

Enjoy many fabulous photographic opportunities, and weather permitting, the chance to make a sketch or two or take a photo to paint up later. There is some very scenic countryside along the way and we will stop at some other towns on the journey.

After lunch we will follow the Monet trail where Monet found his inspiration and painted the Creuse river.

Some free time later afternoon followed by...

Aperitifs and Dinner at L’Hirondelle French style.

In the evening we enjoy Aperitifs followed by a cooking lesson from Julie Whitehead on how to make a classic Limousin specialty, the Cherry Clafoutis which we will then enjoy after dinner.

Day 7  Tuesday 20th June, 2017.

A day out at the very scenic Aubusson.

Visit this quaint town about one and a half hours from La Foret,du Temple with a possible brocante shopping stop on the way.

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. Lunch own arrangements but I have found a gorgeous café by the river with very reasonable prices I can recommend and it has a view.

Afterwards enjoy 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 as you have a few hours to please yourself. Bring your camera.

Enjoy the fascinating Cartons de Tapisserie Atelier and boutique displaying and selling antique hand painted designs that were used to guide the weavers.

On our return journey we will break for a visit at picturesque Chateau Chenaillerie known for its tapestry collection. Entry included.

Day 8

Wednesday 21th June, 2017.

After breakfast, we have the choice to paint.

We will paint en plein air, weather permitting, using the French box easels at La Tonnellerie to create a local landscape using oil paints most likely commencing with the orchard. The orchard was a favourite topic to paint of Van Gogh and many Creuse Valley Impressionist painters. Or paint from a selection of gorgeous photos taken in the area.

We will create a painting to capture an aspect of the Tonnellerie and then the wonderful almost medieval landscape of hedge rowed fields, and woods of chestnuts, hazelnuts and oak for a painting session with the oils. I will show you how. Enjoy afternoon tea en plein air including delicious pastries. Create and breathe in the wonderful landscape. Live like an Impressionist! Bring some clothes you don't mind getting paint on.

After your painting session enjoy some free time for clean up and communications home whilst we prepare a beautiful meal for you.

Join us for drinks perhaps a Champagne with Crème de cassis and delicious foie gras pate, followed by a French style casserole at L’Hirondelle.

Day 9

Thursday 22nd June, 2017

Breakfast at L’Hirondelle

Today we travel to Limoges on the banks of the Vienne, famous for its porcelain made
from local white clay.

We start with the Musee Des Beaux Arts, the city’s art museum inside the restored 18th Century Bishops palace. ( free entry). The museum houses a stunning collection of porcelain as well as paintings from the 14th century Italian Masterpieces to Renoir, and some displays about the history of the city.

Nearby we visit the Cathedrale Etienne, a Gothic cathedral known for its flamboyant rose window and many other features. It was built between 1273 and 1888.

Next to the church we explore the Jardin de L’Eveche, Limoges beautiful Botanical gardens with views over the river. Medicinal herbs have been grown here since medieval times. 

After a picnic lunch, we will have time to sketch or make a watercolour.

We will then visit the seconds shop at Porcelaine Royal Limoges, one of the oldest factories in the area dating from 1797. Pick up a gorgeous piece of porcelain for a fraction of the price you will find it elsewhere. there is the option to visit the museum at the same location

Afterwards we tour along the river banks and visit an old mill FULL of gorgeous vintage brocante from linen sheets to paintings, chandeliers to retro Limoges porcelain, you will love this stop over.

Travel home to a comfy night in at L’Hirondelle with a beautiful meal accompanied by French wines.

Enjoy the scenery to and from Limoges along with photo opportunities of the picturesque countryside and small towns.

Tonight get ready for a lesson on how to make an authentic French fondue.

Day 10

Friday 23rd  June, 2017

Breakfast at l’Hirondelle

Market Day at Aigurande
Let’s see what is in season, take photos, and bring some of the produce back to L’Hirondelle to paint and later to eat, whichever comes first! Visit the local Brocante or antique shop for some great finds.

Explore Aigurande then come home to a delicious lunch and paint for the afternoon. Rest of the day at leisure.

Spend a delightful Afternoon in the studio painting from a swoon worthy local produce or flowers  provided to increase your painting count. Jac shares some techniques which will have you producing work quickly and creating the WOW factor.

Day 11 Saturday 24th  June, 2017

Breakfast L’Hirondelle

We take a visit to Gueret Art Museum to see the Impressionist paintings created in the region. Afterwards we visit the local markets where they sell food and clothing. The last group bought gorgeous linen dresses. Picnic lunch in the garden of the museum.

Afternoon at leisure at La Foret with the option to Paint with Jac, in a special session where we use some market produce to create a fruit print tea towel. Or take the bikes for a ride, or a read a book under a tree.

Dinner is a bbq with French style salads

Day 12  Sunday 25th June, 2017

As its our last day, so let's enjoy our wonderful location and fit in anything else we'd like to do.
Do as you please, relax, read, enjoy a walk, or paint with Jac. Enjoy a charming walk between hamlets and through forest. It's up to you.

Our last night so let’s enjoy an included farewell meal by the river at Dun le Pastel, one of the prettiest villages you will ever see, and just down the road from us.

The stunning village of Dun Le Pastel where we will enjoy
our farewell dinner at a restaurant by the river

Day 13  Monday 26th  June, 2017

Breakfast at l’Hirondelle and lunch if required. If travelling let us pack you a baguette for your trip.

Today is the day for departure. We will work out the best time for everyone to go to Chateauroux to make their way back to Paris to make connections. Train fare from Chateauroux included. This is a two hour train ride.

Many flights back to Australia leave in the evening so you might enjoy a morning of packing up at leisure and relaxing ahead of your journey, or you might like to continue your holiday and travel to your next accommodation. Our driver Christophe is available to drive the group to Chateauroux station so you can follow through with your particular details.

There is a café at the railway station if you want to purchase any supplies for the train or grab a coffee. There won’t be any catering on the train itself. This is a great opportunity to write your postcards or read a book.

Packaging materials for paintings to be taken home are supplied and assistance will be given to pack your paintings for travel. Oil paintings will be painted first so they dry sufficiently to travel with as they require longer to dry. Acrylic paintings are dry to travel with very quickly. Ensure you have named each of your creations along the way.

Artwork must be taken with you. Please plan and allow for it in your luggage allowance of approx. 2 kilos. Emirates gives you 30 kilos travel allowance for baggage, and 7 kilos carry on.

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.

Total for land package FRENCH ART SCHOOL with Jacqueline Coates

Paris and  theCreuse , Limousin

Airfares additional. Max of 10 guests.
Meet us at the Paris Hotel or travel with Jacqueline.


ECM Travel management reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary as needs be.

Karen Caba; Australia  +61 0411 603 948 or contact Karen on Email ecmtravel@live.com.au

Karen Caba
Elite Conference Management and Travel
11 Dalkeith Close
Wheelers Hill   VIC  3150

Australia tel: 0411 603948 
ABN: 54854747594

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