Thursday, August 10, 2017


As you can see from my demo, you don’t need to be an artist to paint on the French Art School Tour!

Art is there to inspire us, show us what is possible, delight our senses, and to uplift. Whether you pick up a paint brush or not, there are so many ways to enjoy art.

French Art School is the playful name of my tour that starts in Paris and takes in the Inspiration of Paris and the French Impressionists such as Van Gogh, Mary Cassat, Manet, Renoir, Degas and Seurat. These artists each had their own individual style. Their paintings delight the eye.

The techniques I show you means painting is easy and you will get results you will love

In my view, anyone can paint, and the way I teach anyone can paint and get a great result. Art is not stuffy with a capital A in my world. Its achievable and fun, and you don't even need a paint brush.

As you can see from my demo it's a lot of fun when we get together for paint sessions in the Ballroom studio on French Art School Tour. Not surprisingly, all the guests produce beautiful artwork! The paintings shown here are by newbie artists who were thrilled and surprised with their results.

Guest who hadn;t painted before the tour
New to art guest created a delightful painting, one of many

I really enjoy sharing easy techniques and luscious art materials with my guests so they can create some works of art on holidays they will treasure long after the holiday.

Monet's Hay bales from his series painted in Giverny

Monet's house at Giverny. We tour the house, the garden and the waterlily ponds.

Along the way, we enjoy fabulous gardens and stunning chateaux, and follow the trail of Impressionist painting to Giverny where we explore Monet’s house and garden, created as a source of painterly inspiration.

We then travel through the Loire and the wildly beautiful Limousin region, a region the female writer Georges Sand wrote so lovingly of, and where Chopin wrote a large amount of his music. The Limousin was the place artists went to feel, to be, to create and to explore.

Live like a local in one of two gorgeous villas, a cool shady green garden with an ancient walnut tree, an orchard laden with summer fruit and dreamy Charolais cows as one of our neighbours.

We have our own private chef. Tour and enjoy the tapestries of Aubusson and the fabulous cartons or underpaintings created by the artists for the weavers.

Meet Jean Claude and Yvette who live next door to L’Hirondelle and come to visit, the last time with sparkling wine in hand for us all, and my French friend Anne who will cook some beautiful French meals and share the recipes with us so we have the local know how on flavour. Relax and be at home French style. 

Relax and be at home French style. 

Throw open the shutters to long summer evenings.

Walk barefoot on centuries old thick oak floorboards.

Elite Conference Management and Travel
11 Dalkeith Close
Wheelers Hill   VIC  3150
Bookings to Karen Caba 
0411 603 948 

Or read on!

Explore Crozant and the Fresselines, the area where Impressionist painters once captured the valleys, rivers, mills and romantic chateau ruins and the seasons in shades of emerald, dusky pinks and golden hues.

Monet himself painted his first series of 29 paintings studying the confluence of the river Creuse with the Petit Creuse. He was mesmerised by the water and determined to learn through repeated studies. We walk the same path and take the opportunity to sketch and take photos at the same place, a path less travelled but known to locals.

Art inspires through the museums, the paintings, the gardens, the artistry of the chateaux and their ornate gardens, the food, the wine, the countryside, the beautiful summer blooms, the tea salons, the most beautiful villages in France and through painting sessions at my Painting atelier in the Limousin.

Even if you have never painted before, you will definitely be able to create gorgeous artworks inspired by our surrounds and the local produce because I show you how to paint with some easy to achieve Impressionist techniques both in the studio and en plein air. Everything is supplied and is easy to pack in your suitcase.

I am known for unlocking creativity in others with my easy to follow painting methods. Take home meaningful mementos of your trip to enjoy on your walls at home. Engage with the beauty and colours of France whilst on your holiday.

Paint a sunflower field, a waterlily pond, a bough of Mirabelle plums, the soothing blues and mauves of summer hydrangeas, a spray of roses, a still life of a baguette and cheese perhaps? Enjoy a glass of wine as we paint the landscape and the garden en plein air in the evening glow surrounded by birdsong.

Art soothes and brings us peace and connection. It connects us to love and the best things in life including nature.

If this sounds like you and you know it’s time you connected with your own inner artistry and the things you love we still have a few places left and the tour is definitely going. We meet in Paris on Sept 4. Don’t miss out. There is a place waiting for you.

Indulge your senses and treat yourself to a once in a lifetime thoughtfully put together tour for a maximum of 9 guests.

I spent this precious time of the year in the area last year and absolutely loved it. This is the first time I have invited guests to enjoy this time of the year in the French countryside that I particularly love and would love to share with you.

Elite Conference Management and Travel
11 Dalkeith Close
Wheelers Hill   VIC  3150
Bookings to Karen Caba 
0411 603 948 
Or read on!


Can I book into the French Art School tour on my own?
Yes of course. All of the ladies on the last tour came along as individuals and had a ball and made great friends.
If you want to book with a friend you can do that too.

I’d like to do some art but I’m worried I won’t be good enough or as good as the other people
Complete newbies to painting created beautiful work on the last two tours. They found it thrilling and exciting and took home some great pieces. I show everything in steps. Let me do the worrying and relax knowing you will get some results to be proud of.

How many artworks will I create?
You will create at least 8 artworks. Some guests have created 13-15 pieces. It depends what size you choose, and how much time you want to spend painting.
My groups have been enthusiastic. They know they can access the painting studio when they want so they will even paint after dinner and enjoy a glass of wine. There are times when I teach and demo, and share tips and paint with the group and there are times when you can paint or draw or do your own thing.

What sort of clothing shall I bring?
It will be summer so bring lots of light clothing and a cardigan in case it cools in the evening. Casual and comfortable is best. We will walk sometimes so a pair of shoes you can comfortably walk in, including for Monet’s walk. Sandals as its summer! Bathers because we have the option of swimming in the freshwater lakes.

What if I have special dietary requirements?
No worries just tell us at the time of booking so we can plan for you.
We have had guests in the past who had special dietary requirements and the chef catered for their needs.

I don’t want to share a room with anyone else. Will I have my own room?
Yes we have one bedroom per guest. Each villa has two bathrooms. L’Hirondelle has five bedrooms and La Tonnellerie has 4 bedrooms.
In Paris we have reserved one room per guest at our favourite hotel which is well located a short walk to the Tuileries and the Louvre from the Opera district.

Can I use my frequent flyer points for my flights?
Can you help me work out what else I might do after the tour?
Of course you can use your frequent flyer points. The tour price is the land package and many inclusions. Because our guests join us from as far away as Canada, we don’t include the airfare which gives you great flexibility as to where to fly out from and how you arrange that. Karen Caba from ECM Travel Management can help you work that out to find your best options, and even assist you with travel plans after the tour if you wish to explore other parts of Europe after the French Art School Tour. The villas are available for you to stay on and rest afterwards as an independent guest if you wish.

How much room will the artwork take up in my luggage?
No more than 3 kilos and about A3 size or slightly larger.
I supply thick art papers from my favourite art supply shop in Paris, as well as a range of canvas sizes to choose from so you can choose the artwork size to suit your luggage size!

How much spending money shall I take?
It varies for everyone how they much spend on tour.
You will need to buy a few meals for yourself in Paris. We usually go to a brasserie or café which can be about 30 euros for a meal including a wine or two. That’s about $45 Aussie dollars. If you allowed $100 Aussie a day in Paris that ought to be tons because almost all your meals are provided when we are in the Limousin part of the tour which is 9 nights so you are unlikely to spend any money for many of the days we are there.

Perhaps allow $300 Aussie for your nine days in the Limousin though I have to say the linen clothing at the markets is fabulous. About $90 for a gorgeous dress. And well made. Most entries are included to places we visit and lunches in the Limousin are delicious picnics when we are out, packed by our chef or delicious meals served in the garden or in the villa.
Some of the ladies enjoyed buying clothes in Paris on the last tour, and they definitely all went crazy at the markets because there were great bargains. Others relished taking home artwork they had created themselves and that cost them nothing as everything was provided! My weakness is art materials at the art supply shops and perfume.

How will I get from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to the Hotel in Paris?
It’s easy to get a taxi into Paris. It will cost about 60 euros. The taxis charge a set fee from the airport to the city. Ask at the start of the journey if you are unsure. You can take money from the ATM with a credit card near the taxi exit at the airport or change some money before you leave home. The trip takes about 40-50 minutes.
If we know someone else is travelling from your area we will try and tee you up so you can travel in together to Paris from the airport and share a cab.

Do I need to speak to French?
Not at all. It’s enough to have the address written down and be able to show your taxi driver. Once at the hotel I will take care of communications and you can relax for the holiday.  

The staff at the hotel know your name before you get there. As part of our group they are waiting to help you. I have never met a more attentive bunch! They speak good English and will assist you any way they can including giving you a map of the area in case you want to explore before the group get together. Arrive a day before if you like and explore the Louvre, and go shopping at Galleries Lafayette.

How do we get around?
We have private drivers which is perfect because we travel in comfort and without waiting around. We make the most of our time.
Where can I see the itinerary and price? 
Not Simply scroll down for the complete day to day tour itinerary and the tour price as its on a previous blog, all laid out for you.
You will need tot act quickly. The tour starts in four weeks.

 Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Life only happens when you say yes and put your hand up for it!

Total for land package FRENCH ART SCHOOL with Jacqueline Coates tuition & host
Paris , Giverny , Loire Valley and theCreuse, Limousin
$6390 for the French Art School Section only 

Bookings to
French Art School 

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