Join your host Belinda and Sam Collyer-Moss in France! This will be an escapade that is full of spontoneity and good humour with Sam who is not only a working artist but a highly experienced art tutor. This is for girls who want to have fun!
You will be staying in one of our beautfully appointed luxurious villas all with ensuites and plenty of space. You dont have to share your room unless you wish to do so!
10 nights with individualised art tuition and outings included while staying in a beautifully appointed luxurious villa.
In the 1st May and out on the 11th May 2019.
€3900 per person in your own double room with ensuite. With sumptuous breakfasts , lunches and dinners with accompanying wines and champagnes as well as pre dinner drinks as set out in the detailed itinerary.
Because we are such a small group you are able to have individualised art tuition however of course if you don't wish to participate in the art programme you can join Belinda on a daily adventure or simply do your own thing.
Remember we aim to ensure that you do what you want to do not what you feel you have to do!
You will be free to participate in as much or as little as you wish while enjoying fine cuisine and wines in culturally historically rich regional France. France is so much more than Paris!
1-11 May 2019
Resident artist: Sam Collyer
ART PROGRAM UZES 1-11TH MAY
Artist –Sam Collyer
During each day Sam will work on different aspects of art involving techniques with mixed media, ceramics and drawing using materials and inspiration that reflect the landscape.
Explore pattern, line and form through looking at the details within the landscapes and villages we visit. You will find inspiration for the natural and man-made beauty that surrounds you creating small ceramic mementos and postcard collaged landscapes. These will represent your own experiences of what will be an unforgettable time.
Depending upon what is discussed with Sam on our first day, you may also decide to use pencil, ink, watercolour, pastel on various papers and explore the medium of clay.
Drawing + Mixed Media Collages + Small Ceramic Memento’s
Program of art activities:
- Experimentation with drawing materials including graphite, ink and watercolours.
- Exploration of mixed media with various papers, text, found materials and thread to create a series of personalised postcards.
- Develop your skills in ceramics to create small clay mementos, focusing on techniques that will help improve your observational skills looking at form, pattern, line and texture.
- Sketching outdoors and photographing the landscape.
Awaken and ignite your creativity in the richness of France’s Cultural History. Come on an exciting journey through Uzes that will inspire you to explore place and practice. A daily practice of observation and interaction that will fill your travel journal with some amazing memories and expressive mementos.
Discuss various art mediums which we will explore over the next 10 days whilst exploring the villages and landscapes of Uzes and surrounds.
Grab your cameras and sketchbooks to learn framing devices to capture unique photos and sketches of vistas in pencil and ink. Exploring line, texture and pattern.
Exercises in observational drawing exploring different techniques and getting in touch with your creative muse.
On our wandering through Uzès and surrounds we will photograph patterns and draw from the landscape gathering found materials for sketching and using later in our mixed media collages.
Develop your sketches using shading techniques and create small frottage’s from found objects, learning how to weave them into your work. Experiment with watercolours over pen and ink adding depth and contrast into your sketches.
Capture details of architectural forms of various buildings these we can develop into small clay mementos.
An afternoon working on art after the morning adventures and inspiration as set out in the itinerary.
Today we will explore the genre of still life while visiting the markets.
Collect some objects that stimulate and inspire a series for drawing. We will use these to creating some drawings and look at them from a sculptural perspective.
Experiments with composition and collage techniques adding personalised papers from the village news.
Continue with your personalised practice. Learn techniques in mixed media to add depth and texture to some of your drawings adding glaze mediums, gold and coloured thread.
Explore at the surrounds at your leisure and develop the eye of the artist within. Trust your instinct and let yourself go.
Photograph, sketch and collect natural grasses and small floral cuttings from the beautiful gardens and surrounds of Nîmes. These we will use in pressings and prints.
Observe and create some quick line drawings of the Baroque and Roman influences in the architectural buildings of Nîmes.
We will discuss how to incorporate these sketches and gatherings into a small ceramic tile. Keep an eye out for the mosaic floor in the Musèe des Beaux-Arts.
Visit some local potters and absorb the world of ceramics. And discuss the various process involved.
Learn some ceramic technique including slab rolling and pinch pots. Develop skills in carving, incising and pressing objects into the clay surface creating patterns and textural qualities that remind you of your journey through the south of France.
You will use your drawings from past days adventures as the inspiration for a small clay carved tile or still life sculptural form.
Explore the medium of clay and continue working on your ceramic forms. Resolve any drawings and collages from our artmaking experiences.
Discuss framing devices and ways to develop your practise at home. Group discussion and evaluation of things that we have learnt.
The itinerary could change slightly, adapting to the group's needs when necessary or perhaps responding to a particular desire expressed by an individual in the group at the time of booking.
We will also have the option of attending recitals, concerts and operas depending upon what is on offer. At times some events are not advertised and we become aware of them the week or two before the retreat commences so we will discuss this with you on the first day and provide options.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided each day as set out in the itinerary. You will have in your room regional and seasonal cheeses, fruit, crackers, red and white wine, still and sparkling waters. Luxury toiletries such as shampoos and conditioners, soaps and body lotions are provided also.
Arrival will take place over the course of the day so check in any time between 10 am and noon to settle into your luxurious double room with ensuite and unpack and relax. It is also a time to get to know one another.
It's also a chance to take a stroll around the area which is very beautiful.
Lunch will be casual dining outside.
After lunch there will be a more detailed outline of the art programme by Belinda and Sam and the ancillary programme for the rest of your stay.
You will participate in a fun parlour game designed by the Surrealists called exquisite corpse and even those who do not intend to participate in the art programme will be greatly amused. It is very playful and helps to nourish your heart and sense of fun.
In the evening you will enjoy a cocktail by the pool enjoying the tranquil setting of the magnificent gardens, so enjoyed by many in past years.
In the morning a quick introduction to materials and questions of mediums for you by Sam before donning sturdy walking shoes to take a walk, cameras and sketchbooks in hand. Where we will go will be discussed the day before. But rest assured it will be amazing countryside with a stop for either coffee in a local café or by a stream picnic style.
Luncheon at the Villa. Afternoon session will be sketching taking photographs and reviewing those taken earlier so that you can make a start on the visual diary in the comfort of the Villa.
ALTERNATIVE AFTERNOON OPTION : participation in preparation and cooking of some French dishes for dinner that night or simply relaxing in one of the many nooks either inside or outside the villa with a glass.
Dinner together with pre dinner drinks (of course!).
We will spend the morning visiting a village close to home and take lunch by a river. The afternoon is back at the Villa working on art.
While at the village there will be the option to wander off alone, walk with Belinda or go off with Sam to discuss art in general and your particular works.
After lunch we will return to the Villa for “une petite sieste” . Later in the afternoon the artists amongst us will meet with Sam to work into the evening until pre dinner drinks.
Those not wanting to pursue the art programme will go down to one of the beautiful traditional villages close by to explore or simply sit and take in the ambience. We can watch and perhaps participate in a game of petanque with the locals while sipping on a pastis. Fashionable in all of the South of France and for me pastis is always reminiscent of Marseilles, it is earthy yet enticing.
Although pastis is mainly a summer beverage it is perfect any afternoon as an apéritif - strong anise, or licorice flavor which is diluted with cool spring water to create a visually pleasing milky, refreshing drink.
The créme de la créme of elegant French aperitif for others however is Kir. Served in a champagne flute this is white wine (kir) or champagne (kir royale) with a splash of créme de cassis. The soft pink is pleasing to the eye
Dinner at the villa is another casual affair where we come together to share the pleasures of the day.
Early morning trip to a fresh produce market with the plan to purchase at least one item for setting up a still life in the afternoon. This will be part of the visual journal of course. You are free to wander and take in the atmosphere of the food market filled with the good humored farmers from surrounding villages.
At the conclusion Sam will decide whether to set up the still life while out and about in some quiet corner or head home to the villa to set up a still life If the former then we will have a picnic out otherwise we will lunch at the Villa.
A light meal will be served in the Villa before retiring.
Full day at the Villa today spent working on still life set ups and interiors and for those who are not participating in the art programme we will either walk through some Roman ruins close by or go swimming in a local river. Or if you are really keen, then do both.
In the evening we will have a local expert advising on the cheeses of France over pre dinner drinks or after dinner.
Dinner at the villa.
A day of rest. We will discuss with each of you some options depending upon your wishes.
After taking breakfast together we will each do our own thing. For those staying in, a simple lunch of soup, bread, cheese and fruits will be available. Otherwise you are on your own today.
Dinner arranged by you but of course with our recommendations.
Today we go to Nîmes
We will spend the entire day visiting the city of Nîmes. You can wander as you wish or tag along with Belinda and/or Sam at various times. The Jardins de la Fontaine is an amazing example of a formal 18th century garden adorned with ornamental statues and graceful swans. In one corner is the Temple of Diana - a Roman ruin (which really has no basis for being called the Temple of Diana!) however it is interesting and Roman nonetheless.
Built around the Quais de la Fontaine which has its source in the Cévennes hills the gardens are very interesting. The fountain arises from underground for a few short kilometres before disappearing again. One can spend all day just in the garden as there are walking tracks that wind into the hill behind to Tour Magne where the effort to climb is rewarded by a panoramic view of Nîmes.
You can wander from the gardens and follow the river into the city and then when it disappears again head down to the old part of Nîmes. Be careful Napoleon’s tea house is to be found in this area and it can be a trap. To sit outside watching the passing parade or inside in the ornate baroque style lovingly restored is a time thief.
The Maison Carrée one of the best preserved temples to be found anywhere in the territory of the former Roman Empire and is a short walk from the gardens. Nîmes is a very pedestrian friendly city.
There are several very good places to eat for lunch and if you are so inclined Belinda will advise you and make the necessary reservations or you can simply take a risk and choose something that is appealing to you. The cafes surrounding the Maison Carrée are great places to sit and take in the grandeur of this Roman Temple.
The amphitheater of Nîmes is one of the best preserved in all of Europe. It is situated in a lovely place with winding streets and great cafes abound. The Romans were in Nîmes from before 28BC and it’s amazing to consider that it was on the main road between Spain and Italy in Roman times.
The Musèe des Beaux-Arts - houses a good collection of paintings from Renaissance to post Impressionism. It is a small collection and often contains amazing pieces on loan from the Louvre. It is housed in a beautiful building and the mosaic on the ground floor is in my opinion one of the most beautiful I have seen. It rivals those found in Tunisia. You will have of course Sam with us to discuss certain aspects of certain paintings.
After an exhausting day we will have a light dinner together in the Villa.
A slow start today after the Big Day Out. Individual assistance with your art from Sam if you wish or working alone.
Late morning to several villages proximate to the Villa with a few surprise stops en route or for those who wish to remain at home and continue with your art tuition. As this area is known for its pottery we will venture out in search of some amazing working studios.
Dinner is again up to you tonight. Belinda will recommend a number of good places depending upon your palate in Uzès. Alternatively a light repas of soup and pasta at home!
At the Villa completing art works and enjoying a lunch together possibly a picnic in the countryside or amongst some grapes.
The afternoon will be a visit to 3 or 4 wineries where you can sample the local produce. We arrange for experts to be on hand to describe and advise.
Pre dinner drinks followed by a formal frock up Dinner with some local musicians to serenade us.
Final Day. Closing session with Sam and finishing touches or ideas on how to develop and build upon your art once you leave us.
After an early breakfast you will have all day to do as you wish or join us on a trip to either Pont de Gard or Avignon you will have time to advise us of your wishes closer to this day.
Dinner is at the Villa but you will have to arrange your own lunch…
Departure today you will have until noon to finalise your departure and exchanging contact details - and hopefully making arrangements for your next Art Escapade!
You will be staying in beautifully restored stone Mas in a tiny village a few kilometres North of Uzès in the South of France. Surrounded by the beautiful French countryside and in proximity to the famous villages of La Roque-sur-Cèze and Lussan.
Each bedroom is a double with ensuite.
Quality linen and toiletries are provided for your comfort. We try to source locally and organically as we are keen to reduce our carbon footprint.
There are several areas for dining and also for sitting quietly or if you prefer for conversing.
Your room is stocked with fresh still and sparkling water and chocolates,French treats all of which are refreshed daily.
A choice of teas and coffee are available throughout the day.
The Villa is tastefully decorated in keeping with the understated nature of rural France yet without compromising your comfort.
As in keeping with our desire to make your stay as special as possible we are happy to accommodate your requests as much as possible.