Guest review: Pamela gains new creative perspectives on her painting holiday in France

A lifelong lover of art & advanced painter, as well as painting instructor, Pamela is no stranger to the creative world. However, even teachers sometimes need a change of scenery to regain new perspectives and refreshed approaches.

Pamela found this painting and drawing holiday in France while looking for an alternative to joining her husband on his motorcycling holiday, preferring a much more personally inspiring holiday.

This painting and art holiday had everything she was looking for – a range of art supplies supplied (leaving extra luggage space), the chance to work and experiment with different mediums – it seemed just the thing. So with everything included, there was no need to focus on anything but her art. Something that doesn’t quite happen so easily while at home!

Who did you go on the painting holiday with?

I went alone, however, there were 3 of us together on the holiday; a woman from Barcelona, and another from London.

All 3 of us just happened to be experienced painters but it worked well as we all actually came to really focus on our painting throughout the week.

How was the setting for your creative holiday?

The setting is an escape within itself in a very quiet, rural, farming community.

There are 2 gites on the property, and the summers do get hot, but there are 2 pools there as well for you to take advantage of.

After an amazing meal eaten alfresco, you had the opportunity to just take in the evening with a good book, converse, or finish up a piece you may be working on. Prue also has bicycles you can borrow at any time, and if you would like a day off of painting to just enjoy the countryside, you are free to do so.

What was the holiday itinerary like?

The holiday was very relaxed and it was really an inspiring place for me to get into the groove of painting again. Everything was very leisurely and in no way rushed, and there was no pressure to race through your work or to be somewhere else throughout the day.

Each day we would head out at about 10am and go to a different area to paint en plein air. Not only was it nice to have new focal points to paint, but it was great to do it outside, something I never do at home. It was also great to seek out what I wanted to paint each day in a new spot; to find my own view so to speak.

Another advantage of the holiday was that we didn’t need to bring a thing with us. The supplies went above and beyond, and there was a variety of mediums for us to choose what to work with.

What did you think of your hosts and tutors?

painters talking outside in countrysideI am sure it was a challenge for the painting instructor Mark, as we had all been painting for years, but it was great for me to have a fresh set of eyes see my work and offer different perspectives. Mark was there for us every step of the way; from our airport pick ups to returns and always there to give us encouragement to try a new medium, even if it wasn’t our preferred one. It was nice to take advantage of different materials as they were all supplied and waiting to be used.

In Prue’s absence (Prue is normally the host, but even hosts need a holiday), there was a lovely couple from Belgium who kept the place in tip top shape and provided exquisite meals. If you’re a fan of food, this holiday does not disappoint. Making the use of the gorgeous outdoors around the gites, we had a BBQ one evening, and French classics on the others, including fish pie and local duck confit, not to mention all the wine on offer.

How did the holiday improve your painting skills?

As a life long painter, I am somewhat set in my ways, as well as my preferred medium, but this holiday was perfect for getting me back into it.

Having Mark there was an asset and it was refreshing to have someone else look at my work. The settings and landscapes are a great inspiration for any budding painter and it is nice to get a new perspective. Not to mention lovely to focus on your art at a slow relaxed pace.

I do feel that, overall, I have loosened up a bit and have reignited my passion for art.

You can read more about Pamela’s painting holiday in France here.

Or feel free to browse our full range of painting holidays here.