Chateaux Painting Holidays  NEWSLETTER 2012 ► Dates 2013

Bonjour à tous,  chers amis peintres 🙂2012 was another sunny year with soft fragrances and gentle colours.

The two weeks at Beduer were sunny but not too hot …. except for one only morning of light rain, where I got to demonstrate acrylics & grey mid-tones…lol 😉 Every year I try to present a new subject so as not to be repetitious. This year in watercolour it was brush & colour; in opaque mediums, it was colourist vs tonalist lay-ins. This follows on from the often expressed desire ‘to be able to paint looser & freer.’  You might have heard me express my agreement with Ruskin that ‘slow diligence’ is the beginner’s best friend.

Thing is … that painting is a practice, not so much a theory. It’s something you do, maybe the understanding comes slowly afterwards…I hope you know that feeling the morning after a day of painting … that goes  that pulls you look at what you painted the day before. It’s something like curiousity. Did I do that? Then the evaluation…that’s not so bad after all, phew!! Maybe a little bit of satisfaction…If not, well, ahhemm… try again.

The main news of 2012 must surely Eric, our new chef. Eric has run his own restaurant, chefed for the poshest golf in the Dordogne as well as worked in Paris & Chelsea, London. He knows the palette of the South West to perfection. Just fabulous to work with such a professional, such a good humoured & talented chef. We sure ate well! He laugh & joked, cooked up delicious meals & just dealt with everything like the real pro that he is. He understands hospitality. By the end of the week, there was a a tear or two, when happy-holiday-makers had to finally leave his wonderful, good humoured table.

A variant of ratouille created by Eric; Rosé d’Aquitaine

An example of a menu maybe:

Appertif – Monbazillac

Fois Gras mi-cuit avec son compote d’èchalotes

Magret de Canard grillé avec son sauce au poivre

Pommes de terre Sarladaise et Salade Verte

Deux verres de Bergerac A.O.C.

Fromage -Chèvre Cabécou et Morbier

Verrine des Fraise Frais

Café ou Tisaine

‘I had a great time and learnt loads, which is pretty amazing since I was eating and drinking so much and socialising. It was just such a great holiday.’ – Karen, Australia, 2012

Here are the dates 2013 for Beduer :

At the Chateau de Beduer, Near Figeac, Lot, South-West France.
Weds 5 June – Weds 12 June 2013
Fri 21 – Fri 28 June 2013
Fri 13 August – Fri 20 September 3013
Two weeks in June & one week in September every year at Le Château de Béduer.

Please note that those wishing to come for two weeks back to back might wish to think about doing the first week at our new venue, Saint Avit Séniuer

Bookings for Beduer

We are now open for bookings. Please ask for a booking form. Bookings are already coming in so don’t leave it too late.


PRICES FOR BEDUER 2013 : 950 euros per painter – 50 euros prix de fidelité = 900 euros, making us one of the cheapest painting holidays in france, especially as we are 8 days, 7 nights. .

GROUP BOOKINGS :  why not bring all your art group?!  For four or more painters, a 50 euro reduction per painter. For a group of six, seventh painter at half price


WOW!! This is our new venue :

The Presbytère de St. Avit Séniuer, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dordogne, South West France.

Tuesday 28 May – Tuesday 4 June 2013

It is a World-Heritage UNESCO listed site, a fortified abbey dating from the eleventh century.

Truly amazing feeling to the place.
A major stop on the pilgrim’s way St.Jacques de Compostella. Medieval frescoes.
We have the exclusive use of the seventeenth century presbytery  as our studio, inside the beautiful abbey grounds.

Set in a charming, picturesque,yellow sandstone, sleepy, authentic Périgordien village.
Vegetable gardens, terraced gardens made by the monks.
Two minutes amble to deep unspoilt & very paintable countryside.
Lots to paint!
Pretty views, woods, cliffs, working farms with old stone buildings.
Great painting opportunity. The best of the Dordogne, really.
Accommodation in BRITAVIT , a comfortable, charming chambre d’hotes with discreet & attentive hosts.

Very easy to get to – up to nine flights a week to Bergerac airport from the UK, Amsterdam, Paris. Pick-up & drop-off to airport (30 minutes) included in the price. 1.5 hours by train from Bordeaux.

Here is the link to the web-pages which will give all the info you need.
Painting Holidays at Saint Avit Sénieur

Dates for the Presbytère de St. Avit Séniuer, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dordogne, South West France.
Tuesday 28 May – Tuesday 4 June 2013

Bookings for Saint Avit


PRICES FOR SAINT AVIT : This holiday is organised slightly differently than Beduer, in that we don’t offer an all-inclusive price. You pay the chambres d’hotes directly for the b&b and for four evening meals. For the other meals you pay directly the restaurants. This works out cheaper for you. The total price is somewhere around 850 euros, which is the cheapest on the market.


   Find me on facebook

This is where I now post sketches, watercolours & paintings as well as the odd arty thought or laugh… come & hang out with ex-painting holiday students 🙂


Hope to see you again 🙂
Wishing you all well

Lots of good discoveries & happiness with your painting 🙂

BA hons – fine art (Newcastle University); Further Education & Adults Teaching Cert (Avon); Foundation Diploma Art Therapy (Bath City College).

Business License – Siret 41962662700030. Estabilshed 1997.

‘Les Peyrats’
St Dizier
47330 Cavarc
TEL : +(00 33) 5 53  01 22 91

Great two weeks of painting holidays at Chateau de Beduer, sw France

great venue

“Many, many thanks to you and to Sue and Marie-Line for setting up and running such an enjoyable holiday. We both had a great time. Both groups were fun if not a little different. With your help and enthusiasm I felt the painting was a great success and I am sure that we made some progress. Beduer really is a magical place.” Chris, UK. June 2009.

great painting

great learning


“I had such a good time on your course , I wasn’t sure how I would feel about doing art again, since I had decided to abandon it for the most part. Still, I had not anticipated the power of persuasion that the location, good people(the back-up team), but most of all your very intuitive methods of tuition had on me. I do really appreciate too all the tremendous hard work and enthusiasm you and the mighty Sue(what a mum!),must have put into this project to make it run so smoothly.” Nerina, Ireland. June 2009

great enquiring & listening


finally Sue our faithful assistant (hospitality, help with food & wine & informal teaching) accepted to be photographed!

“Thank you both so much, Adam & Suzanne, for a wonderful week. Your energy & commitment to ensuring we all had a superb time was tremendous. I have joined a little art group here & was asked what I learnet from France – & I think it was to look & to see – thank you Adam for that & also for the experience of seeing the prehistoric cave of Pech Merle. How wonderful. ” Joan, Australia. June 2009.

great food & wine

great fun & great people !

“We had a truly five star holiday; thank you all for making it so. I loved both weeks worth of other guests and they were so different.” Joy, UK. June 2009

more to come in part two

Happy to report that bookings are already good for next year 🙂

Painting Holiday Student Testimonial

An ex-student has recently written a testimonial about her experience on one of the Chateau Painting Holidays France which I run twice a year. You can read it here on her blog :


some photos of painting holiday students:

Steven Brookfield : ” The most important knowledge teachers need to do good work is a knowledge of how students are experiencing learning and perceiving their teacher’s actions.”

George Saville : “The vanity of teaching often tempteth a man to forget he is a blockhead.”

Back from teaching two workshops. Ah me, blogging again? When I get out of bed… maybe…. & clear the decks in the office, family & garden. La Reprise.

‘Exhausted Tutor Syndrome’
A5 sketchbook
© the artist

Hope this post doesn’t sound too spammy self-promotional nor too much like me banging away.

Here are a few of the images I made whilst teaching. They are demonstration pieces, intended to help the learning of students.

‘The Two Bridges at Limeuil’ Demonstration piece – two hours
28 x 38 cm
© adam cope

Painters & Draughts-Persons

It’s also good fun to paint people painting & drawing. All levels of painters should try it, IMO. Here’s a watercolour that a student did in the studio during one of the Painting Holidays in France that I’ve lead over the years.

‘Students Painting’
Chris Sharland
© the artist
Personally, I would like my ‘painters & draughts-persons’ (the name I give to the paintings of this genre) to communicate something of the fun & ‘bonne ambiance’ of a successful painting trip.

‘Painters in the Park’
Demonstration Piece – one hour 15 mins
28 x 38cm (15 x 11 inches).
© The Artist.
DETAIL : ‘Painters in the Park’
Demonstration Piece – one hour 15 mins
28 x 38cm (15 x 11 inches).
© The Artist.

I was quite pleased with the above two figures. The watercolour is fresh & ‘just-so’, if I may say so, somewhat immodestly.

Lots of quick scribbles too. Of people moving about, painting & drawing. ‘Moving targets’. These sketches were done in less than five minutes each ‘take’.

‘Picnic People’
A5 Sketchbook
© The Artist.

A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.

‘The Chairman’
A5 sketchbook
© the artist

A5 sketchbook

©the artist

The above are demonstration pieces. Should one exhibit them? Learning is the desired product & not a finished painting.

The Educative Value of Demonstrations

I believe in the value of demos. True that they are only one teaching technique amongst many others. Sometimes the learning environment can get too wordy, so watching someone paint, seeing a painting unfold before your eyes can open up the non-verbal & encourage the natural.

WORK IN PROGRESS – unfinished state – two hours demonstration piece
‘A. & I. Painting’
Full Sheet Watercolour
56 x 76 cm (30″ x 22″)
© adam cope

Now please don’t get me wrong, I do know that the real goal is student-centered learning & not tutor showing-off. However, by seeing an experienced painter in action, who is also teaching & explaining – ‘sur la vif’ & in front of the subject – is something you won’t find neither on internet nor in a book. I myself have learnt so much this way ( & would be game to do so again).

Demos also quickly sort the chaff from the grain; if a teacher doesn’t have the years of painting experience integrated into his or her hands, his or her gestures, well then …. you should ask yourself just who do you have as tutor?

Here is some of what I have to say about the good uses of demonstration as a teaching/learning technique. I quote from my website What Makes a Good Painting Workshop Tutor? (hoping that this won’t trip a google duplicate content filter…nor sound too self-important nor spammy)

“A true teacher does not explain – he invites you to stand beside him and see for yourself.” Raymond Inmon

A good painting workshop tutor should also have a whiff of turpentine about him. Painting is first & foremost an activity & not a theory. It will help you if the art teacher is a practicing artist. On a practical level, you’re far more likely to have an exciting & educative learning experience from an experienced painter/teacher. The demonstrations will be more natural & the guidance more relevant because he/she has been there too. It takes many years for a teacher to become good at the art of demonstrations.

“A picture is worth a thousand words and watching a picture being painted is worth even more….The best teachers I’ve had show you rather than tell you how to do something. Talking the talk is far less important than walking the walk.” – Charles Sovek

NOTAN – Annabel Drawing

Felt tip & pencil. A5
© The Artist.
This is a notan drawing of Annabel drawing on last week’s workshop. It was done on day two, and I liked the way she was bending over her drawing , really concentrating. I like it when painters meet up & make ‘un entourage’, a crowd of painters if you like. Good to be group. The drawing was good.