Plein Air Painting with Michelle Boyle

16th - 20th May 2024

An Unparalleled Art Residency

Welcome to the great outdoors for a watercolour painting residency immersed in the beautiful landscape of Grand Champagne de Cognac.
Drawing and painting outdoors opens us to the sensory experience of being alive and present in nature. Sitting out in the elements encourages freedom and experimentation in one’s artistic process leading to new learnings.
The inspiring locations will include the beautiful Saint-Simeux riverside, Chateauneuf sur Charente local village and the surrounding landscape in bloom. Individual approaches to landscape will be encouraged and explored through the work of painters such as Cezanne, O'Keefe and Hockney.

About the Residency

During this residency, participants will develop their observational and painting skills and explore their unique artistic voice under the guidance of professional artist Michelle Boyle. The time together will be both a learning and enjoyable experience through hands on practice, demonstrations and shared knowledge which participants will carry into the future.

Beginners and more advanced artists are welcome. As numbers are small, individual attention is assured.

Paintings © Michelle Boyle

About the Artist

Michelle Boyle is an award winning watercolour painter with a studio base in rural Ireland and developing base in India. She delivers painting workshops in Ireland and abroad most recently with the National Gallery of Ireland for the 2024 Turner exhibition. Michelle works out in the landscape on collaborative projects at the intersection of art and environment. Her paintings are held in many public collections and have received notable shortlistings and awards.

About your Hosts

Olive, Charlie and Maggy will be your hosts for the week, ensuring an unforgettable experience from start to finish. You will be hosted in Maggy's home and absorb a magical mélange of authentic French and Irish hospitality. Chef Maggy will serve up the finest of French cuisine using local products and complemented by wonderful local wines and spirits. To feed your creativity, there will be walks through the vines, along the local rivers, trips to local sights but also ample time for rest and relaxation.

About the Venue

The warm and welcoming home of chef Maggy Paul-Martinet will capture your heart and fuel your creativity. Nestled amongst the vineyards of the Grande Champagne Cognac region, Maggy's 18th-century property is a former Cognac distillery. Its beautifully renovated rooms offer comfort and tranquillity, while the grounds include gardens and a large swimming pool. Surrounding the the property is a vast expanse of rolling vines and just 10 minutes away the beautiful and busy little town of Châteauneuf-sur-Charente.


Day 1: Arrival and Introductions

  • Arrival at Bordeaux airport or Angouleme train station* where you’ll be welcomed by your hosts Olive & Charlie 
  • Complimentary transfer to Maggy’s home which will be your home for the coming days.
  • Settle into your comfortable accommodation.

Day 2: Easing into your Residency

  • Breakfast will be served at 8.30 am…
  • …followed by an introduction to materials, techniques and approaches to drawing and painting amongst the vines. 
  • Ease in to the residency with a 1-2-1 session with Michelle on your individual art experience and needs.
  • A leisurely lunch will be served from 12.30 – 1.30 pm.
  • In the afternoon, relax into your surroundings in and around Maggy’s home, absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of this beautiful corner of paradise.
  • In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow guests and discuss the exciting days ahead.

Day 3: Art amongst the Vines

  • Breakfast will be served at 8.30 am…
  • …followed by a morning exploring your art amongst the surrounding vineyards. 
  • A leisurely lunch will be served from 12.30 – 1.30 pm.
  • In the afternoon, ease back into your practice, absorbing and reflecting the beauty all around.
  • The afternoon closes with a presentation & lively conversation on artists, past and present who worked in the landscape.
  • Dinner will be served at 7.30 pm

Day 4: Painting by Water

  • Breakfast will be served at 8.30 am.
  • The discussion on materials, techniques and approaches to drawing and painting riverside will open the day.
  • And then settle along the banks of the beautiful Charente river for more plein air painting.
  • Enjoy a delicious French pique-nique served by the water from 12.30 – 1.30 pm
  • And an afternoon of painting inspired by the changed and changing landscapes.
  • You will have a 1-2-1 session with Michelle to review and discuss how to develop your own art practice into the future.
  • The closing dinner will be served from 8 pm.

Day 5: A Vineyard Ramble and Final Farewell

  • Begin your last day with a walk amongst the vines and a reflection together.
  • Followed by a beautiful breakfast that will bring the residency to a close.
  • We will depart Maggy’s in good time to return you to Bordeaux airport or Angoulême train station for your journey home.

Note: This itinerary is subject to change but only for the better.  We can’t wait to welcome you to this special experience!

*See ‘Travel Arrangements’ below

Paintings © Michelle Boyle


The all-inclusive cost of this Art Residency is €1,054 per person sharing. If you wish to avail of a private room, the cost is €1,469 per person. This covers all tuition, accommodation, food and wine.
Complimentary transport between Bordeaux airport/Angoulême train station and Maggy's home is provided at pre-agreed times on both the 16th and the 20th of May.

Travel Arrangements

If travelling from Ireland, we recommend travelling RYANAIR Dublin to Bordeaux at 20.35 on the 16th May and AER LINGUS Bordeaux to Dublin at 10.45 on the 20th May for complimentary airport transfers. There is an opportunity to fly from other airports, but it may not include the transfer to Maggy's depending on flight times.
If you are travelling from Paris, we will provide recommended train options between Paris Montparnasse and Angoulême.
In order to ease your travel arrangements, we will provide complementary transport between Bordeaux airport if you are flying, or Angoulême train station if you are travelling by train, and Maggy's home. These complimentary pick ups and drop offs will correspond with our recommended flights and trains.

Booking Your Place

All bookings for Ceangal retreats are subject to availability. In order to secure your booking on our Plein Air Painting Retreat, a 50% non-refundable deposit must be paid. The remaining balance is due by 16th April 2024.
Although all payments for this retreat are strictly non-refundable, if circumstances arise that force you to cancel, Ceangal will attempt to locate a replacement; if successful, a refund will be considered.

Genuinely Warm & Welcoming

This weekend exceeded my expectations. Olive & Charlie are wonderful hosts, immediately creating an environment which is genuinely warm & welcoming. Which in turn makes the group dynamic work effortlessly. I really cannot recommend it highly enough and look forward to my next trip to Olive & Charlie.

Jennifer Callan

Far Above My Expectations

My Painting holiday with Ceangal was far above my expectations: our hosts Olive and Charlie were very generous with their time, local knowledge and transport to beautiful local painting sites and towns. Our introduction to gourmet French cuisine, cooked lovingly by Maggy our very talented chef, was a real treat.

Olivia Hayes

A Wonderful Experience

We enjoyed a wonderful experience thanks to the exceptional care from Charlie and Olive, who looked after all our group’s specific needs and included many of our special requests in the programme. We would also like to mention the wonderful cuisine supplied by Maggie. Truly a memorable week.

George & Elaine Balmer