Plein Air Painting with Michelle Boyle

17th - 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.
  • Ease in to the residency with a 1-2-1 session with Michelle on your individual art experience and needs.
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner, get to know your fellow guests and discuss the exciting days ahead.

Day 2: Art amongst the Vines

  • Breakfast will be served at 8.30 am…
  • …followed by an introduction to materials, techniques and approaches to drawing and painting amongst the vines. 
  • From 9.30am to 12.30pm explore your art amongst the beautiful vineyards surrounding Maggy’s. 
  • 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 3: 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.
  • The conversation on diverse artists, past and present who worked in the landscape will continue and close the day.
  • Dinner will be served from 8 pm.

Day 4: Sharing your Art and Farewell

  • Begin your final day with a reflection together and a walk amongst the vines.
  • You will have a 1-2-1 session with Michelle to review and discuss how to develop your own art practice into the future.
  • A leisurely brunch will be served from 10.30 am.
  • This will be followed by a final sharing of your art and a closing session.
  • 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

Early Bird - 10% Off

The standard all-inclusive cost of this Art Residency is €966 per person sharing. Until the 29th of February however, we are delighted to 'share the love' and offer an Early Bird rate of €869. If you wish to avail of a private room, the standard cost is €1,380 per person with an Early Bird special of €1,242 per person.
The fee covers all accommodation, tuition, food and wine. Complimentary transport between Bordeaux airport/Angoulême train station and Maggy's home is provided at pre-agreed times on both the 17th and the 20th of May.

Travel Arrangements

If travelling from Ireland, we recommend travelling Aer Lingus Dublin to Bordeaux at 11.55 am on the 17th May and Bordeaux to Dublin at 3.40 pm 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.
Please do not book your flight before we confirm the residency is going ahead.
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 18th March 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.

Book by the 29th of February and enjoy a 10% discount.

Like a Gathering of Old Friends

Olive and Charlie were so kind, generous and hospitable and really couldn’t do enough for the group and to make our stay as comfortable as possible. There was a lovely balance between our sessions and local trips. It became like a gathering of old friends after the first night at dinner...I’ll certainly be back!

Miriam Glynn

A Place I Want to Return To

Wonderful hosts, great house and ambiance, kindness amongst friends, beautiful countryside surrounded by amazing grapevines and sunflowers, birdsong and farm life. Living in the moment with mindfulness makes it a place I want to return to.

Susan Barr

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