Hosted at The Painted House, Cognac

Come away to a place of peace and tranquility, where you will explore your painting skills in a relaxed supportive environment.  Situated in a beautiful and historic French town on the banks of the Charente river surrounded by rolling vineyards, this is an invitation to relax into your art.  Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced painter, this retreat offers you the space and time to enjoy a very special experience…

About the Programme

The retreat will focus on ‘plein air’ drawing and painting in the beautiful landscapes of Cognac.  Painting locations include the rolling vineyards of Chateauneuf, the winding Charente river and the scenic and serene villages of St Simon, St Simeaux and Bassac.  These locations have been chosen for their unique beauty and the different painting possibilities they offer.   

Through one-to-one attention and shared knowledge, participants will explore and develop their observational painting skills in a relaxed supportive environment.  The programme is suitable for the beginner and the more experienced painter.

The programme also includes visits to some very special local cultural attractions including Aubeterre sur Dronne – home of the largest underground church in Europe, Chateau de Villebois Lavalette and a wine tasting trip to the local vineyard Le Maine Giraud. 

Art opens the heart, travel opens the mind…

The all-inclusive cost of this Painting Retreat is €699 per person sharing. If you wish to reserve your own room, you may do so at an additional cost of EUR10 per night. Non-painting partners are also welcome.  Please contact us for further details.

The cost covers all tuition, accommodation, food & wine, guided outings and airport transfers associated with recommended flight times.  Please see brochure for full details.

Flight costs are not included.

About the Tutor

Michelle Boyle is a professional full time painter working from her studio base in Ireland.  She travels and exhibits internationally and recently received the 2019 Watercolour Society of Ireland President’s Award. Michelle is an experienced art tutor particularly in plein air painting and works with many cultural institutions including The National Gallery of Ireland.  Her work is in international collections including the UN Paris, the Next Generation Self Portrait Collection London, Price Waterhouse, The Irish State, Microsoft International, The Drawing Institute Italy, the Irish Banking Federation, Tartu Print And Paper Museum Estonia.

Further information about Michelle can be found at

About your Hosts

Olive & Charlie are your hosts for the retreat and will look after you from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave – refreshed, relaxed and ready to go…their passion is creating well-being programmes in beautiful settings which offer the space for a very special experience. Quality instruction is complemented by an authentic French experience, from the local food and wine you will enjoy, to the visits to some very special local attractions.

About The Painted House

Built in the nineteenth century, this large townhouse became the residence of renowned local artist Paul Rousseau at the turn of the 20th century.  Rousseau used the house as a gallery to display his talents as both an artist and interior designer. His décor dates from ca 1909 and has been curated and carefully protected down through the decades.  The current owners continue to bring to life each painted room with care and sensitivity to the unique style they each convey. 

The Painted House is situated just 2 minutes from the heart of Chateauneuf sur Charente – a quiet rambling French town on the banks of the Charente river, with a special charm of its own.

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