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with Haidee-Jo Summers


A late summer celebration of the colors and light of southwest france.


AUG 31- SEP 7, 2024

3,325 -4,995€

All Taxes Included

Vibrant Impressions | Haidee-Jo Summers


The glorious end of a French summer brings warmth, golden grass, slanting shadows, and the last blooms of the season. Join internationally acclaimed artist, Haidee-Jo Summers, in a quest for the delightful and hidden corners of Puy Vidal. 


This workshop looks past the grand vistas of the Château - instead inviting you to discover vignettes that charm and delight. Find what you love and paint it. 


Whether its painting plein air in the Château gardens, or painting a historic interior, the focus will be on paying attention, training your eye and mind, and learning how to express what you feel on the canvas. Haidee Jo infuses her teaching with the quiet joy of her painting, and by the end of this week, she will have gently pushed you to find your joy as well.


Encircled by fellow artists and lovers of beauty, this experience is more than just a painting workshop- it is a unique opportunity to let go of life's burdens and slip into another world. Fellowship in art, compassionate, soothing landscapes, the gentle hum of a country household, and the structure and support of a balanced painting itinerary all coax you into the ideal creative state. 

Your home during this week, and the setting of all your painting is the 800-year-old Chateau de Puy Vidal. Dinners à la francaise, wine, music, candlelight and more complete these focused days. Friends are made, new approaches to your work are discovered, and you will come away from this week refreshed and inspired.








"My approach is one of simplicity and economy, striving to make every mark count in my earnest pursuance of capturing the poetry of a fleeting effect of light.”  


Haidee-Jo Summers

Haidee-Jo is a full-time professional artist based in Lincolnshire, England known for painting gardens, landscapes and seascapes 'en plein air'.  


Her work is a celebration of light filled moments revealed in rich and vibrant oil paint using her personal visual language of fresh and direct brushmarks. Painting en plein air is central to her practice but she is equally at home working from a model, still life or interior.


She finds beauty in the ordinary, mundane and intimate rather than the grand vista. Coastal locations, domestic interiors and gardens and allotments provide her with rich and endless subject material.


An internationally acclaimed artist, Haidee-Jo is the Vice President of the Royal Institute of Oil painters (VPROI) and an elected member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA). Her work can be seen each year at the Mall Galleries in London in these prestigious society exhibitions.


As well as a busy painting life, Haidee-Jo is an author of two books on oil painting and an editorial consultant for The Artist magazine, alongside David Curtis ROI RSMA. Her first book, ‘Vibrant Oils’, published by Search Press, has been reprinted in Spanish, Italian, French and Chinese. Her second book 'Plein air painting in Oils' has been printed in English and Russian language editions. She has produced two popular DVDs with APV films which demonstrate her painting process en plein air.


Although oils are very much her preferred medium, in the 1990’s Haidee-Jo produced a large body of work for the Encyclopaedia of Watercolour Techniques and is an avid sketcher. In recent years she has been invited to judge UK and international plein air events, after winning many prizes for her work which features fresh and vibrant brushwork coupled with keen drawing and observational skills.


Haidee-Jo gained a degree in illustration following an art foundation course and graduated in 1994. She has been exhibiting and teaching ever since, in recent years having cut back on teaching commitments to focus on painting and writing. She believes very much in continuing to grow and develop, all the while striving to express her personal voice in paint and to do so more and more succinctly.


MENENA JOY SCWABE AWARD - Royal Institute of Oil Painters Exhibition

BRONZE AWARD - Art in the Open, Ireland's Plein Air Festival

ARCHITECTURE AWARD - Laguna Plein Air Invitational

FIRST PLACE - Oil painters of America Wet Paint Competition International Category

ARTISTS CHOICE AWARD - Paradise Paint Out, Florida



Dear Workshop participant,


After a lifetime of painting, I have learned more and more over time to not take it all so seriously. It is my profession, my love and my life, and yet it will always be my happy place. During workshops, one of my most cherished goals is to share that approach with my students. Painting should be a process of discovery, of falling in love with something- a garden shed, a pot of flowers, a bounce of light, and chasing it- challenging yourself to capture what it says to you. 

My role is to teach the aspiring painter how to see, quite simply. There are no gimmicks or false promises here. In order to represent the world as we see it on canvas, to express something ‘real’ through the medium of paint, our groundwork has to be learning through drawing, values and colour relationships.


I teach about composition and design, how to choose and crop a subject, all the facets one has to deal with when painting plein air or painting from life, how to pare a subject down to its essentials, and what to leave out.


My students say that watching me paint is tremendously helpful and informative, I verbally explain my thoughts and process all the way through a full demo painting. I then encourage workshop participants to select their own subject, and I move amongst the group as they paint offering individual advice at the easel. Sometimes a common issue will come up which will prompt me to give a short demonstration to the group of that particular topic – such as mixing greens or simplifying foliage.


I’m also aware that each artist comes to a long painting workshop like this with their own expectations, needs, and energy levels so it is very important for each aritst to take rest and step away from the canvas when they need to.

I would say my teaching style is relaxed, friendly and encouraging. I care very, very much about each artist who takes a workshop with me. I am intent on progressing their painting journey forwards, while at the same time enjoying the whole experience. The ideal workshop is a nurturing environment which gives everybody the chance to grow their skills but have lots of fun while doing so.


I am so looking forward to this week of falling in love with this corner of France, at a beautiful time of year, with what will certainly be a lovely group artists. The Chateau de Puy Vidal, its family, retreat team, and this week-long retreat we have created together provide something I think is unique even in the painting workshop world. I very much hope if this speaks to you, to consider joining us for what I am sure will be a nurturing, reinvigorating and deeply inspiring experience.

Most sincerely,


Haidee-Jo Summers

A Sample Workshop Day


Breakfast in Chateau Courtyard
9:30am- 12:30pm

 Morning Painting Session in the Chateau Gardens
12:30pm – 1:30pm  

Lunch in Interior Courtyard
2:00pm – 4:30pm

Continue in Chateau Gardens


 Rest & Relaxation 

Aperitif Hour 
7:30pm – 9:00pm 

Dinner in Renaissance Dining Room

 Evenings at the Chateau

Cognac tasting, Bonfire night under the stars, Outdoor cinema








Arrival day

Welcome to the Chateau!


Meet your hosts, settle into your Chambre, take a tour of the gardens and Chateau with your hosts.


Later join Haidee-Jo at a Champagne reception in the Art Studio, marking the official beginning to the workshop week!

Selecting a Subject-

En Plein Air

Painting in the garden looking at selecting a subject and viewpoint, working with a focus on strong design through value shapes – making multiple small painted value studies.

Planning your Values-

En Plein Air

Working in the garden again focusing on small colour studies while still keeping in mind having a clear value plan and design.


French Village Daytrip

We go on a Daytrip to a fairytale like french village. Sketching, shopping, canoeing and lunch on your own in one of the many classic french bistros or cafes along the river make this a perfect day out.

Synthesize it all-

Chateau Interior

Putting all the skills together painting a beautiful chateau interior with a full painting demo in the morning.

Capturing the Essence-

En Plein Air

The morning spent with outdoor still lifes looking at capturing the essence (or as an option finishing other work from the week)


Finishing and Final Review-

Live Model

An exciting figure painting session with a live model, followed by a review of all the work produced during the week

Departure Day

Haidee-Jo and the hosts will be on hand to help you make sure your paintings are
suitably labeled and packed ready for taking home, or left at the chateau to dry and shipped to you later on.


 Our all-inclusive packages, lovingly curated, cover everything during your stay, from train pick-up to accommodations to day trips. Our goal in putting these together is to allow you to completely relax during your time here, delve into learning, and have the rest taken care of. 



Breakfast buffets each morning, with both continental and savory options. Light refreshing lunches. Aperitif hours with local cocktails and nibbles. Decadent dinners with flowing French wines.


A week of morning and afternoon painting classes, demos, lectures, and history. Discussions about painting and evenings with the Instructor. Ongoing feedback and review as well as an end-of-week group review.


On arrival day and departure day, a Chateau shuttle will meet you at the train station in Angouelme - an 18min drive from the Chateau. The train is the best way to travel to the Chateau from Paris- the total time is 2 hours.


Transportation on our day trip to the local village of La Rochefoucauld, entry ticket to Chateau museum, and lunch at a riverside restaurant all included.


A private chateau bedroom and bathroom await you for your 7-night stay at Puy Vidal. These bedrooms are large enough to share so bring a fellow Artist or a Non-painting partner with you.


The Chateau's spirit comes alive after dinner. Join the group for bonfires under the stars, mystery games, costume nights, and cinema screenings by candlelight. 

Included in Your Stay


The Puy Vidal Art Studio is outfitted just for you!

With a large variety of easels, canvases, lightweight tripods, palettes, solvents, aprons, carry bags, 

painting stools, still life trinkets for inspiration, and much more.

*Optional Add-on: we can ship your completed artwork home at cost.

*Oil Paints & Brushes Not Included.

A list of recommended colors and brushes will be supplied in advance.


Puy Vidal is a privately-owned Chateau owned by the Leach family. They moved to France to make this part of the countryside their family home and create an inspiring and magical place for people to gather. Julia, her partner Caroline, and her sister Penelope run the Lady of the Chateau business. Their parents, Maruca and Robert, have retired to the Chateau and deeply enjoy welcoming guests. The whole family live at the Chateau full time, and participate fully in hosting each retreat. 

Ensuring that the magic is happening morning, noon, and night, they will join the group at dinner and welcome you to the evening entertainment. Their goal in creating this place was to nurture an ideal environment to retreat from modern life and meet kindred spirits. 

“I speak from personal experience- this is a magical place you will never forget!

The hosts are fabulous, the atmosphere of the Chateau not only invites but insists that your creativity will be at its best, and living in a literal castle for even a few days…

come on now- this is the stuff Bucket Lists are made of!” 

-  Terry Stanley, Creative Retreat Participant, 2023




3,850-4,995 € 

Chateau de Puy Vidal offers sumptuous historic bedrooms for Retreat participants to stay at the Chateau full-time. Ranging from large and magnificent rooms fit for a king, to romantic, sensual decor, to French country charm, we have an experience for you.

To see each bedroom visit our Chateau Bedrooms Page

All participants in the workshop will experience complete art instruction, meals, leisure time, entertainment, and day trips. This package offers the additional experience of staying overnight at the Chateau.

We welcome Non-Painting Partners- there is plenty to enjoy and explore at the Chateau and the surrounding areas, and they make a wonderful addition to the group for dinners, evening entertainment and our daytrip. Make sure to add the "Non-Painting Partner Add-On" to your pacakge at checkout. 

*Please inquire for pricing for two Artists who wish to share a room or suite.




3,325 -3,695 €

We offer the complete workshop experience with overnight accommodations at our neighboring bed and breakfast north of Chateau de Puy Vidal. Our neighbors- a lovely French couple- live there, manage their farm, and run 2 lovely guest bedrooms. We partner with them to create a seamless experience for our guests.

Visit their site for more images.

Surrounded by the same beautiful scenery as the Chateau, you will wake to views of rolling hills, chirping birds, and endless skies. We will pick you up at the train station, help you check into your room, and provide a daily shuttle to and from this B&B to the Chateau everyday of the retreat.  All workshop instruction, meals, and activities will take place at the Chateau. It is a 2 minute drive or a lovely 8-minute walk for those who prefer, and we also offer bicycles if you prefer to bike back and forth.


We welcome Non-Painting Partners- there is plenty to enjoy and explore at the Chateau and the surrounding areas, and they make a wonderful addition to the group for dinners, evening entertainment and our daytrip. Make sure to add the "Non-Painting Partner Add-On" to your package at checkout. 

*Please inquire for pricing for two Artists who wish to share a room or suite.


Non-Painting Partners Welcome

Retreat alongside your artist companion at Puy Vidal

Indulge in a delightful retreat alongside your artist companion at Puy Vidal, where the château and its magnificient grounds are for your enjoyment & leisure. 

Our exclusive Non-Painting Partner package ensures a memorable experience, covering everything that is included in your artist companion package minus the instruction. Delight your taste buds with 3 delectable meals a day, complemented by unlimited drinks and wine. Enjoy our snacks and tea/coffee bar open all day.

Evening Activities and Entertainment: Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere with tailored evening activities and entertainment.Train Station Services: Pick-up and drop-off at the Angouleme Train Station Artistic Ambiance: Immerse yourself in the creative energy of the week with access to the studio, demos and lectures. We invite you to pick up a complementary sketch pad from the studio!


Join us for an unforgettable experience as you bask in the artistic charm of Puy Vidal while your companion hones their craft. We look forward to welcoming you to the Château!

+ 1,995€



We very much hope you will join us on this full and balanced artistic experience.

If you have any questions as you book, please email as at

The Lady of the Château

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