MAY 18-25 2024
Chasing the Light | En Plein Air
All Taxes Included
Experience the beauty of Impressionism like never before at a stunning Château in the southwest of France.
Immerse yourself in the sparkling scenes of early summer - explore pathways lined with ancestral trees, labyrinths of boxwood, rose and vegetable gardens, small stately forests, and quilted fields of grass and hay. This is Château de Puy Vidal.
Master painter, Peter Keegan, will guide you through the precise methods and techniques of the Impressionist masters. He will focus your vision to truly see and think like an Impressionist, approaching pace, composition, color choice, and brushstrokes with their guiding principles.
Each day will be about observing variations of the same scene at precisely the same time of day, paying attention to the effects of weather, season, and time of day on color and light. It is a feast for the artist who yearns to capture the glimmering moments before them.
The backdrop and accommodations to your remarkable experience is an 800-year-old fortress that evolved over time into a majestic castle named Château de Puy Vidal. Bountiful feasts, wine, music, candlelight, games, and more to provide much-needed relaxation and balance after the focus of the day's work. Friends are made, new ways of seeing are born, and you will come away from this week with your heart, mind, and soul feeling full.
This is incomparable week-long experience is dedicated to the art of Impressionism.
THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW COMPLETELY SOLD OUT. PLEASE JOIN THE WAITLIST BY EMAILING ADMIN@LADYOFTHECHATEAU.COM TO BE NOTIFIED IF A SPOT OPENS UP!
CHASING THE LIGHT |
EN PLEIN AIR
A PAINTING WORKSHOP MAY 2024
For an impressionist to paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations - Cézanne
7 -NIGHTS ALL INCLUSIVE
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR
Peter Keegan is a professional artist living and working in Buckinghamshire, UK, specializing in portraiture. Trained at Cardiff School of Art and working in oils, Peter follows traditional techniques but uses them in a fresh and original way. He works and teaches from his Studio.
He has led painting workshops for many years to different destinations around the UK. His landscape and plein air workshops are among his favorites. He is inspired by the works of the Impressionist masters, their exact practices, methods and the approaches they developed as they sought to capture the emotion of an atmosphere. This study has led him to develop these painting experiences in the countryside, enabling him to fully share with students what impressionist painting really means and how it can enhance your work.
THE FARMHOUSE STAY
We offer the complete workshop experience with overnight accommodations at the charming 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.
Surrounded by the same beautiful scenery as the Chateau, you will wake to views of rolling hills, chirping birds, and endless skies. We will provide a daily shuttle to transport between this B&B and the Chateau, where all workshop instruction, meals, and activities will take place. It is also very walkable, a lovely 8-minute walk, and bicycles are provided if you prefer to bike back and forth.
*Price based on SINGLE OCCUPANCY.
Discounts available for double occupancy and for non-painting partners.
THE FRENCH VILLAGE STAY
The village package offers the opportunity to experience a taste of French village life each morning and evening as you return to a charming Bed and Breakfast in the heart of La Rochefoucauld, our nearest village. You will get a taste of authentic France in a walkable, timeless village.
This Bed & Breakfast, called Le Patio, is an artistic place with musical events, an independent bookstore, a cafe, and a restaurant on the weekend. It is a perfect match with the atmosphere of this Painting Workshop.
All bedrooms are centered around a beautiful inner courtyard, right in the village's main street, and just steps to the river and our most famous magnificent Chateau de la Rochefoucuald, which is open daily for tours.
We will provide a daily shuttle to transport between this B&B and the Chateau, where all workshop instruction, meals, and activities will take place.
*Price based on SINGLE OCCUPANCY.
Discounts available for double occupancy and for non-painting partners.
THE CHÂTEAU STAY
Chateau de Puy Vidal offers 6 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 here.
For all Creative Retreats, bedroom assignments happen on a first-come, first-served basis.
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.
*Price based on SINGLE OCCUPANCY.
**Discounts available for Double Occupancy and for Non-Painting Partners. All Pricing can be seen on the booking page.
A GLIMPSE INTO OUR WEEK
“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.
- Claude Monet
WHAT SETS HIM APART
Peter Keegan is an award-winning artist and highly sought-after painting instructor known for his knowledgeable, engaging, and inspiring approach to teaching.
Having obtained a Fine Arts degree from Cardiff School of Art in South Wales, Peter has gone on to
exhibit his work in numerous established art institutions, including the Royal Institute of Oil Painting, The New English Art Club, and the Royal Society of British Artists. He is an elected member of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Art Societies.
Peter was the first artist in residence at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in Buckinghamshire in 2020, where he captured the busy and colorful life of an operating theatre. The 13 paintings commissioned by the theatre are now in their permanent collection, with the most prominent painting measuring 12 feet in height.
Alongside Peter’s practice as an artist, he is the founder and co-presenter of the popular podcast Ask an Artist, where he shares his advice and knowledge on the business side of being a working artist and interviews fellow artists and industry experts.
Peter is a brand ambassador for Rosemary & Co brushes and Michael Harding Oil paints, some of the finest art materials in the world. Peter leads dozens of courses, workshops, and holidays throughout the year. His courses on Impressionistic landscapes are some of his favorites to teach.
ROYAL INSTITUTE OF OIL PAINTERS
ROYAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS
THE NEW ENGLISH ART CLUB
THE OXFORD ART SOCIETY
THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE ART SOCIETY
THE BROADWAY ARTS FESTIVAL
Breakfast in the Spode Room
Morning Demo in Grand Salon
10:30am – 12:30pm
Painting with Peter - Exteriors of Puy Vidal
12:30pm – 1:30pm
Lunch at Interior Courtyard
Afternoon Demo - Grand Salon
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Painting with Peter - Art Studio
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Rest & Relaxation
7:30pm – 9:00pm
Dinner in Renaissance Dining Room
Evenings at the Chateau
Cognac tasting, Bonfire night under the stars, Outdoor cinema
CHASING THE LIGHT | EN PLEIN AIR
A SAMPLE DAY
Welcome to the Chateau!
Meet your hosts, settle into your Chambre, and join Peter on a tour of the Chateau de Puy Vidal and its gardens. Take a tour of your Art studio for the week ahead. Enjoy all of this with our specialty "Chateau Cocktail" in hand.
Creating the Perfect Composition
We will each make a start on 2 different paintings of the Chateau gardens and far-reaching views over the French countryside, paying particular attention to creating a strong pictorial composition and design.
The Power of Colour
The Impressionists were famed colourists so much of the day
will be spent understanding how to achieve rich and exciting colour harmonies in your paintings. We will then use these exciting colour
recipes in our own landscapes.
Trip to La Rochefoucauld
If one Chateau isn’t enough, we will spend this day sketching and exploring the magnificent Chateau La Rochefoucauld, just 8 minutes away from Puy Vidal.
Starting with a tour of the Chateau itself (famous for its spiral staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci) we will then lunch at one of the town's charming restaurants, situated along the river. Followed by a chance to explore the independent shops this quintessential French village has to offer.
Impressionist Brush Techniques
Much of what the Impressionists achieved in their paintings was due to
their unique methods of applying the paint to the canvas.
This day will be spent learning and practicing these special painting techniques in a study of the fragrant roses in the rose garden.
Capturing the Light
Monet famously said, “Light is my mistress,” and we will follow the light
ourselves by painting aspects of the chateau itself in either morning or late evening light, also known as the ‘golden hour.’
Finishing and Final Review
Our last day together will be spent finishing your paintings with
me on hand to guide you.
We will spend the last part of this day looking at and reviewing the large
collection of paintings we will have completed during the week and celebrating (with a glass of
something in hand) a successful and enjoyable week of painting.
Peter 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.
Dear "Chasing the Light" Artist,
When I first visited Chateau de Puy Vidal, I was overwhelmed by the visual splendor and inspiration that greeted me. From the sweeping views of the gardens that greet you at each turn to the unique clarity of light that fills the courtyard each day- Chateau Puy Vidal is the perfect backdrop to immerse ourselves in the authentic Impressionistic way of painting.
Following in the footsteps of some of the most important and influential artists in the history of art, we will explore the exact techniques and practices used by some of the great French Impressionists- Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Cezanne, and Renoir surrounded by the Chateau as our daily inspiration.
My aim for this week of painting is to give you an experience as close as possible to the authentic approach of painting Impressionist paintings. From learning about how the Impressionists adopted unique color harmonies to how they used specific brush techniques or the exact ways, they began and built up their painting, plus the strategies they used to capture the stunning effects of light. The week promises to be one of creative discovery, learning, and excellent painting. Time will also be spent sharing how the Impressionists changed the course of art, some of my favorite personal stories about each artist, and the important scientific development of colour pigment and industry that helped them with their unique creative mission.
During the week, we will spend our days painting both outside, en plein air, in the glorious French sunlight, and in the well-equipped Chateau studio, capturing the essence of early summer. The evenings will be spent conversing and sharing our love and passion for painting, all whilst enjoying delicious chef-cooked French meals by candlelight. It promises to be a feast for all the senses.
With me painting alongside you, demonstrating the Impressionistic principles and techniques whilst supporting you with each of your paintings, you can expect to produce between 4 – 6 original oil paintings of varying subject matters, including roses, irises, and other early summer flowers, far-reaching views over the gardens or the architecture of the Chateau itself.
This workshop is suitable for all painters of all abilities who have any interest or curiosity in painting and who wish to study the Impressionistic approach. I simply cannot wait to return to Puy Vidal for this indulgent week of painting.
I very much look forward to painting with you very soon.
Warmest wishes and happy painting,
3 WAYS TO JOIN THE MAGIC
MEET YOUR HOSTS
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. Her parents, Maruca and Robert, have retired to the Chateau and deeply enjoy welcoming guests. The whole family will be on-site for the entire duration of this Creative 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.
"The painting retreat experience was so much more than I even hoped it would be. It was truly exactly what I needed and didn't even know it."
- Joy Wong, San Diego, Creative Retreat Participant, 2022
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.
MEALS & WINE
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.
TRAIN PICK UP | DROP OFF
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.
CHATEAU EVENING ENTERTAINMENT
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
ART SUPPLIES AT THE CHATEAU
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.
Michael Harding paints provided by your instructor Peter Keegan.
*Optional Add-on: we can ship your art home at cost.
*Brushes Not Included.*