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Ribière Retreat has 80 acres of gardens, woodland, meadows and lakes for you to explore, unwind and be inspired by. Our holidays offer a mix of painting, drawing and illustration. Accommodation is provided in our 17th Century converted barn with great French-inspired cuisine and facilities, including our salt-water heated pool and sauna for you to enjoy.
Each holiday runs for seven days with five full days led by our experienced group of art tutors. They combine instruction in our art studio looking at tools and techniques with practical, hands-on painting, drawing and sculpture both at La Ribière and on field trips.
What to expect
You will be met at Limoges Airport. There are flights from London Stansted, London Gatwick, East Midlands, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol throughout the summer months and from London Stansted, East Midlands and Manchester throughout the year. Flights not included in the price.
Once at Ribière Retreat you will be shown around the site, the studio and to your accommodation. A welcome drinks reception will offer a chance to get to know the other guests, your tutor for the week and your Ribière Retreat hosts and owners, Heidi and David.
The structure for the week is designed to allow a good balance of creative/learning and relaxation time. Breakfast is served 08h00 – 09h00 with the morning's tutoring starting at 10h00. If you're creating on site, the sessions get underway from 10h00. We break for lunch at 12h30, allowing time to eat, socialise and relax a little before resuming at 14h00 when you will continue your work and/or move into the studio if necessary. If your course includes off-site locations, lunch will be either a picnic provided or you may choose to eat in a local restaurant. The afternoon session finishes around 17h00 allowing you time to relax or finish any work you want in the studio. Dinner is served at 19h30 - a four-course traditional French-inspired menu (see our example menus here)
Wednesday is normally a free day for you to relax and enjoy yourself at the pool, take in local sights or walking on the estate or some of the many public walks in the surrounding countryside. For the final evening of your stay, you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work whilst enjoying a drink with the group. Guests will be taken to Limoges airport for return flights.
Shelly is a freelance wildlife artist whose passion for wildlife, travel and conservation are constant factors in the development and realisation of her work. Shelly aims to emulate both the beauty and fragility of the natural world and present that to her audience in an accessible way through her work.
Her work is created in a highly unusual way combining a variety of techniques both traditional and contemporary. She starts working by hand with strong, fluid line drawings, painted textures, water colour washes and found textiles which she then brings together digitally, layering up all of the hand rendered elements with the line drawings on top and the colour, textures and washes at varying levels of opacity underneath.
Her finished illustrations are stored as detailed files sometimes comprising over 150 layers meaning that their only output is as digital prints. Shelly prints all her illustrations using the Giclee technique a form of archival quality digital printing. Her limited edition prints are highly unusual and collectable pieces of art which feature in private and public collections all over the world.
As well as showing her work in galleries Shelly also undertakes commercial commissions for illustration work, her list of clients includes BBC Wildlife Magazine, The National Trust, The RSPB, WWF, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, The Vincent Wildlife Trust and The Radio Times. In 2017 Shelly was chosen as the Scott Polar research institute's Antarctic Artist in Residence, her work from the trip will be used to educate people about the beauty but extreme fragility of this incredible part of the world. You can see more about Shelly here.
Shelly runs two courses here at Ribière Retreat. They are relaxed affairs, sharing her joy of capturing the natural world through art. She aims to teach others how to really get pencil to paper with confidence and get sketchbooks filled with vibrant artwork. Shelly's courses are focused mainly around sketching, with the addition of colour, through watercolour, pastel, coloured pencil etc used in an experimental and fun way. They take place predominantly 'in the field' where she shares with students her sketching techniques using observational skills and a range of mark making to make fluid studies of the landscapes, flora and fauna of the surrounding area. Shelly aims to give students the confidence to make a start on their own field based work through good observational skills and giving one-to-one critiques on sketch books throughout the course. She makes the art side of things fun, accessible and inclusive, encouraging students to create a sketchbook filled with work inspired by the natural world around Ribiere. Shelly also does a one night presentation where you get the opportunity to see how she works and to look in more detail at some of her major works and exhibitions.
Drawing, watercolour, watercolour pencil.
Landscape, nature, animals, the natural world.
Dates : June 20th to 27th 2024
Places are limited to a maximum of eight artists and we have accommodation to take non-art guests who may just want to enjoy the facilities and beauty of Ribière Retreat.
Louise Blakeway is an artist whose work encompasses drawing, painting and printmaking. Although her work explores the human psyche through portraiture and figuration, she is primarily concerned with technique and process and how these can be manipulated to convey certain ideas.
She was born in 1975 in Cradley Heath. She completed her BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Birmingham City University School of Art in 2013. Since graduating she has had solo and group exhibitions in the UK, including London as part of the Spirit of Womanhood exhibition where her work was shown alongside Tracey Emin’s. Her work has twice been shortlisted for the Sketch Drawing Prize in 2013 and 2011. In 2014 she was Artist In Residence in the Printmaking Studios at the Birmingham School of Art. She lives and works in the West Midlands where she also runs her own art courses.
Louise runs a number of courses here at Ribiere Retreat focusing on developing the skills of others in the subjects of portrait or figure, landscape and still life.
Acrylics, acrylic inks, coloured pencil, drawing, gouache, mixed media, pastels, paper etching, pencil/charcoal, pen & ink, printmaking, pen and wash, watercolour, watercolour pencil
Portrait or figure, landscape, still life
Dates - 2024 dates to be confirmed.
Places are limited to a maximum of eight artists and we have accommodation to take non-art guests who may just want to enjoy the facilities and beauty of the Ribière Retreat.
The cost for a week's holiday - including transfer from Limoges Airport- full board and your accommodation is 1300 €. There is no single occupancy supplement and if you want to bring a friend or partner who can relax and enjoy the beauty of La Ribière, they pay 700 € including meals and transfers. A range of art materials including stools for outside, easels, canvas and board, art paper, brushes and palettes are provided.
You are responsible for booking your own flight or travel arrangement and we recommend that you take out holiday and health insurance as part of our term and conditions for booking.
You will be accommodated in our 17th Century converted barn. Each room has a double bed or twin beds, en suite shower room, WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities are available in the kitchen with snacks and treats or a bottle of your favourite wine. Towels and sheets are provided. A private terrace and garden mean you can relax and enjoy the evening sunshine. (click here to see our accommodation)
You are also able to use the studio at any time and you have access to the woodland for walks, where you will encounter a host of wildlife, including are own deer. You can also relax in our pool and sauna or take a walk around our beautiful lake.
You will be expected to bring your own preferred art/painting materials, watercolours, acrylics, pencils, etc. A full list will be provided prior to your retreat.
Booking is simple. Message your preferred date and we will send you a booking confirmation. A 50% deposit is payable on booking with the balance due eight weeks before the holiday. All payments are in euros.
4 La Ribiere, 87230 Pageas, France
09:00 – 17:00