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20-25 JULY 2024


Indulge yourself in this fantastic summer treat.  Experience the freedom to express yourself through a wide range of painting and drawing sessions, set around the beauty of the village of Saussignac whilst enjoying the bespoke hospitality on offer at Le 1500.

Ria Formosa II

WHEN:  20-25 JULY 2024

PRICE:  From €2,400 per person (non painting partner packages available)


- Six nights' accommodation & hospitality

- Breakfast & Lunch with local wines

- Wine Tastings & Chateau Tour

- Four nights' of evening meals (Le Cafe 1500 and/or private dinners)

- All art materials and tuition fee


With such an abundance of beautiful villages and undulating scenery on our doorstep, it will come as no surprise that the course looks, in particular, at the art of expressive landscape painting (in the broadest sense) but encourages other subjects to be treated and incorporated into the landscape.  

Our teaching methods allow you to discover your own talent - and there are bags of it in everyone - and, above all, to enjoy the process of painting and creating.  We encourage a relaxed and fun environment without judgement or comparison.

Whilst some theory relevant to expressive painting will be covered at the beginning of the course, most theory and technical guidance will be incorporated into a continuous painting exercise that students will follow, ensuring that participants have as much practical painting and drawing time as possible.

Saturday 20 July:  Welcome

15h00. Check-in and Relax

19h30. Welcome Dinner accompanied by a selection of local wines (wine included)

Sunday 21 July:  Letting Go

08h30.  Breakfast

10h00.  Introduction to the Course and a quick guide to Expressive Painting and how we got here.  A look at some examples of expressive painting over the centuries that will inspire the creative juices to flow.

10h45.  Opening Up - starting work on a drawing or painting is arguably as difficult, if not more so than knowing when to finish.  Our first session will help you free up your hands and minds and quickly feel comfortable with letting go.

Collaborative Workshop on Expressiveness - Thinking Big and Letting Go:  we're getting straight into the dirty business of painting, working as a team to create our first masterpiece of the week.  This is a chance to throw away any inhibitions and get comfortable with paint, paper and the environment you're in.

12h30. Lunch accompanied by a featured local wine.

14h30. Building the Ideas Bank - we'll wander into the village and the vineyards with some tools to start sketching and planning.  This session serves as an inspiration gathering exercise for your individual project - through photos, sketches and note-making.

Kicking off the Individual Project - over the course of the week you will create a lot of work.  However, you will focus on one or two project pieces that you will step in and out of until completion of the final day, applying what you learn and discover - layering paint, stepping back, embracing complete change and understanding the meaning of 'finished'.

16h30. Class Ends

19h00.  Dinner - Private Group Garden Supper 

Monday 22 July:  Glorious Chateau de Fayolle

08h30.  Breakfast

10h00.  Chateau de Fayolle Field Trip - Landscape painting in the open - embracing the weather to enhance expression.  Using mixed media to create a variety of expressive paintings, this session will give students the freedom to express themselves without fear of spillage or studio confines.  This is your chance to throw, spread, tear, spill and generally let loose.

We'll start the morning with a Vineyard Tour, accompanied by Frank, the Chateau's American owner since 2018. The tour will give you a host of ideas and images to use as you build on your day's painting.

13h30. Picnic Lunch & Wine Tasting

15h00. After a relaxing lunch in the shade of the Arboretum 

we'll head back to The 1500 where you'll have time to kick back and chill out by the pool.

18h30   Free Evening.  Wine Tasting Party & Food Trucks - Village Square.  Alternatively we can help you make other dinner plans (dinner at Melange in the village if desired)

Tuesday 23 July:  Studio Day

08h00. Breakfast

08h30. Optional Morning Donkey Walk

10h00Studio Session.  We'll set aside the vast majority of the morning to continue painting the pieces you will have created on the previous two days.  This will give you time to quietly progress with your work and benefit from individual tutoring and advice.

New Tools Please - painting with a traditional brush or even a palette knife are well known painting techniques.  There are, however, no rules when it comes to how you apply paint on to the paper.  This exercise will push the boundaries of your ability to express yourself differently by introducing a number of new tools for you to try.

13h00. Lunch with featured wine

14h30. Still Life in Bloom - we'll celebrate some beautiful local flowers and work on creating stunningly colourful displays in paint.

16h30.  Class Ends

19h30. Bad Boy Burger Night at Le 1500

Wednesday 24 July:  Style & Figure

08h00. Breakfast

10h00. Individual Project continuation and Studio Practice - space to continue work on the individual project with hands on tuition and guidance.

12h30. Lunch

14h00. Introducing the Figure - Life Drawing and Painting Class.  Our life model will join us for the afternoon where you'll find the opportunity to explore some expressive drawing and painting techniques.

16h00  Class Ends

18h00. Wine Tasting

19h00. Supper at Le 1500 

20h30.  Movie Night at Le 1500

Thursday 25 July:  Plein Air

08h00. Breakfast

10h00. Chateau Feely* - we'll walk down to another fine winery where you'll have the opportunity to draw and paint one of the many stunning scenes, with a particular focus on biodynamic/organic farming, capturing scenes and objects that represent this important practice for our local wine growers.  

13h30.  Wine pairing lunch, Chateau Feely - once packed up we'll head back to the winery Caro Feely will follow up her explanation of her wines with a selection of delicious pairing plates.

16h00.  Vernissage - we'll take some time to review what we've achieved over a glass of bubbles and enjoy the moment.

* or equivalent - subject to scheduling nearer the date

19h30.  Saussignac Fête du Village - fabulous fun with wine and food trucks.

Friday 26 July:  Farewell or Stay Longer

10h00 Depart Le 1500 (or enquire about extending your stay for the weekend or longer and enjoy preferential rates)

The 1500
Julia Liebisch Le1500_145_websize.jpeg

MICHAEL F RUMSBY FRSA.  Since shifting from the corporate world to life as a full-time artist in 2012, Mike has enjoyed international success, primarily as an expressive landscape painter.  His unusual approach to painting has earned him a solid reputation as a painter of joyous, colourful works and is represented by the UK's largest gallery portfolio, Clarendon Fine Art.  Mike is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London.

You can find inspiration in Michael's work by visiting his website at (instagram @michaelf_rumsby) or Clarendon Fine Art at



Mike's 30 years of experience as a senior director of a global business sets him apart from many traditional art teachers.  He brings real expertise in people management and a genuine passion for engendering a truly creative environment for guests.

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