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2-9 September 2023


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



PRICE:  From €2,300 per person (non painting partner packages available)


- Seven nights' accommodation & hospitality

- Breakfast & Lunch with local wines

- Wine Tastings & Chateaux Tour

- Six nights' of evening meals at Le Cafe 1500 and Private Dinners

- All art materials and tuition fee

- Market visit and cooking class


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.  You'll get to paint and draw in a variety of places, from the medieval grandeur of the main hall of the Chateau de Saussignac to the rolling vineyards of our favourite local wine makers.

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 2 September:  Welcome

15h00. Check-in and Relax

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

Sunday 3 September:  Letting Go

08h00.  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 presentation.

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 4 September:  Glorious Chateau de Fayolle

08h00.  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.

12h30. Picnic Lunch & Wine Tasting

14h00. Individual Project Work - whereby you'll each have time to spend working on your chosen landscape or start a new one.  Interspersed during this session we will take a look at some theory and provide technical support on :

- Making the most of colour

- Making good form

- Creating texture

16h00. Class Ends

18h30   Wine Tasting, Place de L'Eglise, Saussignac

19h30. Tapas & Movie Night at Le 1500

21h00. Movie Night with Popcorn & Prosecco (included when booked in advance)

Tuesday 5 September:  Market Day, French Cooking or Relax Alone

08h00. Breakfast

09h00. Depart for St Emilion - you'll have time to wander through this world famous medieval wine town and visit the small market, drawing on inspiration for later work.  We'll have lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to Le 1500 to relax for the rest of the day or, for the more adventurous, to lend a hand in the kitchen.

12h30. Lunch, St Emilion

15h00. Return to The 1500 to relax or take in more individual studio time.

19h30.  Private Group Dinner, Le 1500 - The French Classics 

Wednesday 7 September:  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.

12h30. Lunch with featured wine

14h30. Dramatic Skies - in landscape painting the sky is often used as the dramatic backdrop to the elements you want to include on land.  This session will give you the opportunity to discover a new individual technique to painting dramatic skies.


Individual Project continuation and studio practice - space to continue work on the individual project with hands on tuition and guidance.

16h00.  Class Ends

18h30.  Poolside Cocktails and Wine

19h30.  Free Evening (this is your opportunity to try one of our other great local restaurants.  Or if you'd rather stay at Le 1500 for the evening, we can provide a delicious private supper option with advance notice)

Thursday 8 September:  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 in the Chateau Studio where you'll find the opportunity to explore some expressive drawing and painting techniques.

16h00  Class Ends

17h30. Wine Tasting. - Court Les Muts

19h30. Farewell Dinner - accompanied by a selection of local wines (included)

Friday 9 September:  Plein Air at The Naked Vigneron

08h00. Breakfast

10h00. The Naked Vigneron - we'll head over to the Naked Vigneron winery where you'll have the opportunity to draw and paint one of the many stunning scenes around the lake and rolling vineyards.  

13h00. Vernissage - we'll regroup in the barn to step back and assess our work, review what we've learnt and celebrate the productivity and progress achieved.

Wine pairing lunch, The Naked Vigneron - once packed up we'll head back to the winery courtyard where David will give us a short explanation of this vineyard's wonderful organic wines over a glass of bubbles and Amanda will provide us with a healthy and declicous lunch paired with a selection of their wines.

16h00  Course Ends

16h30. Poolside Cocktail Bar and Music

19h30. Light Dinner Available at Le 1500

Saturday 10 October:  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

MICHAEL F RUMSBY FRSA.  Since shifting from the corporate world to life as a full-time artist in 2012, Mike has enjoyed international success 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 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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