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This unique Retreat combines the exploration of an art tour, with the opportunity of creating your own mixed-media art in our private medieval villa under the guidance of Australian artist, Susan Nethercote.
This comprehensive art immersion is suitable for:
– People with little art experience,
– People with some art experience,
– Professional artists,
– Those seeking an authentic travel and culinary experience,
– Culture and Art History buffs.
Our group will reside at an authentic Cote d’Azur villa in the Medieval hilltop town of Haut-de-Cagnes, known as the ‘Montmartre of the Riviera’.
This is the oldest neighbourhood of the seaside town of Cagnes-sur-Mer. Set a little in from the shoreline, this town is famed for the many artists who lived and worked in this region. This village will be our base for a week of art-historical and practical painting adventures.
We will divide our days between exploring the plethora of museums, artist’s studios and other sites of interest, eating at local village restaurants and boulangeries, and painting in our private villa. It is the ultimate adventure for lovers of art, and for aspiring and professional artists yearning to be inspired by the deep artistic heritage of this region.
Susan, whose Abstract Florals and Botanicals are held in collections worldwide, will instruct intimate painting workshops in our villa studio. Her demonstrations will take you step-by-step through her layered mixed-media painting process. These afternoon workshops are optional for those who would prefer to explore other options.*
No prior experience is necessary, as Susan’s technique and use of acrylics is very accessible and forgiving. Experienced artists are welcome to learn from these methods, or paint at their own leisure, and in any style that they choose. And for those who have less interest in painting, our villa is within walking distance of public transport to the train line that services the entire Riviera, where adventures in Nice, Cannes, St. Tropez, Antibes and Monaco beckon.
Susan, who has lectured in Fine Art History at the University of Melbourne, will delight your inner art history student, as we explore the museums that are all accessible from our villa in the heart of Haut-de-Cagnes. We will travel as a group to the Musée Matisse, Musée Mark Chagall and Musée Picasso. Within our own village we will visit the home and studio of Renoir and take in the views and modern art at the Chateau Grimaldi Mediterranean Museum of Modern Art.
We take a trip to the village of Saint-Paul de Vence, a medieval town beloved and inhabited to this day by artists and their ateliers. While there, we will visit the Fondation Maeght and its famous collection of 20th Century painters and sculptors.
We will stroll around Old Nice and visit the flower markets, where we will gather inspiration for our flower themed afternoon workshop, having visited a local art store to acquire authentic French art supplies to use and take home.
Our cost includes all accommodation, breakfast each day and 5 lunches and 2 dinners. Those meals not included will be easily accessed at a selection of lovely local restaurants that we recommend. It covers all art tuition and access to Susan’s Art supplies to sample along with your own. It includes all transport to and from our excursion destinations.
The retreat will be co-hosted by Mark Nethercote, Susan’s husband. Mark, a Paediatrician by day, is also a published author and avid traveller. Mark has travelled through Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Russia and the Middle East, South America, South East Asia and Africa.
The retreat will also be co-hosted by Kate Crawshaw. Kate is an artist, business woman, lover of all things French, and a fluent French speaker. In 2017, she decided to live the dream whole-heartedly and moved her family from Melbourne into a tiny village of 40 in the South of France. She has taken the opportunity to develop her art practice and will also be our painting workshop assistant.**
Tuesday 18th September
Day 1 – Arrival and settling in
Make your way to our Cagnes-sur-Mer villa, arriving any time after 11am. For those coming from Nice Airport, it is a short 15-minute taxi ride. We will spend the rest of the day settling into our villa, getting to know the immediate surroundings of our little village and meeting one another. We will begin our retreat over an informal dinner and discuss the week ahead.
Wednesday 19th September
Day 2 – Getting to know our village, Workshop 1
Breakfast is provided at our villa, followed by a shuttle to the world famous Musée Renoir, which is in our village. We will then venture up the hill to the Chateau Grimaldi Musée d’Art Moderne Mediterraneen, followed by lunch at a local eatery. We return to our villa for the afternoon and settle in for a couple of hours painting with Susan, presenting your first workshop session. Following this, you can enjoy exploring the fantastic local selection of restaurants that we recommend in the village, either as a group or on a solo adventure.
Thursday 20th September
Day 3 – Nice Art Store, Flower Markets and the Old Town, Workshop 2
Breakfast provided at our villa, followed by a morning trip into Nice. Our first stop will be the famed ‘La Vieille Ville’, the old town of Nice, to stroll around this vibrant quarter, and visit the famous flower markets, to pick a bloom or two for our villa studio. We will then head to a local art store where you may choose to acquire some French art supplies. Lunch will be provided for the group, in this elegant and charming part of Nice, and then we will return to the villa for our flower-themed afternoon painting workshop with Susan. Following this, for dinner, you can further explore one of the many local restaurants in Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Friday 21st September
Day 4 – Musée Matisse, Musée Mark Chagall, Workshop 3
Breakfast is provided at our villa, followed by a shuttle to the leafy Cimiez in Nice, the Ancient Roman province of Alpes Maritimae, to soak in Musée Mark Chagall, then Musée Matisse, both set in serene gardens. After lunch, provided at a local eatery, we will return to our villa for another painting afternoon with Susan, building on the skills learnt from the first two workshops. Following this, you can enjoy exploring the fantastic local selection of restaurants that we recommend in the village for dinner, either as a group or on a solo adventure.
Saturday 22nd September
Day 5 – Painting and visit to Antibes and Musée Picasso, Workshop 4
Breakfast provided at the villa. We will then catch the shuttle to Antibes, to the Musée Picasso, where the artist lived in later life, and stay on in this picturesque village by the sea for a beautiful group lunch. In the afternoon we will return to our villa for another painting workshop with Susan, further building on the foundations of skills learnt and art discovered. Following this, for dinner, you can further explore one of the many local restaurants in Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Sunday 23rd September
Day 6 – Saint-Paul de Vence and Fondation Maeght visit, Free time/ painting time.
Following breakfast at the villa, we will board the shuttle to the artist’s village of Saint-Paul de Vence. There we will visit Fondation Maeght Museum of Modern Art, and then have a leisurely walk around this captivating, ancient medieval town, where you are able to peruse the many artist’s ateliers along the winding streets. After a leisurely lunch we will head back to the villa for an afternoon of free painting or free time. We will spend our final evening dining as a group, and officially close the retreat.
Monday 24th September
Day 7 – Check out and departure
Breakfast provided at the villa, before checkout at 10am. You will provide your own transport to the airport or onto other adventures if you choose.
**Please note that this itinerary is subject to minor changes based on the weather, logistics, the desires of the group and unexpected opportunities.
– 6 nights accommodation (both single and twin share options are available), in our own private villa in Haut-de-Cagnes, the oldest part of the medieval village of Cagnes-sur-Mer. All rooms are climate controlled and have en-suites.
– All breakfasts Wednesday 19th – Monday – 24th.
– Five lunches on Wednesday19th, Thursday 20th, Friday21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd
– Two dinners on Tuesday 18th and Sunday 23rd
– All painting workshops
– Access to some of Susan’s art supplies and tools to sample. (You will be given a supply list after registration for other supplies you will need to bring with you.)
– Transportation to and from all excursion destinations
– Museum entry to Musée Renoir, Chateau Grimaldi Musée d’Art Moderne Mediterraneen, Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse, Musée Picasso and Fondation Maeght.
What’s not included:
– Airfares and associated costs.
– Airport transfers.
– 4 of the local evening dinners and any other meals you may choose to have.
– Art supplies from the Art store visit and those you will be asked to bring with you.
– Flowers at the flower market
– Any other shopping you choose to do on this trip
For those with mobility issues, please be aware that our retreat villa is located on a steep hill in a medieval village.
Please advise us if you have dietary requirements, including vegan or Coeliac disease, given they are difficult to cater for in France.
* Please note that we are unable to offer a reduced fee for those choosing not to participate in activities listed on the itinerary.
** Every effort will be made to ensure that the personnel listed will be facilitating this Retreat. Should circumstances beyond our control arise that mean alternative experts are required, we will make every effort to ensure similar, appropriate levels of skill and expertise.
Please email: email@example.com if you have an questions or queries.
We have four types of rooms available:
Our preferred travel partner, Mel of Melanie Whyte – Travel Managers is on hand to help with your airfares, any pre or post retreat land arrangements, travel insurance and everything else you may want add on to either before or at the end of this trip.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0408 266 631 (+61 408 266 631 if international).