Throughout your twelve days at Les Tapies you will immerse yourself in the making of art in a variety of media. Upon your arrival, there will be ample supplies in all media and a plenty studio space to settle in and make your own. Each day there will be multiple sessions available with experienced instructors to lead you at your ability level to explore, engage, and improve your skills. In addition, open studio times will be available to continue working independently on projects.
In addition to art, there will be a variety of other offerings for you and/or your partner to partake in as you balance your creative side with the beauty, culture, excitement, and relaxation that only Les Tapies and the South of France can provide. Different activities will be offered daily and you will have the option to jump in, continue work in your studio space, or opt out for a hike or trip to the local market. Our daily morning meeting gives you the chance to gather together, hear about the day’s offerings, and plan your time to suit your needs.
The visual arts
The ethos of the arts program is built on two essential ingredients of the creative process: first, the need to slow down and clear the mind as the first step to observing sensitively and reflecting carefully. Second, understanding the potential and limitations of the media and responding honestly, creatively, and articulately to the subject and/or the environment.
The arts workshops offer comprehensive instruction in the areas of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and mixed media, black & white photography and digital photography. The emphasis is on observation and working plein air, using live models, still lives, picturesque villages, and especially the surrounding landscape as subjects. Participants work in a wide range of media, including pencil, ink, charcoal, water colors, pastels, acrylic and oil. Participants are grouped by experience to provide individualized instruction at all levels, from beginning to advanced. All materials and equipment are included and participants who concentrate in the arts are provided with individual studio space.
Workshops will include:
Plein-air painting - acrylic, watercolor & oil
Drawing the landscape, still life & figure model
Printmaking - monotype, linocut, woodcut & intaglio
Paper collage & mixed media
yoga, mindfulness & meditation
The yoga, mindfulness, and meditation program draws on the natural beauty of Les Tapies to immerse you in a tranquil environment which enables you to release stress and discover your inner strength. Yoga enables you to focus on techniques which inspire you to breathe more deeply into the present moment. A daily series of practices and exercises provides a blend of physical movement, mindfulness, and meditation for all levels, with individual accommodation offered as necessary. Using the art of visualization, you will develop the skills to direct your breath to create ease and a more spacious body to awaken in the morning and to unwind in the later afternoon.
In addition to yoga and stretching exercises held in our Yoga studio in the early morning and meditation sessions in the late afternoon, participants will also take time for relaxing walks in the mountains or swimming in the pool to provide a sense of well-being and start to create a healthy balance in your life. A favorite destination is the walk to Lone Tree on the ridge across the valley, from where one has the vantage point of overlooking Les Tapies and enjoying the gentle breeze while watching the goats and cows graze in the distance.
Daily teachings include:
Energy centers - Chakras
Guideposts - Yamas
Take aways from The Artist’s Way
Morning Yoga for the Creative Soul
Afternoon mindfulness meditation
Culinary Arts: French Cuisine & wine
Experience a sense of place and connect with the local culinary offerings of the Ardèche. Pick fresh vegetables from the Les Tapies garden and shop at local farm markets to prepare rustic and simple style meals of the region. True to the spirit of collaboration at Les Tapies, participants explore simple techniques to create fresh, authentic, casual meals to be shared each evening for dinner. The family environment provides the perfect platform to use ingredients of the region as a vehicle to bring students together in a shared experience of meal preparation. Throughout the course of the program, student have the opportunity to participate in recipe analysis, prep and production of daily meals and sign up for a variety of special menu item cooking classes that cover the the culinary classics of the region. Les Tapies provides the perfect platform to use ingredients of the region as a vehicle to bring students together in a shared experience of family meal preparation. An introduction to the charcuterie (smoked and cured meats) and cheeses of the Ardèche during orientation sets the stage for wonderful collection of recipes including a slow roasted succulent lamb in the hamlet’s wood fired stone oven, which is a time honored tradition for generations in the area. Learning about and pairing the world class wines from the western banks of the Rhone River is integrated into the experience. The Coteaux de l’ Ardèche ( hills of the Ardèche) support the growth of such varietals for which the South of France are known - Rosés, Whites, and the famous reds of the Côtes du Rhône. Wine tasting field trips to renowned vineyards such as Chapoutier and Jaboulet will highlight the workshop. Look forward to gathering, cooking, eating and sipping like a local and building a community of friendship that will last long after the flavors have left your pallet.
“Chris’s culinary skills are unparalleled. All of the meals showcased local ingredients included in French cuisine… The meals, prepared by two very good chefs and featuring regional cuisine, were unbelievably delicious.”
Kathryn - Berlin, Germany and Robyn - Vermont, USA
Black and White Film photography
The photography workshop offers an opportunity to experience for the first time or rediscover black and white film photography. Although we can also work together with digital photography on an individual basis, film photography is our main focus—an art form increasingly pushed to the sidelines and forgotten with the popularization of digital photography and computerized processes. The beauty of the analog process and the interesting complexity of its components will share the main stage in this workshop. We will explore the manual functions of 35mm cameras, and the medium format camera for an increased challenge, and learn how to work with the camera to convey the scene before us. The chemistry behind film photography is one of the most interesting pieces of the process and once you begin working in the darkroom to develop film, enlarge and print photos, and manipulate printed images, you’ll realize just how addictive this art form is. Although film photography with all of its processes and techniques requires a significant commitment of both time and patience, it is also one of the most rewarding art forms as well, which you will learn when you come to the workshop!
Open to beginner - Advanced Photographers
Printing and enlarging
Though dissimilar in their technical approaches, the main goal for the photography workshop carries over to the writing workshop as well. Both fixate on inspiring interaction between people and the nature surrounding them, and guiding people through the reflection process of their individual experiences at Les Tapies. The ability to communicate one’s thoughts and share one’s own perspective of the world is integral in the life of the artist and also in our own everyday interactions, and that is what the writing workshop strives toward increasingly with each assignment. Just as there are an infinite number of utensils with which to draw, the ways in which we will write cover many different areas. In conjunction with plein-air painting on the mountainside, we will paint the landscape with words through nature poetry. We will explore reflective writing through a personal analysis of why we are here and how we can grow from this experience. In learning to define ourselves as artists, however the elastic term may apply, the final writing assignment is creating an Artist’s Statement, in which, together, we will try to put into words who you are, individually, as an artist. There are so many more areas of writing we will explore, and much of it depends on you and what you hope to glean from your time at Les Tapies.
“It has been said, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will appear’. Well, that is exactly what happened to me when I said yes to Amy's Creative Writing class. Not only did she guide and inspire me to draft an Artist Statement, she helped me remember that regardless of age, we are all teachers and we are all students. Amy is 20 years my junior so my ego was quick to say, ‘What can she teach you?’ I did not listen because what I saw in Amy was insight and wisdom way beyond her years!”
Jen - New Hampshire, USA