Would you like to paint with us in Provence this September?

Zoom and Plein Air Drop-in Groups – click on the links below

Tuesday and Friday morning Pleinairists
Tuesday Afternoon Short Pose Drop-in Life Drawing
Wednesday Morning – Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting
Wednesday Afternoon – Drop-in Portraiture
Saturday Morning – Drop-in Life Drawing and Painting

Painting in Provence

We will be running a painting party in Provence this September. It will be very similar in concept to the one that we had to cancel in Spring. David Sawyer and Benjamin Hope will take a week each and we’ll paint alongside them in this fabulous part of the world. The dates are:

  • 20th – 26th September 2020 with Benjamin Hope
  • 27th September – 3rd October 2020 with David Sawyer

We have a very special house in the Luberon valley, just below the village of Gordes, claimed to be the most beautiful ‘Village perché’ in France. The countryside around is dotted with further beautiful villages, rocky outcrops, mountains in the distance, vineyards, pine trees and rivers. There is a reason that this area attracts both artists and the super rich.

Treating yourself to an experience like this will lift your painting and renew your soul, painting outdoors here in the warmth of late summer is a complete pleasure and to do it guided by brilliant painters like David and Benjamin will be a great happiness.


Alison in blissful solitude painting above Collioure on a bright morning this week.

More foolishness from France

Alison and I decided to find a quiet spot above Collioure to set up our easels and show the Fauves how this sort of thing is done. We followed a track across the countryside towards the coast with a fine view over the fort, the morning sun glistering the water and pinging off the distant terracotta roofs across the bay.

Other than one or two interruptions from some resident ants who had something to say to Alison’s legs about where she had plonked herself we were ensconced in the solitude, at one with our work – breathing in the universe. And then… was that the distinctive chutter of the Citril Finch, a native of these parts? It’s vocalisations sounding almost human as it carried to us upon the breeze? Hang on! only too human as it turns out: looking over our shoulders we could see not so much a local songbird but a crowd of teenagers who had gathered behind us, snickering and pointing.

It seems this quiet spot was on the coastal path back to Le Racou and we had inadvertently set ourselves up as the unavoidable feature of a walk enjoyed by hundreds of tourists every day. So much for solitude and the freedom to make our mistakes in privacy. But as most pleinairists find out, criticism of our work is overwhelmingly positive from the public at large. There  were lots of ‘ooh la la’ and ‘c’est magnifique’ types of noises and as we had a bit of a crowd we did not have to suffer the usual individuals telling us that their aunties were ‘really good painters’ or asking us ‘what are you painting?’ (Why is it so hard for Joe Public to work out that if I’ve lugged painting kit half way up a cliff it’s hardly likely I’m going to be painting a still life from memory, is it? Doh!)


Just a few observers on this quiet coastal path, cheering Alison on.

Pleinairists with David Sawyer RBA

David says:

“Plans for painting next week
There’s been interest in returning to Beddington Park this week, the weather is looking good for Friday morning 🌞 so that’s Friday organised.
That leaves a choice of Beckenham place park or returning to Ruskin Park on either Wednesday or Thursday, if anyone is interested in coming to any of these locations with a day in mind get back to me
Hope to see you next week
David”

nb. It looks like they’re going to be in Ruskin Park on Wednesday


Picnickers in Dulwich Park by Richard Rees from last week’s Pleinairists foray.

If you are interested in painting along with David the Cost is £35 per session, which lasts approximately three hours. We use our Pleinairists Whatsapp Group to coordinate.

These are small groups where social distancing is maintained throughout.

Sign up here

Tuesday Drop-in Short Pose Life Drawing 2.00pm-5.00pm on Zoom

Holly is our superfit short pose model this week. She casually rode her new bike down to Devon the day before a session a couple of weeks back, as you do. Being strong means she can give us interesting poses which she can hold. We start each hour with very short poses which extend in length until we end with a ten minute pose.

You can choose to join us for one, two or three hours and as we’re still rolling this out the charge will only be £2.50 per hour. To get the special price use the discount code PESTE1 at final check out when purchasing the session.

Click here to book

Wednesday Drop-in Long Pose Life Drawing 10.00am-1.00pm on Zoom

Emily will start a pose this Wednesday for us. She is a pleasure to paint with plenty of curves and good colouring – she had a suntan on her arms and neck last time we worked with her. Her face is also very susceptible to portraiture and as we have two cameras you can choose where to focus.

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £10 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.

Wednesday Drop-in Portraiture 2.00pm-5.00pm on Zoom

The second week of a portrait with Amy, we have two cameras one wide and one close so you can frame the image for yourself. The work above is by Sarah Meredith

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £10 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.

Saturday Drop-in Long Pose Life Drawing 10.00am-1.00pm on Zoom

We have Stephanie in a seated pose for the second week, she is holding her hair as an homage to Degas’ preoccupations. The work in progress above is by Stuart Fairlamb – he says: “First week of 2. I’ve made Steph look miserable but she isn’t!”

Please book here

The session fee will be reduced to £10 if you use the discount code PESTE2 at final checkout.