This summer, artists of various experience and skill-level joined Jill this year for her eight-day intensive oil painting workshops in May, July and September. Participants varied from absolute beginners who had never picked up a paintbrush before in their entire life, to amateur artists, to highly-accomplished art professionals. Within the groups were several return workshoppers, coming back perhaps to experience Provence during a different season, or to build on previously-acquired skills, or to enjoy an art retreat with Jill, or all of the above. Some came solo, while others traveled together with friends, family, or as a couple. All grew in their relationships with one another, with themselves, and with the creative process.
Each person came with their own reason(s) for joining this art journey. What emerged in each individual’s experience were fresh technical approaches to drawing and painting, a deepened understanding of color theory and mixing colors, and a heightened awareness of their own personal connection to art. Digging deeper, every day represented an opportunity for meditations on art, beauty, love, creativity, and discovering one’s inner poetry. The group delved into these themes through Jill’s readings and reflections, as well as through group discussions, art critiques and feedback.
The Week at a Glance
The week’s itinerary brought the groups of painters to various dots on the map in Provence, with Jill’s home studio “l’Abeille” as basecamp. Jill and her husband, Serge welcomed the group to their provençal bastide-style home for meals, and Jill’s home studio for group instruction, plein air and still-life painting. Participants followed in the footsteps of Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence to his atelier and to the very spot where he painted the Sainte Victoire mountain so many times. They also tread on the sites where Van Gogh painted, visited the monastery in Saint Paul de Mausole near Saint Rémy de Provence for an immersive experience of Van Gogh’s work at the Carrières des Lumières.
A day-trip to the charming seaside village of Cassis allowed the painters to capture the quaint harbor, the glittering Mediterranean sea and the Cap Canaille. The vibrant and bustling market in Aix was the scene of yet another day of painting the colorful diplays of flowers, fish, fruits and vegetables. During an evening session, the groups ventured along the hilltop behind Jill’s house to turn their eyes to the sky and catch the last golden rays of light for a sunset painting.
The workshops wrapped up with a day of touching up and signing works, a critique of each artist’s body of work, and a vernissage! Local friends, neighbors and art-lovers came to admire the works that were created during the workshop, and to enjoy an evening of fun and celebration.
Thank you to all of you who joined in the experience. This was certainly an unforgettable summer! Jill and her team hope to see many of you again, and hope that all who participated keep up the amazing work.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN JILL FOR A PAINTING WORKSHOP?