Paint the Poetry with Frank Ordaz

Dordogne, France:

Painting the Poetry of the Périgord

September 26 – October 6, 2012

Get set for this eleven days/ten nights Painting Adventure in the South of France. Just east of Bordeaux, the vine laden hills of the Dordogne (Périgord Poupre) will capture your heart and your imagination as Frank Ordaz helps you realize your potential as a Painter in the Perigord. Our ‘unpack just once’ home is a gracious and elegantly restored French country farmhouse with private terraces, library and pool. The perfect location for a plein air painting workshop – in the countryside and close to a 13th century village. A Painter’s Paradise/Escape to the Good Life!

Small Group Painting Workshop • Explore Medieval Villages • Painting Demonstrations & Critiques

Day 1 – September 26 – Bergerac – Pick up in Bergerac for the quick drive to Maison d’Aliénor. After settling in to your beautifully appointed guest room (each with private bath), stake out your place in the Atelier (studio), it’s all yours and it’s open all day! We’ll gather for apéritifs on the terrace overlooking the bucolic countryside and review the upcoming program with Frank. Welcome Dinner at Maison d’Aliénor. (d)

Day 2 –  September 27 – Eymet – This morning, we’ll stroll into hometown Eymet on Market Day.  A charming 13th century village where a Farmers Market has been held every Thursday morning for the past 700 years!  After a walking tour, grab a chair at the café under the arcade and enjoy a ring side seat to the action in the square. Don’t forget your sketchbooks! Stay in town for lunch or buy ingredients for a picnic back at Maison d’Aliénor. Set aside a bunch of grapes and a wedge of brie – you’ve got a great still life subject just waiting to be painted! (b,d)

Day 3 – September 28 – We travel to the most perfectly preserved bastide (medieval planned town). Strolling through the central square and along the radiating pedestrian pathways, Frank will find a perfect spot and offer a demonstration. Paint alongside or select your own vantage point. Lunch options are plentiful. Paint until late in the afternoon or visit the medieval Chateau de Biron – the choice is yours. (b,d)

Day 4 – September 29 –A quick ride to the town made famous by the poet-musketeer Cyrano. Wealthy during the Middle Ages because of its bridge across the Dordogne River, its wealth grew during the 16th century’s period of religious tolerance. Once the tobacco capital, Bergerac is now the capital of the wine growing region. Have a picnic with supplies you find at the market or find a bistro along the river. After lunch, we’ll travel the short distance to Château Monbazillac, a cinderella castle set high atop a hill overlooking the vine laden vineyards below.  Set out your canvas and paint the view or take a tour of the Chateau and learn how the chateau’s 16th century Protestant owners hid traveling clergy from Catholic soldiers, in furniture made expressly for the purpose. A visit isn’t complete without a tasting of the sweet Monbazillac wine. (b)

Day 5 – September 30 – We’ll amble over to the church at nearby Cogulot today. Set in a landscape of rolling hills and grand vistas, the church offers a variety of views to select from and Frank will choose one and offer a demonstration. The attached cemetery provides a fascinating history lesson of the region and a roll call of the many different nationalities that have come to call the south of France home over the years.   (b,d)

Day 6 – October 1 – Today we travel into cave country, where prehistoric man left his first marks. Deep in the earth, we’ll stand on the spot where our prehistoric ancestors recreated their world over 25,000 years ago. We’ll learn how cave painters manipulated materials to fit the space as they created images that may have expressed their hopes and dreams and beliefs. Next we’ll visit a lively little village where we might just decide to stay awhile and paint a scene of village life. Our route home is along the Cingle de Tremolat with its breath-taking views. (b, d)



Day 7 – October 2 – We’ve seen our hometown square filled to overflowing with people selling cheeses and chickens; carrots and kale; wine and walnuts. Today we’ll wander in and see what the place actually looks like! We’ll be able to concentrate on architectural details and wood and plaster facades. With Frank, we’ll find a place – maybe next to the ruins of the 13th century chateau or along the River Dropt, or even in the square itself – for a demonstration and painting session. (b)

Day 8 – October 3 -We’re off to Sarlat today, a beautifully preserved Renaissance town. Along meandering lanes and covered paths, the farmers’ market here bursts out in every direction.  Bring your sketch books and cameras today, there is so much to see! After lunch on your own, we’ll travel to the tiny hilltop medieval village of Beynac where the opening scenes of the movie Chocolat were filmed. Time to explore the medieval chateau at the village summit or take a leisurely gabarre (flat bottom boat) ride along the Dordogne River. (b,d)

Day 9 – October 4 – Eymet on Market Day. Wander into town to make a few last purchases or take a few last photographs. Finish the painting you began on the square last Thursday or being the one you thought about painting last time. Frank will set up and paint with you, in your hometown! (b,d)

Day 10 –  October 5 – We’re at home today. The pool beckons, so does the library’s shelves full of books. Late in the afternoon, we’ll hold a Vernissage (art exhibition) to celebrate all you’ve accomplished followed by Farewell Dinner. (b,d)

Day 11 – October 6 – After breakfast, we’re off to Bergerace – catch a train east for Provence or west for Bordeaux & Paris, or rent a car and continue your travels.

Workshop Highlights

  • Daily Art demonstrations, On site & in the Studio
  • Group and individual lessons & critiques
  • Guided Tour of cave with prehistoric paintings
  • Guided Tour of medieval villages
  • Explore a perfectly preserved bastide (planned) town
  • Discover a Renaissance town
  • Time to visit Medieval fortress chateau and Renaissance pleasure chateau
  • Time to take gabarre (flat bottomed boat) ride along Dordogne River

International Airfare not included

Let us help you, contact our trip liaison at 415-933-9799 for more information. $2,795 per person, double occupancy. Limited number of singles available, please inquire. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to reserve your space.


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