Workshops In France Guest Reviews and Testimonials:

The ExperienceThe Itinerary | What They GainedThe AccommodationsAfter The Retreat

The Retreat & Workshops

Dear friends,

What a magical experience I enjoyed while painting in Scotland! Although it was cool, rainy and sometimes windy, I learned so much working with Daniel Gerhartz!

We learned about painting a model from life, setting the scene, and how the colors and values can show the form. It’s very important to prepare when painting from life, both with a model and en plein air. The light situation is very important, whether it’s artificial or natural…

I am newly energized to paint figurative paintings and paint them from life…

Our Workshops in France hosts brought us out to paint the Scottish castles as well as some wonderful little fishing villages. I made some plein air studies that I plan to use for larger pieces. It’s great to work outside and see the true colors. Photos can be great for reference as long as one remembers the camera (or phone) changes the colors… I came back with some great photos that have inspired me to paint the bucolic scenes of England and Scotland.

So much to paint and so little time!”

Mardi G., USA, Daniel Gerhartz 2023

What a fun time was had by all! It was a thrill to finally work with Daniel after discovering him in 2004. And in Scotland!

Thank you so much for putting this workshop together. 

For the two of you, one of my favorite memories was of you, Julie, was you spontaneously dancing to the dear and talented bagpiper Archie with Mardi! And for you Shirley, the sound of your voice and accent was a real highlight. I heard someone else say the same thing…what a delight…and thanks for explaining that when you “kook”, we should sit down and enjoy!

All my best to you both!

Mary A., USA, Daniel Gerhartz 2022

“I can say from past experience, that all of your needs are taken care of and you have many unexpected adventures too. Julie, Shirley and Lauren are the best!

The WIF team is so well organized and they are so much fun!

All of the workshops and retreats sound fantastic! I loved going on the Tuscan retreat with you in 2022!  Congrats to all of you for a year of bringing the Joy of art and travel to many!

Sherry H., Texas, USA Under the Tuscan Sky 2022

“My time with Workshops in France was an unforgettable experience, and exceeded expectations. The opportunity to soak in beautiful views for art-making was one thing, but meeting a group of international artists, all with their own personalities and creative styles, was the real treasure. At first I was nervous to be traveling alone, but everything ran so smoothly the moment I touched down in Italy. I found a beautiful connection to Italian culture, and the abundant art history within each of the surrounding cities that we visited as a group. I look forward to exploring more workshops and retreats in the future!”

Juliette S., NY, New York, Oct 2022

“I am sitting at a corner cafe in Paris having just wrapped up my workshop in Provence through Workshops in France with Julie Snyder and her awesome upbeat staff. And, yes, I have to pinch myself from time to time to see if I am not dreaming. 

The locations were incredible. I could not be more impressed with the way Julie manages her workshop experiences. 

I loved my students’ willingness to try new approaches to painting. So good to be traveling again and the French are in a word. EXTRORDINAIRE.

Instructor Stewart White, MD, USA. Instructor 2022

I want to tell you, I had the best time with you showing us your beautiful Scotland. Scotland is a gem to be sure, it really does feel like home to me! It was so wonderful to meet you after all the communication over the last few years. Hopefully we can meet up in the future.

Thanks to you and Julie it was a wonderful trip for me and all participants. Julie is wonderfully energetic, and of course Lauren and Jerome were so wonderful, always cheery and supportive, each a joy to be around.

I had a really fun time with Jane and Barbara in the village Fountain House. It was a very good mix, could not have been better.

Mary Anne C. DC, 2-time attendee Provence & Scotland, 2019 & 2022

I’ve always believed in “designing my life” rather than waiting for something to come around the corner. In that regard, I decided to make a left-hand turn in my life and do something completely different after teaching piano since I was 16 years old. I was at a turning point, and while pursuing the internet came across an ad for Workshops in France. It was a brave and bold move to come to Provence on my own not knowing what to expect and with no real skills.

 Luckily it went far beyond my expectations, and I enjoyed a wonderful ten days in a beautiful chateau outside of Avignon, eating gourmet French meals, quaffing interesting wines and interacting with artists from around the world. As a newbie I received lots of inspiration just looking over people’s shoulders; everyone was willing to share their expertise and Julie was a great mentor. This needed to be repeated and become part of my yearly activities. The format suited me; I loved exploring new villages and finding the perfect spot to while away a few hours totally absorbed in painting. I have made some really good friends. that I continue to stay in touch with them. I am now signed up for my fifth Art Retreat  [with WIF]. and at each one I feel I grow artistically and am always wanting more. It’s become part of my life with so many benefits!

Brenda S, Fort Langley, BC, Canada, 7-time attendee, Sept. ‘15, June '16, Sept. '17, '18, '19, '21, '22

I want to thank you and your team for such a wonderful 10 days at the Chateau. You looked after us so well..answered every question and met every need.
I learned so much from Daniel that I have been painting like a mad woman since I returned home! I have been able to incorporate what he taught us and it has made such a difference to my work. I feel better informed about what I am doing..and he taught me to look at models and still life differently.
So.. please pass on my thanks to everyone. It was a remarkable experience and a time I will cherish….. Thank you.

Peni, Canada- '19

The workshop in France was an incredible experience.  
We all stay at the same chateau and it was just like one big family.  Julie and Shirley go above and beyond in the hospitality.  If you have I dietary issue they handle it beautifully.
I learned so much from Quang Ho, it was truly a great experience. I would highly recommend going to Workshops in France.

Marion H, TX- '19, '21, '22

My stories from this incredible adventure are as expansive as the poppy fields. I am grateful for the chance that Workshops in France gave me to explore and grow and stamp 30 [years old] as one heck of a year! I am also grateful for a husband who supports my dream and wanted to help put a cherry on top of this trip with all that Paris had to offer…

Fallon Pepper, SC- 2 time attendee, '17, '19

Guest Interview: Amy

Amy shares her experience painting at the château with Workshops in France. Amy attended a workshop with instructors Romel de la Torre and Timothy C Tyler.

I remembered looking at the literature for Workshops in France at one of the Plein Air Conventions… 
So glad we decided on going with Julie and her great support crew, Shirley, Celeste, Kirsteen and Janice!!  All artists and up for anything!  They would take us to different, amazing locations to paint after the workshop which I will cover in future posts.
Another word about Workshops in France. Julie and her crew take the stress out of painting in France! Especially if you are thinking of doing it for the first time. We loved the locally sourced food and wine!   You really only have to concentrate on making great artwork. They do all the rest!
Robin W- '19

What is memorable is the care and attention to most details, the excellent fellow painters, food and enjoyment of environment and companionship of other artists.

Keith L.,Sydney, Australia—8 time attendee, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, '16, '17 '18, '19, '22

2018 will make my third visit to Provence with Julie, Shirley and their wonderful helpers.

I love every aspect of this true holiday. Meeting a variety of different artists, sharing ideas and learning so much from all of them, painting at whatever pace and whenever you wish are the foundations of the retreat. Add that to being driven about to stunning villages and landscapes, being wined and dined in luxury and you have a holiday you want to keep returning to. I cannot recommend the retreat more highly.

Sally B., Australia—Sept 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022 - 5 time attendee.

The June Workshop was different from the first one I attended. In lieu of the Fall grape harvesting, I had the intoxicating pleasure of seeing and painting beautiful fields of lavender on gently rolling hills. We discovered new and interesting little towns in Provence – away from the crowded cities full of tourists – and everywhere I gazed I saw a picture to be captured in paint!  

Brenda S., Fort Langley BC—Sept. 2015, June 2016, Sept. 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 7-time attendee

The most amazing time I ever had painting in France! Julie Snyder and Shirley make sure you have a hassle-free painting experience!
Catherine B., MA, USA, 2018

Just got home from a wonderful stay in Provence. ❤️ We painted everyday in beautiful places, great food, and made some good friends. I’d do it again.

Melanie S. G., TX, USA, 2018 and 2022

It was a GREAT workshop. I learned so much and had a really great time with all the folks on the trip. 
Anne D., Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

Thank you again for another stellar workshop! I had such a great time and enjoyed the camaraderie, making new friends, seeing old friends, and, of course, painting those inspiring scenes of Provence. It never fails to please! The beauty of these workshops is the unencumbered time I can spend painting alongside other artists, not worrying about someone else or what’s for dinner, etc. One can paint morning, noon and night if one is so inclined! So count me in for something next year!
Brenda S., British Columbia, CA, Glorious Provence, 2018

Thank you personally for your part in one of the highlights of my life. The experience was fun, productive, enriching, and just what I needed. You girls certainly have it all together and do a wonderful job of organizing, entertaining, and executing a perfect event. I enjoyed every day.  
Gayle R., FL, USA, Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

Overall experience was enjoyable, surprising, enticing, comfortable, exhilarating, wistful, frustrating, and hilarious. 

There were so many interesting combinations of friends already formed and single people ready for new experiences and conversations.  The personal issues, heartaches, joys and challenging personalities made for a wonderful adventure. I found Julie to be the Boss, organizing the days, and determining the routes and moves, and executing the plans.  Her business mind salted with humor and a keen eye kept the caravans moving and hitting the best spots. Shirley was the Consiglieri, listening, advising, picking up the straggling ends, working smoothly with her lovely daughter, keeping a light funny touch on all things absurd and important.

Peggy P., WY, USA, Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

Super!  Loved all of it.  You did a great job picking various sites to paint which also provided a touring experience.

Would love to take another workshop — just for the whole experience. I have enrolled in a French class and am currently enjoying my Art History class.  (next week we cover a chapter which has Van Gogh….. and I can say “I’ve been there!”)

Lucy L. Roswell, GA, USA, Tim Horn workshop Sept. 2018

The place that was picked for us to stay was wonderful. For me the most memorable thing was the village where we painted, but a close second was the bond between the artists that was created, allowing us to make friends for life during the trip.
Karla B, Sunland, CA—3 time attendee September ‘10, September ‘14, May '17

I was so happy to have been on the retreat in Provence. Such an inspiration!!
As an artist working mostly by myself in my studio, it gets a bit lonely and isolated… [The trip] was absolute bliss for me!
The sites, the aromas, the vivid colors, the atmosphere, I was filled with wonderful inspiration!! We also made some lovely friends,from the other side of the world! If you need inspiration, you feel lonely, this is the thing you need to do—go on a retreat, and recharge your batteries. Have a happy painting Holiday!

Liz H., Finland—Sept 2017, Oct. 2022

The painting workshop was the best time with the best instructors! It was wonderful to spend it together with such talented and friendly people all together in our very own castle. Ten days in heaven, what more can we dream of?
Tim and Lisa B, San Antonio Texas—Sept 2017

A testimonial will usually include some suggestion for an improvement to balance the description.  I can honestly say that in my opinion, nothing could have been improved. I enjoyed the pace of each day.  There was a sense of being supported and guided to the very best experience possible. The fellow travelers were happy and nothing was missing. Workshops In France gave me a quality of experience way beyond my expectation.

Nathalie W- June 2016, June 2017

Paint with a group of artists in France, particularly Provence. I found the perfect trip with Julie Snyder”s Workshops. Julie led us with great zest and enthusiasm! Our accommodations at the chateau were fantastic and the food and wine superb. We had such fun with this wonderful group of people.

Anne H—Sept 2016

My expectations for such an adventure were high before we arrived in Provence but the actual time there with the group far exceeded anything I or my non-painting husband could have imagined. “Bravo!”
Marcia B and Daniel F—Sept 2016

The trip was an artistic journey, so well coordinated all the artists had to do was create. It was a trip of a lifetime for me; from painting in the field with the horses to the warm welcome of the farmhouse lights in the evening after a day of painting. If you take a workshop with Workshops In France you will be in excellent hands. The leaders listen to each person and magically knows how to make every artist comfortable so they can create to their full potential and beyond. I look forward to the day when we can travel again and paint each day dawn till dark.

Laura W., Santa Clarita, CA—Attended three times, September 2010, 2016, 2019

It’s the light, it’s the ambiance of it all, it’s the people, it’s the food, it’s the wine, it’s … LA FRANCE!
Dianne B, Pittsburgh, PA—June ‘ 15

Larry and I have not stopped talking about our trip with you last September.  As you know he is a musician and art appreciator, not an artist himself. It was nice to hear him practice flute on our lazy afternoons at the castle. Thank you Julie. We will join you again.
Larry and Michal C, Santa Paula, CA—September ‘14

Our Itinerary

“Scotland was amazing. I fell in love with the highlands and the Scottish people. The crew were the best and took good care of us and other artists in our group were very fun to be with. Painting at Balmoral and Dunnottar castle was such a special experience. We were lucky the weather was perfect and not too rainy. I’d go again in a heartbeat” 

Nannette N. 2-time attendee: Josh Clare Workshop 2021, Majestic Scotland 2022

I wrote …remember the scents…jasmine, lavender, sounds of the cicadas…
I loved it all, thank you!!!

I often reflect on my time in Provence in June last year and how much I enjoyed my holiday at [the château]. I just loved it even though I am a very beginner landscape painter, the experience of visiting the various villages, my excellent roommate, Annie, the markets, our lunches, dinners, and being in the South of France was just so good.

I loved my time in Paris too, visits to Musee D’Orsay, the shops, my trip to Monet’s Garden and his home…I found it so moving to be in the gardens…who knew the lily ponds were so huge….just so good!! :))”

KM- '19

Painting locations — I liked them all for different reasons, but my favorite was Venasque. I also really enjoyed the last dinner and visiting Les Baux and Carrieres de Lumieres.
Lucy L, Roswell, GA, USA, Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

Boules/Pétanque – More birthday fun – great game of boules (even if I was on the losers’ team!)
Brenda S, Fort Langley BC Canada, 4-time attendee, Sept. ‘15, June '16, Sept. '17, '18

Les Baux – It was a GREAT show. And a GREAT workshop with Tim Horn.
Anne D., Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

The pace was perfect.  Each experience offered the opportunity to go at one’s own pace, enjoy some camaraderie among our fellow artists, and feel the real quality of French life
Nathalie W., France, June 2016; Scotland, June 17

Carrières de Lumières: A remarkable experience! Provencal Open Air market: I LOVED going there…..we needed more time!
Dianne B, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June ‘ 15

Carrières de Lumières:  Can’t be explained, one has to see it to really get the full emotional affect. I so enjoy this place every time I go… Wish it was closer!!!! Can’t wait to go again, is describable, so awesome.. Provencal Open Air market: I so enjoy our outings there, so many nice things..
Rita H, Prineville, Oregon. 2 time guest September ‘14, June ‘15

Carrières de Lumières: This is so fantastic! Impossible to adequately describe! You didn’t even mention the music! The whole experience is incredible powerful and moving. Thank you for including it. Provencal Open Air market: Beautiful produce and great bargains on gifts to bring home!
Kathy, Hyannis, MA September ‘15

A good variety of locations and activities. Provencal Open Air market: The market should NOT be missed (by anyone)! It’s just so….mmm… French! Loved our visit there.
Jane R, Cobourg, Canada, June 14

What They Gained

I joined Workshops in France in Tuscany, thinking it would be a nice way to spend time with my mom and get some painting done. It was, but it was so much more. The trip was completely life changing. I had indescribable experiences with fellow artists who see the world the way I do. Artists of all generations, from all over the world. Painting with them in breathtaking locations seemed to amplify the beauty. The Workshops in France team works hard to protect that time. I was able to soak in the gorgeous locations, people, food, and experiences purely and completely.  I have made lifelong friends. I will never forget the time we all ran up a hill of the vineyard to marvel at the moonlight!

Katharine H. Chicago, IL, USA October 2022

The chateau and food — Very nice and the fact that it had such a varied history added to the trip. Beautiful countryside and the food was awesome. I was happy that it was local and very French.  My favorite dish was the duck with figs. Mmmm!
Lucy L. Roswell, GA, USA September 2018

Artistically, I will take away Tim’s lessons about shadow and light when I choose a scene to paint and execute it.  Busy street scenes will not intimidate me anymore. Looking at the subject far more carefully and picking out the pieces of color both in and out of the light are and will be invaluable.

Peggy P., WY, USA, Tim Horn Workshop, 2018; Kingdom of Fife Art Retreat, 2019

The greatest benefit was having full days to paint without having to think about meals and other things that take up our daily lives.  And it was an added benefit to be with other painters as we shared techniques, places to go and ideas.
Elizabeth T, La Canada, California, 2 time attendee, September ‘10 and June ‘15

The experience is invaluable. You are away from your normal routine and your artistic “eyes” respond to the new environment with excitement. Talk about waking up the artistic juices, everywhere we went there were more scenes to paint then I ever dreamed of.

Laura W, Santa Clarita, CA, September 2010, September 2016, June 2019

Lived a dream for starters, wonderful light and great conversation… This was an amazing experience far exceeded our expectations. Appreciated all the little kindnesses…
Paula and Charles D, Calabasas, California September ‘13

It was fun being there and I loved France, plus I made some friends.
Terry RP, Sherman Oaks, California September ‘12

It’s just so much fun to shake things up with a trip away!  You get to practice your language skills, enjoy the local cuisine, meet new people and experience their culture, and come away with a larger life view.
Vera C, Chatham, MA, September 2010


The food was exceptionally good, pleasantly presented, and thoughtfully prepared with allergy-prone guests in mind.
Peggy P., WY, USA, Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

Our accommodation was in an historical chateau, worthy of many paintings! Our food was typical French fare and we always looked forward to the evening meal. Wine flowed aplenty; the group was fun and friendships grew. We could enjoy the two pools on the grounds, a contested game of boules or watch the sunset.

Brenda S, Fort Langley BC Canada, 4-time attendee, Sept. ‘15, June '16, Sept. '17, '18

Julie led us with great zest and enthusiasm! Our accommodations at the chateau were fantastic and the food and wine superb. We had such fun with this wonderful group of people.

Anne H, ME, Sept. 2016.

Ann H, Mn, June 14

Great accommodations with an awe inspiring view. The food was great too.  A good selection and lots of choices at each meal.  I loved the relaxed atmosphere too.  The catered meals were all delicious.
Jane R, Cobourg, Canada, June 14

Our accommodations at the castle were wonderful. A bit unconventional-which for us was a special treat!  Food was out of this world!  Timed shared with other artists was very special.
Larry and Michal C, Santa Paula, California September ‘14

The accommodations were GREAT, a wonderful experience. I loved my room, loved the chateau! My room was quiet, except for the hourly church bells ringing, which I actually liked!
Terry P, Sherman Oaks, California September ‘12

After The Retreat

Well, I found out that plein air is harder than I thought and one has to work faster. But I will for sure get out there and paint outside again. Would love to take another workshop — just for the whole experience.
Lucy L, Roswell, GA, USA, Tim Horn Workshop, 2018

The greatest impact were the friendships made and gallery shows that resulted from the trip.  I have a much larger library of images to choose from that are authentic.  It also taught me how to travel as an artist….what to bring, what not to bring. It takes you out of what you know and lets you see with fresh eyes.  It’s a terrific opportunity and one I look forward to doing again.
Elizabeth T, La Canada, California, 2 time attendee, September ‘10 and June ‘15

A chance to travel and paint with other artists just adds richness to your life.  You are forever changed by all the experiences and all that you’ve looked at.  It’s fabulous on your resume and informs all the work that follows.
Vera C, Chatham, MA, September 2010

I will benefit for the rest of my life from the friendships that evolved from our time traveling.  Another benefit of traveling with Julie was her “can do” attitude, solving any potential hitches and making sure each and everyone of the artists had the best possible experience. The most surprising benefit was the addition of painting in France to my resume and how collectors are pleased.
Laura W, Santa Clarita, CA, Attended 2 retreats. Sept., 2010, Sept.,2016

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