France Plein Air Painting Workshop & Retreat

SEPTEMBER 3- 10, 2025, All–Inclusive

Paint in the Heart of France

Paint the views of picturesque villages, castles, fields, rivers, vineyards, and walnut orchards in the Périgord Vert region of the Dordogne. Gain mastery while expressing the exquisite light and colors native to the South of France—all from the ease and comfort of a private grand château with extensive grounds. Conveniently located just a two-hour train ride from Paris.

  • Welcome to Castle Marouatte
  • Castle Marouatte
  • View from tower at Castle Marourette
  • Courtyard of the Castle Marouatte
  • Pugin Room, Castle Marouatte
  • Pugin Room, Castle Marouatte
  • Pugin Room, Castle Marouatte
  • Pugin Room, Castle Marouatte
  • Pugin Room, Castle Marouatte
  • Balcony off one of the rooms at Castle Marouatte
  • Courtyard of the castle Marouatte
  • Reminders of days gone by, gun holes to keep marauders at bay
  • Medieval door at Castle Marouatte
  • Spiral stairwell in the Castle Marouatte
  • stairway to one of the towers at the Castle Marouatte
  • Living room, salon at the Castle Marouatte
  • Castle Marouatte
  • Jill in the Great Hall at Castle Marouatte
  • Castle Marouatte Angel

It’s All Grand at Castle Marouatte

The genuine fortified medieval castle, (Château Grande) complete with towers, is richly decorated with period antiques and art throughout, keeping the castle’s majestic ambiance while providing the comfort and convenience of modern amenities.

Rest in the comfort of the well-appointed rooms fit for royalty. Savor the sumptuous local cuisine prepared fresh for you daily. The region is famous for its food, duck, foie gras, walnuts, and truffles are specialties. Wine from Bergerac is exquisite. Most meals are served in the grand dining room with several lunches in picnic style or at local restaurants. The resident chef will cater to all your dietary needs.

Relax, it’s not all about painting. Discuss painting and art with new friends or unwind in one of the several comfortable living spaces in the spacious castle. The art retreat is designed to allow you to fully relax, enjoy the camaraderie, and expand while experiencing exhilarating outings and valuable painting lessons.

The Château Grande Marouatte is fondly referred to as the Troubadour Castle. The halls and grounds are filled with inspiration. Many new songs, including four top hits, have been written here. Our host Mile Copeland III has launched and managed many famous musical artists, including the Police. Find out more about the castle.

Castle Marourette, Dodogne, France

We’ll be Venturing Out and Exploring the Region.

Lots to see, lots to paint! We’ll visit Perigueux with its medieval pedestrian quarter, cathedrals, and Roman ruins dating from 100 AD, Market day in the town of Riberac, and the caves of Grotte de Villars with Neolithic paintings dating from 19,000 BC.

Internationally recognized artist, Jill Nichols will be assisting you in honing your skills.

We’ll paint in the town of Brantôme with its Abbey founded by Charlemagne, the castles of Bourdeilles, Mareuil, Puyguilhem, and Château de Villebois- Lavelette, the river Dronne and its carved-out cliffs, and on the 270 acres of the Castle Marouatte.

Reserve Your Spot Today! Scroll down for details!

All-Inclusive. The entire week, from the moment you arrive at the Angoulême train station until the minute you depart, is taken care of for you. Including travel to nearby villages, meals, and a comfy room. Leaving you to focus on your painting, and enjoy the companionship, delicious French cuisine, wine, and countryside.

  • cliff-overhang Brantome, France
  • Brantôme cave dwelling
  • Brantome-greens-gardenw
  • La Dronne

FAQ

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

How do I get there? Book your flight to Paris or Bordeaux, France, and take the speed train to Angoulême. We will pick you up and bring you to the castle. A week later, when you’re brimming with amazing memories and paintings we’ll bring you back to the train station.

I’m traveling alone, is anyone else? This workshop is a wonderful opportunity to meet and make new friends and a friendly and welcoming environment for the solo traveler. We will introduce the workshop attendees to each other via email previous to travel.

What is your teaching style? Jill will be working one-on-one with students and well as holding a few demos and talks that will review basics, often overlooked aspects and her insights into what goes into successfully painting en plein air.

Where will we paint? At various beautiful and fascinating spots, including the town of Brantôme with its Abbey founded by Charlemagne, the castles of Bourdeilles, Mareuil, Puyguilhem, and Château de Villebois- Lavelette, the river Dronne and its carved-out cliffs, and on the 270 acres of the Castle Marouatte. Jill will be working with each painter individually to enhance their painting practice and achieve individual goals.

What do I need to bring? You will receive more details upon registration, including what you will need to paint and other traveling suggestions.

I still have more questions, who do I contact? You can email Jill or fill out the short form below and Jill will get back to you as soon as possible.

Reserve Your Spot with one click Today!

All-Inclusive Eight-day Plein Air Painting Workshop in the South of France. September 3 – 10, 2025!

8 Days – 7 nights accommodations
6 days of painting instruction, all levels, beginner to advanced
All meals included – fresh local cuisine
Ground transportation to/from the Angoulême train station and to all touring and painting sites for the entire week
Easels and solvents are provided
Pack your suit for the beautiful pool on the premises

Painter Single – $3,450. or Single $3,250. depending on room choice
Non-Painting Companion – $2,250. or $2,150.
Double – $3250. or $3,050.

See Room Choices Below

Reserve your spot today with a $500 deposit, (refundable up until April 30, 2025). Full payment is due by July 2, 2025, installment payments are accepted. Payments are accepted via credit card in my Art Shop, Zelle, or check.

Reserve Your Spot Today!

Find out more about the French Plein Air Workshop & Retreat by filling out this simple form. To get occasional updates on Jill’s events and work please be sure to check the sign-up for the newsletter option.

Please fill out the form below for more info or to register – be sure to name your preferred room. Note that if two painters are sharing a room, a deposit from each painter is required.

Your internationally acclaimed instructor Jill Harrington Nichols, MFA

Jill leads painting workshops in her home state of Connecticut, USA, Italy, and online. She has received awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and Connecticut Office of the Arts. Her commissioned painting of Washington D.C. appeared as a backdrop for former FBI Director James Comey’s interview on “Face the Nation” and in the mini-series, “The Comey Rule”. Her artworks Phi, and Juno, which embrace the divine feminine are installed in the Vatican Observatory Museum.

Accustomed to teaching students at all levels, Jill encourages her students to take risks and instills confidence.

During the workshop, we will investigate historic and contemporary approaches to painting the landscape, i.e. the Barbizon School and French Impressionists, Abstraction, and Expressionism. Focusing on the use of color, value, and composition.

Jill is a terrific teacher as well as a wonderful artist. She does not try to find fault with a student’s work. Rather, she studies it, evaluates it, and gives exactly the right suggestions as to what is needed to bring that work to full potential.” 

HELEN M

Each bedroom in the Marouette Castle is unique. Reserve your Choice Today!

Note that grayed out rooms are reserved and no longer available for this workshop

All-inclusive prices with any of the rooms listed below are Single $3,450., Companion, $2,250., Double $3250.

All-inclusive prices with any of the rooms listed below are Single $3,250., Companion $2,150., Double $3,050.

Painting Workshops

To view some of Jill’s plein air paintings click here.

Director of the Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno, pictured here with Jill Nichols and her painting, ‘Phi”. A full-scale print is available for public viewing at the Vatican Observatory Museum, Castel Gandolfo.