Painting at Misse

Painting at Misse

What is it about the light in the French countryside that draws painters here? Is it the air quality, the evocative tilt and angle? There is a magical quality to how it bathes the fields of sunflowers, the crumbling chateaus, barns and antique heirlooms in a soft luminous glow. It’s definitely captivating as it’s drawn countless painters from Da Vinci to Matisse to plop down an easel and get to work.

It’s what brought Janette Hayhoe here, first as a student painter, and then back to settle down and set up her studio. She never grows tired of finding an object in a brocante, or capturing the hues of a spring landscape. She finds it the perfect place for inspiration, exploration and growth.

Find Your Inspiration, Hone Your Skills

Whether you’ve just recently picked up brush, have been dabbling for years, or are a seasoned painter looking for a new challenge, Janette offers painting weeks that unlock  this visual paradise for you.  She gently guides you through improving your skills while also enjoying every moment.

Imagine escaping to a quiet place to reflect, explore and put brush to canvas under the encouraging and helpful eye of a working artist. Beautiful surroundings, amazing food, relaxing comfortable accommodations, and all supplies provided,  means you will be inspired, get out of your day-to-day routines and learn to see the world more creatively; all while picking up new painting skills, learning more about our gorgeous region of France and truly relaxing.  All you have to do is sit down and paint. What are you waiting for? Your easel and brushes await.

Paintings by the participants in our last Still Life Workshop

What to Expect from the Week

Each day will begin with a talk and demonstration of one stage in the process. Short exercises will be introduced to help students focus on specific aspects of the process. For the remaining time, each student will work on their own subject and benefit from one-to-one instruction. Space is limited (5 participants) meaning that quality time and instruction can be given to everyone.

This course is designed to suit all levels, no prior experience is required. The goal is to develop a process that allows you to accurately represent three dimensional objects on canvas. With this clear, step by step approach, you will be able to approach your subject with confidence through a better understanding of how to look at, analyse and represent what’s before you. Whether you are a beginner or want to refine your skills, this course will empower your art process. All materials will be supplied. Just bring your eagerness to learn and enthusiasm for painting!

You will also have time to explore, daydream and relax while being looked after in wonderful style.

Take a look at our TripAdvisor reviews to see what a fabulous time you’re in for.

The Courses

Janette offers two courses during the year:

  • Still Life Workshop in the Autumn
  • Plein Air Painting in the Spring

Both courses develop the same core skills, but by focusing on your preferred genre you can hone in on particular interests.

Still Life Workshop – TBA

Join Janette as she takes you through the fundamentals of painting from life in oil during this one week workshop. Our focus will be on developing the foundation skills of drawing, understanding proportion, analysing light and form, arrangement of values to create depth and the principles of colour.

Janette will share her process beginning with basics including:

  • Set-up and lighting
  • Preparing your surface
  • Laying out your palette

Then she’ll move you into a step-by-step approach that will allow you to:

  • Improve drawing skills
  • Render form through use of value
  • Use colour effectively

Each day will begin with a talk and demonstration of one stage in the process. Short exercises will be introduced to help students focus on specific aspects of the process. For the remaining time, each student will work on their own set-up and benefit from one-to-one instruction.

Paintings by Janette Hayhoe

Plein Air Painting – 4-11 & (11-18 Full) May, 2019

This week you’ll focus on painting outside in oils, looking at the landscape and figuring out how you take the essence of what you see in the landscape and put it on the canvas. We will learn to understand what makes a strong composition, evaluating what makes a good subject and how to think about it. We will explore the use of colour and value to give a sense of depth to your work.

This experience will boost your confidence through employing a reliable method of approach which will challenge you while making the process more enjoyable and satisfying.

We will take lots of trips out into the countryside, chateaus, markets, vineyards and other local spots to paint while also doing some sightseeing, exploring and relaxing.


Course Length:   7 nights (Still Life – Sunday to Sunday) (Plein Air – Saturday to Saturday)

Schedule:   Morning and afternoon sessions each day. Excursions to area attractions such as markets, vineyards, oil presses, artisan food producers and chateaus built into programme. Free time available each day.

Accommodation:   Surrounded by farms and farmland, we’re in the small village of Misse, with our closest neighbours being a church, abbey, cows and pheasants. We’re near the market town of Thouars but far enough away from the action that you can truly relax focus on your painting. You will stay at the Circle of Misse house, a 19th century maison de maître situated in verdant farmland, on the Southern edge of the Loire Valley in France. It has beautiful private ensuite rooms with double beds, wardrobes, and writing desks. Read more about our rooms and location.

Meals & Drinks:   Breakfast, lunch & dinner each day, including wine & cocktails. Coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks and snacks available all the time.

Cost: £1295  that price includes EVERYTHING, all meals & drinks, admission to sites that are part of the course itinerary, accommodation, teaching, painting materials, etc.
Travel to France and personal items you may want purchase at the market are not included.
To secure a place a deposit of £300  is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.



Still Life Workshop

Free pick-up (Sunday) and drop-off (Sunday) in Poitiers, France at:

  • Poitiers Airport
    • Pick-up: Coordinated with Ryanair flight FR8474 arriving 16:35
    • Drop-off: Circa 15:00 coordinated with Ryanair flight FR8475 departing 17:00
  • Poitiers (Centre) rail station
    • Pick-up: Circa 16:00
    • Drop-off: Circa 14:30
  • You can also take the train to Thouars, our nearest town, and we’ll collect you.
  • You can also drive. See Our Location for more info

Plein Air Painting

Free pick-up (Saturday) and drop-off (Saturday) in Tours, France at:

  • St. Pierre des Corps (Tours) Rail Station
    • Pick-up circa 14:40
    • Drop-off circa 11:45
  • You can also take the train to Thouars, our nearest town, and we’ll collect you.
  • You can also drive. We will send directions and GPS coordinates.  See Our Location for more info

Painting at Misse

Learn more 

Still not sure? Just get in touch to ask us any questions.