Plein Air Painting with Pastels

Plein Air Painting with Pastels

Course leader: Janet Kohler

Dates: 12-19 September, 2020

This week you’ll focus on painting outside, working with pastels, immersed in the surrounding autumn farmland and quaint Loire Valley towns. Janet will guide you with techniques and individual instruction to boost your confidence while you capture an exciting sense of depth and atmosphere in your work. We’ll learn what makes a strong composition and what to leave out and when to stop. You’ll explore pastels’ immediate and intense color and use value and shapes to give your work it’s unique quality.

We will venture out morning and afternoon to experience and paint in this extraordinary, creative environment, while the stresses of everyday life melt away 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.

About Your Course Leader

Janet Kohler received her BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mi and her MFA from Eastern Michigan University. She currently teaches Pastel & Landscape Painting at the Visual Arts Association of Livonia and at Interlochen College of Creative Arts, Interlochen, MI. She has taught figure drawing and painting, color mixing with pastels and plein-air painting classes at the Ann Arbor Art Center, drawing at Washtenaw Community College, Drawing the Figure workshops at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and pastel painting workshops at Crooked Tree Art Center, Petoskey, MI, Jackson, MI Civic Art Association, and the Art School at Old Church, Demarest, NJ.

Janet’s pastels and oils have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in many corporate and private collections. Learn more about Janet at:


Course Length:   7 nights (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.
Courses are billed in UK pounds (GBP).
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You can also check the deposit amount against several currencies:
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Free pick-up (Saturday) and drop-off (Saturday) in Nantes, France at:

Nantes Atlantique International Airport (You can arrive via plane or train). There are many flights/trains from many places including United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal and Italy.  Full details here.

  • Pick-up 17:15
  • Drop-off 13:15

If you fly from North America, Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere in the world to Paris (CDG Airport) there are TGV trains directly from the CDG Terminal 2 station to Nantes where you will then catch a shuttle bus (runs every 20 mins) to Nantes Airport where will collect you. There are also numerous trains to Nantes from Paris Montparnasse station if you plan to stay in Paris before or after your time with us or if your flight time syncs up better with a Montparnasse train. We will send precise instructions for pick-up location at airport, etc. after booking. And we are also happy to advise on the best travel options, so please get in touch with any questions.

  • You can also take the train to Thouars (and sometimes Saumur), our nearest town, and we’ll collect you. If you fly to us via Paris, this can be your best option. Again, get in touch and we’ll advise. We’ll also send a form asking about your travel plans. As we know more about everyone’s travel plans and our specific logistics during your course week, we can suggest alternatives such as Thouars and Saumur. So please do ask us.
  • You can also drive. We will send directions and GPS coordinates.  See Our Location for more info
Plein Air Painting with Pastels

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