Desmond McCarthy Art Classes

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A Drawing & Sketching Holiday in a French Chateau with Desmond McCarthy from the 22nd to 29th July 2009. Price: 1295 euros per person per week.

Includes: transfers between Poitiers and Concremiers (location of Chateau), bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, all tuition, transport around the region, Single person supplement visits/entrance fees to local places of interest.

Participants will be accommodated at the Château de Forges and at the Château d’Ingrandes. The two châteaux (above) are located close to one another on the borders of the Berry and the Poitou, ancient duchies of the kingdom of France and about thirty miles to the east of Poitiers.

Participants of all levels of ability work together in small groups with expert tuition provided by well-known professional artists. Instruction can be given in oil and watercolours as well as charcoal / pencil drawing. Materials provided include: easels and stools while canvas boards, paper and colours can be purchased locally; participants should bring their own paints, brushes, paper palettes, paper / sketchpads and pencils.

Tuition will take place in the mornings while, during the afternoons, there will be the opportunity for painters (and their non-painting partners) to visit local places of interest: these include the abbey church of St Savin with its medieval roof paintings, the monastery of Fontgombault, the tiny but exquisite Romanesque church of Villesalem, the bird reserve of the Brenne, as well as local industries such as a stone quarry where skilled workers fashion exquisite carvings for buildings throughout France, a ‘fromager’ who produces delicious ‘pyramides’ of goats’ cheese and a local winemaker.

Breakfast will be in the châteaux, there will be a light lunch or picnic at midday and dinner will be served either at the nearby 15th century home of Patrick Marsh and Juliet O’Reilly or at a local restaurant. The two châteaux are situated some fifty minutes’ drive from the airport at Poitiers to which there is a direct Ryanair flight from London Stansted.

Tour leaders:

The holiday is organised by Patrick Marsh and Juliet O’Reilly.

When she was in London, Juliet worked at Agnew’s, the well-known London art dealers and, more recently, she ran her own art gallery in Dublin. Patrick has taught at universities in England, Ireland and France and studied art at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. He has exhibited his work in England, Ireland and France. Paddy and Juliet’s knowledge of the region is considerable, and they will accompany the group and explain various aspects of the visits and of the other different activities.

Booking details:

To enquire about the holidays please email: or write to: Juliet O’Reilly, 6, Merlyn Drive, Dublin 4, Ireland.

To secure a booking on the painting holiday a non-refundable deposit of 300 euros is required. All flight bookings are booked by the individual / group concerned.

In case of cancellation due to operational or reasons beyond our control, your deposit will be returned. The final balance for the holiday (excluding flights) is due 10 weeks prior to departure date.