Snow at Rieuzal



It's our third snowfall in Rieuzal this winter! The snow never lasts more than two days. As gusts of light swirl around us, a silence sets in, limiting all outside activity and covering our world. The high-pitched cry of the raven and the cry of the hungry fox resonate in the crisp silence. Smoke rises from the chimneys in the valley and we snuggle up in front of the fire with a good glass of wine.

Art Classes



February 18, 2018



Catherine Stock studied art, art education and graphic design respectively in Cape Town, London and New York where she entered the publishing world. After working as a designer and art director for several years, she left professional life first to write and illustrate children's books and then to create portraits.


After acquiring a summer home in the southwest of France, she taught watercolor workshops in her barn studio for about fifteen years until she stopped to pursue her own work full time. Most of her illustrations are done in watercolor, which reproduces well in print.
She will offer a two-week course this summer in a new location, the charming Manoir de Rieuzal overlooking the Dordogne River, from Monday 16 to Friday 20 July, and again from Monday 23 to Friday 27 July.
The title of the workshop is "Plan like a turtle and paint like a hare!
Watercolor has the reputation of being a very difficult medium to master because it tends to be very ruthless. The beauty of watercolor lies in the fresh and transparent glazes that depend on the preservation of the white paper base to impregnate the paint with light. Correction and overwork tend to result in a muddy mess. The artist must therefore be well prepared before starting, and once started, paint with speed and confidence. Another attribute of watercolor is the incorporation of accidents and surprises that often contribute to the excitement, vivacity and joy of the work. The first five-day course is a good foundation in watercolor technique, it is a thorough examination for any artist, but not too difficult for a serious beginner. Catherine shows how to stretch paper, paint washes, mix and layer colors, create textures, create a sense of depth and set up a good composition. Most of the week will be spent in workshops, such as exercise situations and still lifes.
The second five-day drawing class takes place the following week for students who are comfortable enough with the medium to tackle the outdoors {if time permits}. Catherine explains linear perspective and we start drawing buildings in a village. We discuss aerial perspective and paint local landscapes. We may spend a day drawing animals, sometimes at the local zoo, and a morning sketching at the local market.
This week is intended for more independent painters, although Catherine is always available to help and advise. She will paint and draw with everyone else, to demonstrate her approach and technique. Sh strongly recommends that students take the first class before registering for this course as in the past students have found it difficult to work in the field without taking a warm-up course.
Lunch, usually consisting of local recipes and/or ingredients prepared by the Manor's hosts, Anne and Bruce Eccles, is included in the course and is always a welcome break at the end of the morning's hard work. Non-painters can join the group for lunch for a fee of 15 euros with advance notice.
Classes start promptly at 9:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m., but students may continue to work alone. Night does not fall until around 10 pm at this time of year, which leaves plenty of time to explore this beautiful part of the world after class.
Class size is limited to ten students. The price of the week, including lunch, is 395 euros.
There is plenty of accommodation in the area, at all levels and at all rates, ranging from camping to accommodation at the Manoir de Rieuzal itself. It is essential to book in advance as July is the high season in the south-west of France. It is highly recommended to have private transportation to enjoy all that the region has to offer, but it is not essential as it is possible to organize a shared trip, especially for the second week when we will be painting in different places.
Please visit Catherine's website for more information about Catherine, the workshop and the region. www.catherinestock.com
She can be contacted directly at catherine@catherinestock.com or by phone at +33 (0) 565336940 or +33 (0) 618820791 (mobile).