Arriving on June 2, 2025- Departing on June 12, 2025

Fresh & Exciting Watercolors with David R. Smith

Join me for the experience of a lifetime as the Watercolor Journey takes us to the beautiful Dordogne region of southern France.

I enjoyed my first trip to this location in 2018 after my late friend and well-known international artist Karlyn.

Holman, who has enjoyed 13 trips at LeVieux, urged me to conduct a workshop at what she described as…

“the most wonderful place in the world. The place has a 17th century charm, the
best food, very reasonably priced, and great people running the facility. They pick
you up at the airport, drop you off, serve most of the meals, take you to the sites,
and best of all, you have a beautiful studio to work in!”

Her description did not disappoint. I can’t wait to return and hope you can join us.


Don’t miss out at our only opportunity to stay at this 17th century refurbished convent and Art Center.  The retreat and our French home will be the quiet and relaxing Le Vieux Couvent – ancient buildings and a well-lit and spacious studio surrounded by beautiful courtyards, secluded terraces, swimming pools, intimate gardens, Koi ponds, and vignettes to paint everywhere.  We will stay in shabby-chic, beautifully simple rooms, most with en suite bathrooms and free Wifi.

We will be royally looked after at Le Vieux Couvent by the warm hospitality of all our hosts.Check out their website, Le Vieux Couvent at Click on Calendar of Events in the menu bar to see Artist Workshops.


The FOOD!!! 

Oh my.. I think we are in for a royal treat!  According to Karlyn:

“The food is the highest quality food I have ever experienced!  The meals are served banquet style and are Mediterranean in content.”

Other guests have described the food as an art in itself and have given it a five-star rating.  It is nutritious, beautifully presented, and can be catered to dietary restrictions.

The sites we’ll visit:

Experience the French countryside that has inspired artists for thousands of years.

The itinerary isn’t written in stone, but typically includes traveling the Dordogne region in air-conditioned vans to our chosen painting sites – Charming villages like St. Cirq la Popie high above Le Lot river, the dramatic and historic pilgrimage site of Rocamadour, peaceful riverbanks and lakes, the colorful market of Souillac and Cahors, the fortress of Chateau Baynac, St. Chamarand, the Pech Merle Caves to view ancient cave art, wineries, and much more of the French country side.

Creativity and Learning in an enjoyable environment:

Our group will enjoy the most beautiful and inspirational sites to paint, photograph, explore, or simply relax in.  Upon our return, we will have the beautiful LeVieux grounds as well as a studio full of natural light to share and recapture our experiences with watercolor.


I’m planning to “pull out all the stops” and share my most valuable watercolor concepts and techniques. Our time together will save you countless hours of trial & error by demonstrating approaches in an easily understood manner that will open new doors of discovery and creativity.
I would like to get outside to paint and instruct as much as possible (En Plein Air) for us to enjoy France as much as possible. However, as painting outdoors is most likely new to most folks, I plan to instruct some lessons in the studio and will support your watercolor journey where you feel most comfortable working – indoors &/or outdoors.

Participants will be provided frequent demonstrations, guided practice, and step-by-step instruction, which may include some drawing guides and reference photos. Those who are interested in painting outdoors or en plein air will learn a systematic approach that will increase one’s success and enjoyment. I will demonstrate a wide variety of techniques, including “wet-on-wet,” “spattering”, and “spraying” – methods and approaches that will keep your paintings fresh with exciting blends and textures, and keep you inspired and eager to explore your new watercolor capabilities long into the future.

Regardless of your level of experience, whether the subject matter is a narrow St. Cirq la Popie street scene, a quaint village, or a cluster of grapes in the Le Vieux Couvent garden, you’re almost guaranteed to leave with a handsome work of art, and the skills, concepts, and confidence to take your paintings to a higher level.

So pack your palette and brushes, swimsuit, camera, sense of adventure and humor, and come to France with me (and bring a friend or loved one). Upon receiving your registration, I will keep you updated regularly on the latest trip announcements including itinerary and travel information. I am so excited for this trip and for the photos, artwork, inspiration, memories, and long-term friendships that we’ll return home with.


What’s included on this Creative Holiday.

  • Ten night’s lodging (single or shared occupancy)
  • All meals except three lunches and one dinner out
  • Gourmet dinners
  • 24 hour use of the art studio and extensive art library
  • Taxi service to and from Toulouse International Airport
  • Daily excursions to nearby historic villages – this is a great opportunity to take plenty of photos, sketch, shop and enjoy French culture

Airfare, a couple of meals and tipping not included.

To enroll, or for more information please contact David Smith directly via email

Visit his website:

call us

+33 565 245 013

Le Vieux Couvent Frayssinet 46310 FRANCE,  Email: