Liz and David Atkinson are the proprietors of Arts in Provence.
“Arts in Provence is run by David and Liz Atkinson from a typical Provençal village house. Our courses are held in the tiny hamlet of Les Bassacs which has commanding views over the spectacular mountains of the Luberon and the Vaucluse.
Surrounded by cherry orchards, vineyards and olive groves, Les Bassacs is within easy reach of Gordes, Lacoste and Bonnieux. We have been running courses here since 1990 and have been featured on the BBC’s Holiday Programme and Journeys from the Centre of the Earth.
We aim to inspire and relax you so that you can learn, share ideas and have fun, far away from everyday constraints.” quoted from their website.
Liz and David know how to run a glitchless two weeks of painting en plein air. I attended the workshop taught by Susan Abbott. We were a group of twelve students. Each day Liz provided three delicious meals created from recipes and ingredients of Provence. We sipped the local wines, devoured the fresh picked cherries and apricots and indulged in salads and entrees flavored with fresh herbs. Each evening David would inform us of our schedule for the following day, providing us with a bit of history and anecdote of the area or village he would transport us to. There was no need to travel far; every inch of the surrounding area is inspiring. On several occasions we enjoyed a picnic lunch or picnic dinner enabling us to stay longer in a village or to paint the evening glow of late light that lingered until 10 pm.
Liz and David are both artists. Liz is a ceramist. Each afternoon and evening the local Rose Wine was kept chilled in beautiful vessels made by Liz. David is a painter. He shared with us his paintings and his sketchbooks. He is truly an extraordinary draftsman. I poured over his sketchbooks, inspired by his ink expressive and competent ink drawings. Two years ago David gave up drawing to force himself to paint more. In spite of the fact that his paintings are strong, beautifully abstract and expressive, I can only hope that he will pick up the pen again. I brought home with me one of his etchings, one that I had admired each time I walked through the foyer to my room. Link to David’s Blog.