French Alps Vacation Workshop with Renata Lahalle
September 8-12, 2024
You are invited to a group vacation package in the French Alps featuring 5 art classes taught by urban sketcher Renata Lahalle. This vacation package is equal parts cultural experience and art workshop. The medieval town of Annecy (pronounced un-see) will be our home for an exciting week of workshops and touring. Annecy is known as “the Venice of France" because of the small canals and streams that meander through town and the many charming bridges used to cross them. Together our small group of 10-15 participants will sketch the Alps, visit castles, taste local French wine, tour the lake by boat and more! We are looking forward to making art in good company. Average temperatures for that week in September are highs of 74°F (23°C) and overnight lows of 54°F (12°C)--perfect for a lovely sketching holiday!
Meet Renata Lahalle
Renata was born in Switzerland and grew up in Bogotá. She now lives in Spain. On her blog, she shares her passion for drawing with all those who wish to progress without headaches. Her third book has just been published, a collection that guides the reader to draw easily in a travel sketchbook.
For Renata, drawing should be relaxing and a pleasure, and that's what she'll be sharing with you. During this workshop you'll be creating a travel sketchbook of the French Alps. This workshop will be held in English and French. To find out more about Renata, click HERE.
Warm up Sketch + Welcome Reception
Saturday September 7, 2024
We recommend that participants arrive a day or two early so that you have time to get over jetlag and to acclimatize to your new environment. Workshop participants who are on hand on Saturday September 7, the day before the start of our workshop, are invited to meet in the hotel lobby at 2:00 for a warm up sketch (optional). Renata will not be teaching. This is just your chance to do a warm up sketch before the first art class.
All workshop participants and nonSketcher companions are invited to a welcome reception at 6pm.
Below is our proposed itinerary.
Day 1--Sketch by the Lake + take a boat tour of Lac d'Annecy
Sunday September 8, 2024
After a delicious breakfast in our hotel, we will walk to the nearby park where Renata will teach Workshop #1. After lunch we will take a leisurely 1.5 hour boat tour on Lac d'Annecy with lots of opportunities to relax and take pictures.
Day 2--Sketch Iconic Annecy + Tour the Palais de L'Isle
Monday September 9, 2024
Everywhere we look there is a story to tell in this charming medieval town that we will capture in our sketches during Workshop #2. After lunch we will take a tour of the iconic Palais de l'Île, often referred to as a "house in the shape of a galley". It was at one time a prison, a courthouse and an administrative centre that dates back to the 12th century.
Day 3--Sketch old Annecy + Tour a Castle
Tuesday September 10, 2024
Today we will explore old Annecy with its many charming bridges that cross the Le Thiou River on our way to Workshop #3.
In the afternoon we will take a panoramic bus to tour Chateau Montrottier, a fairytale palace built in the 13th and 14th centuries and nearby Gorges du Fier, with its 252m long footbridge, suspended 25m above the river.
Day 4--Sketch an Alpine View during a full day excursion to Chamonix
Wednesday September 11, 2024
Today we will travel by private coach to Chamonix (pronounced sha-muh-nee) where we will spend a full relaxing day exploring and taking lots of pictures. Here Renata will teach Workshop #4.
Day 5--Sketch the Rooftops + Tour Château d'Annecy
Thursday September 12, 2024
In the evening we will celebrate a wonderful week with a delicious farewell dinner (included).
Friday September 13, 2024
It's time to say goodbye but you will never forget the friends you made or the skills you learned during this great week! Or extend your stay for a long relaxing holiday!
PLEASE NOTE: THE ORDER OF EVENTS AND SUBJECTS PROPOSED IN THIS ITINERARY MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Recommended Workshop Supply List
In this workshop Renata will be using the following materials but feel free to substitute with the materials you already have. These materials should be easy, light and inexpensive so YOU can draw anywhere at any time. To see the supply list Click here
Annecy is pedestrian friendly and fairly flat but there is a hill that leads to the Château d'Annecy that we will need to climb. There are some cobbled and some paved streets. Participants must be able to walk up to 20 minutes and manage going uphill.
Do I need to speak French to enjoy this workshop?
No it's not necessary. Renata speaks both English and French fluently.
For more information about the workshops content contact Renata at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about this vacation package contact Brenda Murray Studio56Boutique@gmail.com.
- A wine & cheese welcome reception
- All art classes
- Admission to the museums and sites mentioned
- one round-trip ferry pass on Lac d'Annecy
- panoramic bus trip to Montrottier and Gorges les Fier
- Full-day excursion to Chamonix
- Farewell dinner
- Flights to/from the area
- airport pick-up and drop-off
- Meals (except those listed above)
- Painting supplies
- City taxes payable by guest at check out
- Tips and gratuities
- Porterage/luggage handling
- Travel insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Items not explicitly specified in the inclusion list
Early Bird Prices in USD
Book now before April 11, 2024 and save $200USD!
USD$1899. $1699.USD Workshop Participant
USD$1299. NonSketcher Companion (such as partner or travelling buddy)
NonSketcher Companion tickets include the same attractions and meals as the Workshop Participants with the exception of the art classes.
To reserve your spot in this workshop a $500 nonrefundable deposit is required for Workshop Participants and a $300 nonrefundable deposit is required for nonSketcher Companions 150 days prior to the start of the workshop. The remaining balance is due 120 days prior to the start of the workshop.
To make a deposit, please scroll to the bottom and click BOOK NOW.
Our Refund Policy
Please read our REFUND POLICY.
How to Get There
Geneva-Cointrin International Airport is the closest international airport to Annecy. It is located 48 km away. There are train and bus connections to Annecy from the airport.
A free train/shuttle that takes you from Geneva Airport train station to the main train station in Geneva (the Gare Cornavin Central Station) departs every 12 to 20 minutes. It is a 6 minute train/shuttle ride. You will get to this shuttle/train by walking through the airport shopping centre (5 mins). The ticket machine for the free shuttle/train is located at the luggage retrieval hall. This ticket must be used within 80 minutes of issuance. For more info about the free shuttle/train ticket click HERE.
Take a train from the main Gare Cornavin Central Station in Geneva to Annecy. This is a 90-120 minute train ride depending on time of day. The cost is about 23 euros one way.
If you are coming by plane the bus may be more convenient because it picks up right outside the airport 5x/day. There are several bus companies running this route (Flix Bus and BlaBlaCar Bus) with varying prices (between 9€ to 19€ one way). Choose a bus company based on it's connection to your arrival time.
The hotel in Annecy is 5 blocks from the train/bus station and a very easy 9-minute walk or you could take a taxi.
Renata and Brenda will be staying at 4-star hotel in Annecy, France. The room rate is 210-220€/night + tax including breakfast depending on room type with free cancellation up to August 5, 2024. Information about this hotel will be sent to participants after they have registered for the workshop.
If you are travelling alone and wish to share a room, please email Studio56Boutique@gmail.com and we will try to find a roommate for you among the participants.
Workshop participants are not obliged to stay in this hotel. You are welcome to stay in another nearby hotel or an Airbnb if you prefer.
How to Make a Hotel Reservation
Before you make a hotel reservation, click the blue BOOK NOW button below to ensure you have a spot in this workshop.
After you have secured your spot in this workshop, you will be sent information about the hotel with instructions for how to book a room.
Travel + Medical Insurance
Last minute cancellations in this workshop for any reason are nonrefundable therefore protect your investment in this vacation by purchasing travel insurance. Click HERE for a list of US travel insurance providers. Some credit card companies may also offer travel insurance if you paid for your trip using that credit card.
The instructor and tour manager are fully vaccinated against covid-19. This tour will be following all locally recommended protocols. Please check the covid protocols required for France by clicking HERE and check back close to the date of departure as the protocols may change.
Please click HERE for Studio 56 Travel tips.
Your Tour Manager
Participants will be accompanied by Studio 56 owner, Brenda Murray. Brenda is a Canadian artist and arts advocate, the founder of Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region and a former Urban Sketchers Board member. A seasoned traveler, Brenda has traveled to Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea (lived there for 4 years), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and the USA (35 states). Brenda will be on hand to assist the instructor and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. She has completed the St. John's Ambulance Emergency First Aid - CPR C - AED training. Learn more about Brenda HERE.
For More Information
Email Studio56Boutique@gmail.com or call Brenda Murray at 519-572-1757.
How to Register for this Workshop
To guarantee your spot in this exciting vacation workshop, participants must pay a deposit by clicking the BOOK NOW button below.