LA RESIDENCE Valence-sur-Ba´se
Ben Brotherton's Art Courses
The Seven Sisters from Seaford Head

We are not holding residential art courses in 2015 as Ben Brotherton is concentrating on painting for the many art exhibitions he's holding this year.  For future art courses, WATCH THIS SPACE!!!


Art Course 1

Wednesday 23 April -
Wednesday 30 April  

£680 or 782€

non-painters £500 / 575€
to reserve your place 

1 month before course

Art Course 2:
at La Residence
Sunday 22 June -
Sunday 29 June

£680 / 782€

non painting partners £500/575€

£340 / 391€
to reserve your place

£340 / 391€
1 month before course


Art Course 3:
at La Residence, France 
Sunday 31st August -
Sunday 7th September 

£680 or 782€

non-painters £500 / 575€

to reserve your place
1 month before course


“I had such a lovely time with you last week ......... Your art course holiday was extremely well structured and Ben an excellent and very patient tutor.... Thank you both for wonderful food and hospitality.” - Beryl Noakes, Somerset

"...thank you so much for giving me such a wonderful time.  Your cooking was fantastic and everything was so comfortable.” - Pamela Adams, Glos

" ...a very big thank you both for your kindness, generosity and wonderful sense of humour, to say nothing of the fabulous cooking! I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed the painting course." - Agnes O'Donnell, Kuwait

"You made us so welcome and produced super meals.  It was a pleasure to be in your lovely home……………..

We both enjoyed the course and think Ben is a great teacher as well as being such a nice person.  ………… we cannot wait to know your dates for next year and book our places!"  Delphine Anderson, Exeter

"thank you and Stewart for a wonderful two weeks with you.  The painting was great but the hospitality was even better. I really did enjoy myself .... staying in the middle of a real life of a French village." Paddy O'Reilly, Co. Carlow, Ireland

"I LOVED my stay with you and Stewart in Valence-sur-Baise! I had a wonderful time, which I hope to repeat! " Virginia Bunker, Kuwait

"A huge thank you for making our stay in France a truly magical experience!  . . . I fell in love with the area ....thanks for your hospitality, generosity, wonderful food, good company and counselling! Please let us know when you have decided on next year’s dates."  - Ros Nixon, Penzance

These are just some of the very kind comments sent to us the last few years.  We all had a very happy time and as you can see, everyone enjoyed the food and hospitality.
We think the main attraction of our art courses is Ben's excellent teaching.  Everyone gets individual attention from beginners to more experienced artists.  Our classes are small - usually no more than 8 - and each artist is encouraged to follow their own style, working outdoors or in the studio.  Everyone - even the complete beginners - produced several really beautiful paintings by the end of the week.
The Art Course is fully inclusive of: 
  • 6 days' individual tuition by Ben Brotherton,
  • Luxurious accommodation
  • Buffet-style Breakfast
  • Informal help yourself light lunch
  • 4 course evening meal with wine & coffee
  • refreshments throughout the 7 days of the Painting Holiday
  • Toulouse airport transfers
  • Painting Excursions
  • Evening excursions

Breakfast is served buffet style in the courtyard by the pool.  
Light Lunch will be served in the courtyard for artists to help themselves to and eat either round the pool, up in their rooms, or to make up as a picnic to eat on the ramparts or down by the river.  Being in the middle of this thriving village with its 4 bar restaurants, this informal arrangement allows our guests to indulge in the cafe culture of real French village life.
Over the years, our regular artists have said that they'd prefer this looser, informal arrangement for lunch as it gives them more time to themselves.  Painting Holidays can be quite intense - both artistically and socially! 

The evening meal is 4 courses, wine and coffee and is served as a formal dinner party. 

Weather permitting we plan to do some dusk painting sessions as well to capture that magical evening light - to the accompaniment of aperitifs and canapes of course.

The day usually starts with a brief lecture in the Art Studio, then the students can spend the day either out on the ramparts or this year we've decided to take everyone out of the village to the surrounding landscape of gently sloping hills striped with vineyards, over to a nearby picturesque village with far reaching views over to the Pyrenees, across the lush valleys. 

Most evenings we saunter down the ramparts for an early evening aperitif as the sun goes down.  We always mean to play boules but good conversation and company gets in the way.  We also take everyone out on excursions to some of the local places of interest like the 12th Century Cistercian Abbaye de Flaran which has a most interesting collection of 20th Century art including Monet, Picasso, Cezanne & Rodin; also a museum devoted to the shrine of St Jacques of Compostela as Valence-sur-Baise is on this historic pilgrimage route.  There are several chateaux nearby where we arrange tours and tastings of their local Floc, Armagnac and methode champenoise.  The night markets have proved to be quite an attraction too!  

This year we've decided to have a celebratory night out, eating at one of the many reasonably priced attractive brasseries in the area, where we can all enjoy a set price meal under the stars which will make a perfect ending to a creative and happy week.

Tea and coffee facilities are available in each of the rooms, and throughout the day in the Art Studio.

last supper down at La Guingette

your hosts Janice & Stewart - join us!



Ben Brotherton BA, MA was Artist in Residence and part-time art teacher at The King's School Canterbury between 2002 and 2007. As well as classes for school students he ran evening classes for parents and school staff.

Ben exhibits regularly in London.  He has exhibited with The Royal Society of Oil Painters and Royal Society of British Artists and shows work regularly with Grandy Art. Work can also be seen at: and see Ben's website:


We will be happy to organise your travel arrangements from your base in the UK and hope you will allow us to coordinate your journey with the other students so that your journey here is as comfortable and trouble-free as possible.


Included in the one week's art course is airport collections from TOULOUSE AIRPORT only. The cost also includes collections from either of the 2 railway stations Agen or Auch.  We will have to discuss collections from other airports.   You'll have a warm welcome when you arrive and we make every effort to cater to all your needs to ensure an enjoyable stay with us. We believe in individual care and attention to all our guests and will do our best to please you. Please let us know of any dietary requirements and any special requests. We can arrange visits to our local doctor, osteopath, dentist, head masseuses and even the thermal spa in the nearby town of Castera Verduzan, world famous for its relaxing spa baths and massage rooms.

The accommodation is in La Residence - a beautiful house within the town ramparts close to the arcaded town square. It is a spacious period home with a courtyard and swimming pool. There are 5 double rooms available which are ideal for couples or friends sharing.

Come and join us!