The original Roman city was a refuge for seaborne raiders, until the 6th century when Saint Brendan navigated the channel to make it a commune for himself and faithful followers. Saint Malo was one of the seven founding saints from which it gets its name.
Across from this walled fortress are two islands, only accessible at low tide, they could have been the best hiding place for the plundered treasure of the private settlers, today though, they make captivating sea swept subjects for our paintings.
There is no lack of inspiration for painting in St. Malo, in the centre of the city stands the St. Malo Cathedral, built in a commanding Romanesque style, this beautiful building will not only become a captivating muse but has also since become a national monument of France. With a stunning natural harbour too and medieval cobbled streets, this 5-day tour will allow you to capture St. Malo in your own unique style.
We arrive in St. Malo this afternoon and transfer to our beach-side hotel. This evening we get to know the group a little better over dinner and drinks at a nearby local restaurant.
A relaxed first morning sees us painting the seafront and surrounding soft sands of St. Malo from our hotel’s terrace. After a very traditional French lunch of delicious crêpes, the afternoon is free for us to spend at our leisure. Wander the cobbled streets and ramparts of the Old Town which will make you feel as though you have stepped back in time, tour the Grand Aquarium, or perhaps wait for low tide and walk out to its two tiny islands.
The sea is our muse once again today: we find ourselves swept away by the charms of St. Malo’s long sandy beaches, with a dedicated and uninterrupted morning of glorious painting. There is more free time to explore this afternoon before the group comes back together for dinner at a great local restaurant.
Today we travel north along the coast to the picturesque port of Honfleur, Normandy, which sits prettily beside the estuary of the Seine. After a morning painting at its magical marina, this afternoon we enjoy the rest of this historic town, which has long been a haven for painters including Monet and Courbet. Don’t miss Sainte Catherine, the largest wooden church in France that was built in the 15th and 16th centuries. It also boasts a separate bell tower. Later we return to St. Malo for a convivial last night’s supper as a group.
We return to the mainland by ferry, and board our return flight home later today.
Susanna Bailey first travelled as an artist when she won the Nancy Balfour Scholarship during her postgraduate years at the Slade School. Her love of drawing and painting has taken her all over the world as a tutor and as a working artist. A colourist, specialising in watercolor, she is popular, charismatic and fun. She enjoys sharing her love for art history and believes that careful teaching of sketching, colour, composition and the best use of materials, gives confidence and wonderful results. She delivers a structured week through demonstration and one-to-one tuition.