La Bonne Etoile Artists Retreat was specifically developed to assist artists and writers who would benefit from an experience in another culture, along with a time of seclusion and solitude. But through the years it has developed into more....a community of friends. La Bonne Etoile Blog has been designed to expand the richness of that community by continuing the quest to create and recreate together.
La Bonne Etoile workshops are ALL-INCLUSIVE, starting and ending with hospitality shuttles to and from any Paris airport. Our workshop instructors are well known for quality, patient instruction for all levels of students. contact for full information. Be sure to visit the individual websites of the artists, you will find links to La Bonne Etoile workshop information there as well.

“So Much Fun I had to Have More”

me My name is Ann Dodys, Kippy introduced me on a previous blog as her new helper and comrade in arms and I’m excited to be taking on this new role. I’ve been asked to share something on the La Bonne Etoile blog about my experiences through the workshops. I’ve had the pleasure of attending two workshops of Margaret Dyer’s and one with Kippy as the instructor. I first started working with Margaret in Atlanta in 2014 where she introduced me to pastels. I’ve thought about a European art workshop for years but always put it off because of other family obligations. When I saw Margaret’s post on Facebook and was facing my 60th birthday, I knew it was time to make a commitment to myself and my art. Each time I arrive at La Bonne Etoile and the front gates open I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, such a magical place! I’m greeted by Kippy’s enthusiasm and commitment to making each workshop one that you won’t soon forget. Standing beside her is Jerome, Kippy’s life partner, who is one of the most delightful and refined gentleman I’ve ever met. Madame Dulaye (sp) has been busy preparing the rooms with white, ironed linens and fresh cut flowers. Later that afternoon the wine flows as freely as the conversation.jerome

The workshop instructors are not new to LBE and each one comes with their unique approach to making the participants enjoy the art making experience whether they are beginners or more advanced, the instruction is catered to each one individually. Studio time is plentiful and what a studio Kippy has created in the 200 year old barn! There’s AC and heat so you’ll be quite comfortable.

On my first visit I never gave the food a second thought before my arrival.  I suppose I should have, being in France, but for whatever reason I didn’t. Chef Marc is one accomplished and incredible chef! Each meal seemed to outdo the one before. When you sit gatesdown for dinner, plan to be there for the evening, course upon course is served- the French way. This year Marc will be adding some cooking lessons for those who are interested, especially those who may be joining an artist at LBE and looking to enjoy an authentic French experience.

Chantal is another part of the LBE family. She’s beautiful, charming and always has a smile on her face with an eagerness to help in any way that she can. I had the pleasure on my last visit to go to her studio to see her art restoration skills in action. She, like Marc, 2014-05-31 19.22.25will also be offering classes this year.

There’s always so much to do and not enough time to get it all done. I guess that’s why I keep coming back (and have worked my way into the LBE cast of characters). One of the things that I love to do when not in the studio is to get on one of the bikes and head out into the French countryside. Jerome is a great tour guide and can show you all the back roads, sharing his knowledge of the area.

I enjoy it so much, my husband joined me at chantalthe end of last year’s workshop, and we rented road bikes and cycled through the small villages around Fontaine-Fourches for a week. We hope to do this again in August but stay longer.

2018 will be another year of wonderful workshops, Kippy and Jerome will make sure of that. We hope to see some returning faces and of course many new ones. I guarantee once you go to La Bonne Etoile you will want to return!

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