Traveling to Provence with Brigitte and Jim was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I took their workshop my last Summer in High School and it was the first time that I left the United States or traveled alone. Everything about the workshop was fantastic though, and I never felt uncomfortable or lost. No other teachers I have had can measure to Brigitte and Jim. They know exactly what help you need for your skill level, and working with them for two straight weeks dramatically advanced my painting and my observation skills. The experience outside of painting was amazing as well. The camaraderie among the group was great and we got to see Provence at its most beautiful, and have incredible food everywhere we went. If i have a chance I will definitively go back again

Steven McDonald

Lavender fields in bloom, abundant sunshine, the camaraderie of fellow artists, amazing vistas, village market days, magical medieval villages, painting and sketching all day long, under the constant, careful guidance of instructors who know the area intimately and take you to hidden places that most tourists would never find: this is my definition of heaven

Tyra Gilb

Going to Provence with Jim and Brigitte was one of the best experiences of my life! Jim and Brigitte are extremely dedicated teachers and gave us all ample time to paint and helped me grow as an artist. They knew the best places to take us to paint and they gave us a wonderful sense of the French culture. I really enjoyed painting the beautiful lavender fields and quaint towns in Provence. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in growing in their painting skills and painting in an incredible location!
— Ellen Howard
My husband and I took the 2015 workshop. The villages are beautiful. Brigitte and Jim know all the special places to eat or shop . The guest house where we stayed was amazing. But the best part is the painting. They have found the perfect sights for Plein Air painting. Wonderful scenes, plenty of shade, easy to access, tasty picnic lunches, and cultural/historic insights.
There are two teachers so you get demonstrations and one on one assistance every day. It is clear that Brigitte and Jim think a lot about what each individual student needs and customize their teaching to the student.
I cannot believe how much my painting improved but I would have been happy with the wonderful conversations and beautiful places. I cannot wait to go back.
— Linda Gates
Experience and an undeniably wonderful and rewarding artistic educational adventure. These are only two commanding reasons why I have repeatedly spent my summers painting with Brigitte and Jim in the breath taking regions of the southern French countryside, strewn with fields of lavender blossoms. The fact is that these two have made and call this region home so they know this area very well... the out of the way corners of natural, breath taking landscapes and tiny provincial medieval villages which inspire and make splendid subject matter for paintings and drawings. This, combined with years of painting and teaching, make for a perfect compliment and combination. With all their pre-planning, and practical concerns of traveling taken care of for me, it allowed for an abundance of time to focus on my work with no worries, cares or stress! I have been able to devote all my time to my artistic development. I found the critiques and watercolor guest lecturer invaluable. I without hesitation recommend this experience to all with a creative spirit and passion at all levels. My time with Brigitte and Jim have been the most incredible time for allowing me to develop a strong body of work each summer and I have seen this with others who have joined them in France, a most convivial group all with a serious desire to create and best themselves!
— Wallace Hewitt Sheridan
If you like painting outdoors in fields of lavender in rural France as we did in July 2015, then this workshop is for you. The sites around villages and farms in Haute Provence are quiet and give you the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. There are landscapes that feature distant mountains, valleys, gorges, as well as close up landscapes composed of individual fields of lavender, flowers, and wheat. You have painting options that include 12th century village settings as intimate as the small shops and houses that line stone streets and pathways as well as the larger massed stone archways and buildings.What is particularly wonderful about the workshop sites is they are all secluded and offered painters the opportunity to experiment and paint without interruption.

If you want to be inspired and encouraged in your artistic pursuits, then this workshop is also for you. You will have the benefit of two master artists who offer their lifelong talent, experience and instruction in painting, drawing, composition, color and value theory all in an effort to assist you to continue to develop your talent and voice through visual arts.

If you want to experience additional village life and culture, then the many villages included in the Provence Workshop offer you numerous opportunities to interact with visiting and local artists and craftspeople who offer their wares in studios and local markets. The workshop sites are all included in the Provence Unesco World Heritage Sites.

If you enjoy the best local French cuisine prepared in healthy, wholesome ways, then this workshop is for you. There is no such thing as a disappointing dining experience be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. We were introduced to wonderful local restaurants. Often along the highways leading through farmlands, signs could be seen that designated fields “organic” and non-GMO.

If you like to travel with your partner, then this workshop is for you both. Whether you stay together throughout the painting excursions, or one takes time off to explore walled hilltop villages on their own, you will both have experiences in common that last long after the workshop is over. Looking at your finished paintings months later you both remember the fields, landscapes, villages that are depicted in your paintings. It becomes a shared experience from beginning to end.

If you have said yes to any or all of the above, then you are in for one of the most authentic, enriching, and memorable experiences of your life.
— Renee and Sam
I began to study oil painting with Jim Smyth and Brigitte Curt over five years ago. On three occasions during that time I have been fortunate enough to accompany them for two weeks in Provence for what have been transformative artistic experiences. In a magical setting of timeless French villages and spectacular countryside, Jim and Brigitte offer thoughtful and supportive instruction in composition, drawing, color and value studies, and techniques tailored to each artist’s needs and background. From frequent demonstrations to constructive critiques, their unwavering focus is on each student’s personal growth as an artist. Their distinctive artistic and teaching styles complement one another perfectly, and I look forward to the next time I am able to participate in these very special workshops.
— Lorinda Reichert