The 2024 to France is filled, but there is a wait list just in case...








Darla just published her "Make a You Travel...How-to Ideas with Darla Bostick"  which will be given to each participant. It includes ideas to try in your art journal: examples of banners, text and more to make each page exciting.

See for yourself why we are returning for our 3rd visit to the beautiful Perigord Retreats in the Dordogne and Lot Rivers area of Southern France.


A family-owned art retreat, we will spend the day enjoying the sights and foods of the region. Instead of lugging around suitcases, we carry our cameras and journals as we sketch, collage and paint to create a wonderful art travel memory.


In the afternoons or evening we can be found at the Perigord studio as we share our memories of the day on the pages of our art travel journal. 


We are a very small group. Advance reservations are required.


Bring a friend or a art experience is required!


And, if you want a good read to prepare for Southern France, read Martin Walker's "Cave of Perigord"


Contact Darla directly at for information or Periford Retreats to register for this outstanding workshop/retreat!






This is the Cave of the Hundred Mammoths. Containing more than 250 cave paintings, drawings and etchings it dates back to the Upper Paleolithic Era and is the most extensive Perigord cave system. In 1979 it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site. The end of the cave has a display of drawings which include woolly rhinoceroses, mammoths, horses, bison and ibex on the ceiling.



This village has a volatile history. It was first mentioned in the 895 in the cartulary of the monastery at Beaulieu dur Dordogne.It fell under the rule of several due to different wars and finally was burnt by Calvinists in 1562 during the French War of Religion. The village is listed with others as one of the most beautiful villagesin France. The Chateau des Anglias, Chateau de Busqueilles and the Chateau de La Rogue-Maynard are listed as historical munuments as well as the Chappelle Saint-Roch and Chateau de Limargue. The Eglise Romane Saint-Pierre, 11th century church was remodelled in the 18th century. It is listed as a Sensitive Natural Area and includes a waterfall.


SAINT CERE (and perhaps a glimpse of the Chateau de Montal nearby)

Our visit here will included some fascinating medieval and turreted houses surrounded by two main squares. Up the hil are the reinsSaint-Laurent-les-Tours dating from the 12th century. Saint Cere had an important role during the Second World War as the French resistance operated a secret radio base in the Chatea de Saint-Laurent-les-Tours. It was later bought by and restored by a artist, Jean Lurcat, whose widow bequeathed it to the town on condition the art displayed in the castle remain open to the public. Another interesting fact is Charles Bourseul lived here. He invented the use of electricity to transmit the human voice through wires (later used by Graham Bell to invent the telephone).



A one-lane bridge welcomes you to this village, lined with flower baskets. Most homes of yellow stone were bult in the 15th century. The village center has ancient fortifications with the Church of Saint-Peters dating from the 11th century. The priory and cloisters are particularly not to be missed.The 16th century castle, the Chateau es Doyens includes an exhibition explaining thehistoryof the town and area. 


FIGEAC AND CAPDENAC (combined same day)

Figeac dates back to the Middle Ages and many of the houses were build by the wealthy merchants. Visible are the "soleilhos" (open graneries) where the fruit was dried. At Place des Ecritures an exotic perfume is available. There is a large black granite slab covered with heiroglyphs in the village square. It represents the Rosetta Stone and this piece of the Egyption stele allowed Champollion to decipher the writing of the ancient Egyptians. The Champollion Museum is housed in his former home and presents writing objects and characters from all over the world. The museum has a acade with "1000 letters" of glass and copper which spills fragments of light on the exhibition hall floors.Figeac also hosts a historical market on Saturdays.

Capdenac is only 4kms from Figeac. reaching 110 meters above the Lot River, this was once the hill fort where Caesar fought his final battle against the Gauls. Today one can see the ramparts, keep and troglodytic fountains. This is touted as one of the most beautiful sites in France. Even the rooftops are of interest being made of 3 different materials; flat tiels, lauzes (stone slabs) and pantiles.. 



This mill, listed as a Historic Monument, is undoubtedly the best known in Quercy, partly because it has been open to the public for so long, but principally thanks to its magnificent natural setting and to the very fine quality of the fortified building. Its history, intimately connected with that of the Cistercian monks of Les Alix, began in the 13th C. There are no less than four pairs of grindstones, which enabled 3 tons of flour to be milled per day. Mr. Faure shows visitors round and sets the mill working for each visit. He points out all the methods the monks used to prevent thieves/pillagers getting in and stealing the flour. Models make it easy to understand how the mill functioned.



Learn how to record your travels with an art journal and enjoy plein aire sketching. Or, if you choose to rest and relax at the property, our studio at Perigord is available to us at any time.  Our private family-owned villa in the countryside also offers an indoor pool. And, now a  new jacuzzi has been installed for unwinding at the end of another beautiful day~ Wonderful gourmet meals will be prepared daily for our group.  


For travel: There are several options.

Note: for some reason, there are 2 Gourdons in sure you come to 46300 Gourdon in Southern France, Dordogne and Lot River area.

1) Fly into Paris and spend the night. In Paris Austerlitz, then take a train to 46300 Gourdon (it takes about 5 hours) the next day

2) **** Fly into Paris, take the train at Austerlitz to 46300 Gourdon and spend the night in Gourdon at La Promenade Hotel. Connect with fellow group members for a sidewalk cafe dinner. After breakfast the following day,we can spend the morning investigating the town. After lunch we are picked up by our hosts, the Turners of Perigord Retreats.

3) Fly into Toulouse, catch the afternoon train to 46300 Gourdon, spend the night in Gourdon the day before we begin at Perigord Retreat. [This is what I recommend for those going through TLS]

4) Fly into Bordeaux, spend a night and use the hop-on hop-off bus to see the city. Then take a train to Gourdon.

Additionally, you may choose to add days on your own before or after our event to acclimate and discover more! [It might be best to add extra at the end so you are less exposed to "germs" you might share with our group at the start.]

All options require taking a train into 46300 Gourdon. As the time nears we can coordinate travel plans (Darla is flying from DFW airport). 


This note from Perigord Retreat: 

"Some participants have found it easier to fly in to Toulouse a day or two early to get acclimatised to French time which leaves you ready and raring to go when you arrive at Perigord Retreats. On departure day, anyone flying back to the USA via Paris may find it easier to take the train from Gourdon, 5 minutes from Perigord Retreats.  This is approximately a 5 hour train ride taking you through the countryside of France before arrival in central Paris. Some find this a nice alternative rather than taking an extra plane ride.The choice is yours. For anyone needing to travel on a different day, the train also travels to Toulouse, one hour 40 minutes with a shuttle service to the airport.

For reference, our transport is air conditioned minibus/people carriers and dependant on the number in the group, one or two vehicles may be used."

[Note from Darla: In the past my group flew into Paris then took the train to Gourdon. It is 5.5 hours but a lovely ride and you can buy food on the train if you wish. There is more than one Gourdon. The one to use is the Gourdon 46300 train station (directly south of Brive-Gaillarde). My group spent one night in Gourdon and strolled through Gourdon the next morning shopping,visiting the church, had a beer at a sidewalk cafe and lunch outside at our hotel. After lunch we were picked up by our Perigord hosts. Ask me for details.]

From Darla: Perigord is a lovely 5-acre property where Harrison tends the gardens  with he and wife, Patel, watching over the chickens. Rows of lavender grow behind the studio. The Turners have 2 homes on the property with an indoor pool and plenty of room to relax. My husband, Gary, provides morning yoga for any interrested. Come and see why we are anxious to return!


What is included: The 10 days include your Gourdon pickup/return with the group, excursion transports, lodging and gourmet meals prepared for our group (with the exception of 2 lunches and 1 dinner) plus your workshop instruction from Darla. 


Where we are visiting: I will post the sites as we work out our itinerary. Of course, our visit will include a visit to an ancient cave to see the remarkble pre-historic cave paintings! 


The Nitty Gritty:

The rates include your workshop, transport from Gourdon and excursion transport, most entry to those locations that charge,  lodging and chef-prepared meals.  (It does not include your airfare or train travel costs).


Dates: 14-23 September (10 days/9 nights)
Costs for participants include instruction and use of the studio area plus admission fees to attractions

Your 10 days will be a beautiful blend of studio time, delightful excursions, cultural experiences and of course, plenty of free time to rest and explore!

You can arrive, unpack your suitcase (and your art supplies) and truly relax, since the entire group will make its home at the gorgeous Perigord Retreat Villas – complete with indoor pool, spacious studio and stunning gardens! We told you it was dreamy!

THE COSTS FOR YOUR TRIP (These are from an earlier trip--new rates will be posted soon)

  • Private bedroom with private bathroom   3450 Euros
  • Private bedroom with shared bathroom   2950 Euros
  • Couples/friends sharing with private bathroom  5900 Euros
  • Non painters welcome
  • Deposit of 1000 euros to secure your place payable via Paypal; or Transferwise
  • Booking form to be completed at time of deposit


  • Travel costs / airfare / travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Passport fees, photos and processing where applicable
  • Additional nights lodging
  • Train tickets, hotel if desired the day before the workshop
  • Two lunches and one dinner to be eaten offsite at own expense

Any further queries, please contact us:

The bedrooms/bathrooms: Of 9 bedrooms, a private bath is offered in 5 of them. The remaining 4 bedrooms share a bath (2 bedrooms/bath). Payments can be made through Pay Pal with Perigord Retreats.

Check with Perigord Retreats for rates.


The Perigord website video shows the property and a 3-D video of the villa rooms.


To register use the Perigord website.   Email me with any questions, or the Turner family at Perigord Art Holidays is very patient with questions, so feel free to ask!


I will be checking out airfare options. It's fun to fly together. Check your passport now to be sure it doesn't expire at least 6 months after travel is due to complete. Due to the pandemic there is a delay in passport renewal.


If you have never been to France and want to add more, talk to Darla about ideas for a longer holiday. For example, from Paris Giverney is only a day train trip from Paris to see Monet's garden. Versailles Palace is the same if you wish to see the opulance of the palace and grounds. Of course, the Louvre and many other world-class art museums are in Paris. The train from Paris to Gourdon is about 5.5 hours, so you will need accomodations in Gourdon for one night before the workshop/retreat begins the following day. It allows the perfect amount of time the next morning to visit the sites in Gourdon and have lunch before being picked up to begin our art adventure.