An amazing 9 day experience of art instruction, yoga, cooking classes, wine tastings, excursions & much more! 

The Arts

The ideology of the arts program is built on two essential ingredients of the creative process: first, the need to slow down and clear the mind as the first step to observing sensitively and reflecting carefully. Second, understanding and learning the potential of the media and of your creative self and responding honestly to the subject and/or the environment.

The arts workshops offer personalized and comprehensive instruction in the areas of drawing and painting. The emphasis is on observation and working plein air, using live models, still lives, picturesque villages, and especially the surrounding landscape as subjects. Participants work in a wide range of media, including pencil, ink, charcoal, water colors, pastels, acrylic and oil. Participants are grouped by experience to provide individualized instruction at all levels, from beginning to advanced. All materials and equipment are included and participants who concentrate in the arts are provided with individual studio space.


The wellness program draws on the natural beauty of Dordogne to immerse you in a tranquil environment which enables you to release stress and discover your inner strength. Yoga and Tai Chi enables you to focus on techniques which inspire you to breathe more deeply into the present moment. A daily series of practices and exercises provides a blend of physical movement, mindfulness, and meditation for all levels, with individual accommodation offered as necessary. Using the art of visualization, you will develop the skills to direct your breath to create ease and a more spacious body to awaken in the morning and to unwind in the later afternoon.

In addition to yoga and stretching exercises usually held outdoors in the early morning and late afternoon, participants will also take time for relaxing walks in the countryside, forests or swimming in the pool to provide a sense of well-being and start to create a healthy balance in your life.

French cuisine and wine

Experience a sense of place and connect with the local culinary offerings of Dordogne. Shop at local farm markets to prepare meals of the region. True to the spirit of the artistic heritage of the region, participants explore simple techniques to create fresh, authentic, casual meals to be shared each evening for dinner.

The focus of the cooking workshop is to use ingredients from local sources to create bistro style meals while developing entry level culinary skills. An introduction to the charcuterie (smoked and cured meats) and cheeses of France during orientation sets the stage for delights to come.

Naturally learning about and pairing the world class French wines is integrated into the experience. Look forward to gathering, cooking, eating and sipping like a local…you will go home feeling like an epicurean explorer.

“A la carte” offerings

  • Horseback riding

  • Massage

  • Kayaking

  • Biking


A Typical Day…


7:30–8:30am - Early morning yoga
8.30–9:30am - Breakfast
9:30–9:45am - Morning gathering
9:45–1:00pm - Morning art studio instruction 

These sessions will include but are not limited to:

  • Plein-air drawing and painting - oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel

  • Outdoor life drawing -charcoal and conte pastel

  • Working with still life


1:00–3:00pm - Lunch/relaxation time
3:00–6:30pm - Continued studio workshops or individual instruction, meditation, independent work time and/or afternoon excursions.

In addition to the afore mentioned sessions, the afternoon may include:

  • Introduction to French cooking

  • Antiquing and exploring regional medieval hill towns

  • Afternoon yoga and wellness

  • Introduction to wines of the Loire Valley – winetasting and/or vineyard tour

  • Plein-air painting or photo excursion


6:30–7:30pm - Explore time (hiking or walking to the village, swimming in the pool, open studio work, relax)
7:30–8:30pm - Dinner
9:00–10:30pm - Round table discussions, films, social time


A key feature of AWE is the nurturing, supportive community that is quickly created by the workshop leaders and the adventuresome, like-minded participants who share the experience. The workshop leaders are gifted teachers who are passionate about sharing their expertise with the participants, whether they be beginning or advanced. The sense of community and working together in an atmosphere of collaboration is highlighted by the evening round table discussions, where participants share their daily experiences over a relaxed glass of wine. The opportunity to network with participants from around the world creates enduring friendships that last a lifetime. The possibility to participate in and contribute to the success of the program brings the community together and adds a special dimension.  



Lizzi Rioux is an artist and art educator in Plymouth, MA. She earned a Bachelor of Art in Art Education at University of Massachusetts and a Master of Art in Fine Arts and Education at Cambridge College. She teaches art to middle school students, graduate classes and individual and group lessons. She continually fine tunes her skills as a painter and participates in festivals throughout the United States and Canadian Maritimes where she has been awarded for her works. Lizzi has achieved two Arty Awards both in 2012 and 2017 for recognition of persons and organizations who stood out in support of local arts and culture during the previous year. Additionally, Lizzi was awarded the “Peoples Choice” award in 2015 for her work at the Prince Edward Island Plein Air festival. She launched AWE in the south of France in August 2018 and held the program in the Loire Valley Summer 2019. Both were hugely successful with participants from around the world. Her belief that everyone is an artist and love and expertise of art education was her inspiration to create AWE the Arts & Wellness Experience.   



Peter Richenburg is a New England native and lives on Cape Cod Massachusetts. He is a noted artist and instructor both nationally and internationally. His award winning pastels of the New England coast and related motifs can be found in homes, galleries, Inns and businesses. His work has been featured at The Cape Cod Museum of Fine Art. One of his pieces recently took “Best in Show” at The Cape Cod Art Association’s masters’ show. Peter is an accomplished instructor and his experience ranges from the high school International Baccalaureate and AP programs to University instruction. In addition, he has conducted numerous seminars and workshops. He is a recent recipient of Concordia Universality’s esteemed Master Educator Award. His extensive degrees are as follows: AA Concordia University, Bronxville, NY, BS ED, Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, M ED, Lindenwood University, MFA Lindenwood University. Pete’s philosophy is that the world is astoundingly beautiful and frequently thrilling. It is filled with visual pleasures and surprises galore. Awakening and nurturing that artist who resides within all of us is one of his greatest pleasures.



Karen has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga for 25 years and Tai Chi and Qigong for 19 years. Her journey of incorporating the 3,000 year old practices of Tai Chi and Qigong began after inviting a Tai Chi master to her Michigan studio; Yoga and the Living Arts. Since then she has further built upon her knowledge of Yoga and expanded her studies under the guidance of Dr. Paul Lam, Ken Cohen, and Richard Leirer. In 2017 she traveled to China where she studied with Master Chen Bing, Master Minguye, and Master Zhou. Karen enjoys being both a student and a teacher and has established her private practice; One to One, in Naples, Florida. She connects her students to nature while guiding them through these practices in the Naples Botanical Gardens. Karen continually creates opportunities for self discovery by integrating mind, body, and breath to enhance personal well being.


Julie is a professional French chef that grew up in Soissons in the Aisne (northern France) and currently lives in the beautiful village of Saint-Pavace, France. After a career in business and finance, she decided to follow her gift and passion for cooking and started her successful business cooking, catering, and teaching business, J Prends Gôut.  A lifelong learner of French cuisine, Julie obtained her AFPA and HACCP training for food hygiene certification so that she could exercise her profession in the respect and health of her customers.  In addition, she obtained her Exploitation License so that she can offer wines that perfectly accompany each dish prepared. Julie’s expertise in French cuisine is incomparable and she believes that it is in the pleasure of preparing and sharing a good meal that truly makes people come together.