Workshops 2020

  • 05/12 – 05/19 Helen Schafer Garcia and Lynn Leahy
  • 05/20 – 05/27 Tammy Honaman and Sandra Lupo
  • 05/28 – 06/04 Jen Cushman
  • 06/09 – 06/16 Jodi Ohl
  • 06/17 – 06/24 Free for booking
  • 06/25 – 07/02 Meisha Barbee, Julie Eakes and Dayle Doroshow
  • 06/07 – 07/14 Jeff and Roxanne Fulkerson
  • 07/15 – 07/22 Rae Cumbie & Carrie Emmerson
  • 07/23 – 07/30 Brenda Schweder
  • 07/31 – 08/07 Free for booking
  • 09/08 – 09/15 Staci Swider
  • 09/16 – 09/23 Paula Coleman
  • 09/24 – 10/01 Kelley Smith and Padraic Murphy
  • 10/02 – 10/09 Keith LoBue
  • Student & Teacher Information ...

A Field Guide to the Fantastical

The World around you from your Imagination

Join Lynn Leahy and Helen Shafer Garcia for an extraordinary week in southern France.  Our workshop will follow themes historically ingrained in this region while we reside in the medieval village of Durfort. 

Our adventure will begin at La Cascade, a beautifully restored home and art retreat on the river Sor. Imagine starting each day to the relaxing sound of a waterfall , a sumptuous meal, and the anticipation of beginning your creative journey.

Our four day progressive workshop will combine the techniques of reverse glass painting, drawing and watercolor painting, and book construction. 

Lynn will walk you through the steps of reverse glass painted tiles. Lynn has perfected this traditional Eastern European technique of painting on one side of the glass knowing that it will be viewed on the opposite side. This technique involves water based paints and clear glass tiles. Our imagery will be flowers, fairies, and other wondrous things. These veritable tiles will be used to enhance the cover of the journal structure. The book covers will include leather attachments with hand sewn details. 

Helen will guide you on a creative journey of drawing and watercolor techniques used to fill your Fantastical Journal. Paint and draw expressively and find your creative voice with watercolor fusion and contour drawing. Our pages will show beautiful flowers, pods, and other natural driven shapes with a creature or two. Once finished, this imaginary   inspired book will house old maps and postcards relating to our imagery that we’ll collect on our field trips to the local towns. 

These contemporary mixed media techniques will add a new dimension to any mixed media project.

Tammy Honaman and Sandra Lupo

Jen Cushman

Jodi Ohl

Free for booking

Meisha Barbee, Julie Eakes and Dayle Doroshow

Jeff and Roxanne Fulkerson

Rae Cumbie & Carrie Emmerson

Fit for Art Patterns

Spend July 15-22, 2020 with Rae Cumbie* and Carrie Emerson** of Fit for Art Patterns at La Cascade Artists Retreat in Durfort, an enchanting medieval artisan village in the Languedoc region of France to explore the countryside and a variety of fabric embellishing and surface design techniques.

The mornings will be spent in the cozy third floor artist studio of our 17th century home. We will paint, stitch, collage and piece a variety of small fabric samples to spark our creative juices and create memories of our time at La Cascade. Stitchers of all skill levels and interests are welcome.

Afternoons will be spent exploring the surrounding countryside including the flower fields, regional markets, tree lined thoroughfares, small villages and cathedral towns. Our tour guide will be Anna Cumbie, Rae’s bilingual daughter who lives and works in Toulouse as an English teacher.


She will assist us in masterfully managing our new surroundings and will lead us to some fun haunts for an authentic French Adventure. We will find inspiration in the ironwork details, copper works, blue pastel fabrics and notions, bountiful outdoor markets, museum exhibits, and fabric and trim stores in neighboring Revel.

As we move through the week’s creative experiences and beautiful adventures, your work in the studio will come to life. You will be encouraged to move your samples forward with several options depending on your interest and abilities:

  • Combine your samples into an inspired technique book,
  • Create a functional tote that will include your work,
  • Craft the samples into a wall hanging or table runner,
  • Plan and craft samples to be included in an embellished garment


Meals will be provided by La Cascade’s chef Nese using locally sourced seasonal foods and wines served on the terrace that overlooks a rushing mountain stream.


Included accommodations are double occupancy with shared baths. Single rooms are available for an additional fee of $700.  We’ll travel in shared rental cars from the Toulouse airport to La Cascade and environs.

The $2,600 cost includes most materials, room, board, field trips and priceless experiences. Not included is your airfare to and from Toulouse, travel insurance (required), an occasional restaurant meal, personal purchase or museum entrance. A $650 non-refundable deposit is due with registration, a second payment of $1,000 is due by February 15, and the final balance due by May 15.  Class size will be limited to 8, so reserve early.



Brenda Schweder

A multimedia workshop with artist

Tresor Decouvert

In this one-in-a-lifetime workshop, Brenda will lead a small, exclusive group of jewelry-makers through the adventure of creating jewelry with found objects and wire.

She’ll cover:

  • Design

  • Jig Pattern Use vs. Free-form Design

  • Wire Captures

  • Chain Links

  • Wire Findings

And more!!!

Bring your own treasures or create with what you find in the flea markets during an optional prelude Parisian flea markets. You also will receive a priceless box of treasure from Brenda’s personal found-object collection!

There will be afternoon and full-day outings to surrounding medieval villages, museums and flea markets.  Plus, the studio will be open 24/7.

All workshops (and accommodations) will be at La Cascade, a 17th century house in the tiny medieval village of Dufort in southern France. We’ll be pampered with unforgettable meals, prepared with the fresh, locally-sources ingredients, by the house chef, Nese,.

The workshop will include:

  • Box of Brenda’s treasure

  • Seven nights lodging at La Cascade, double occupancy

  • Materials and access to tools

  • Field trips

  • All breakfasts and most lunches and dinners

  • Access to a Paris Prelude to explore flea markets before the workshop (email for more info)

  • Tuition: $2,490. Your place is reserved with a $500 non-refundable deposit. To secure your spot, send a $500 deposit to Brenda's Paypal via the Friends and Family option. 


Pay the rest of the tuition by Dec. 1 and get $100 off of the remaining $1,990. 

Otherwise, $600 deposits are due: Dec. 1, 2019 and March 1, 2020 and the final $790 balance is due June 1, 2020. Please note that all deposits are non-refundable. Airfare & transportation from the airport to Durfort are not included in the price. We’ll share rides from The Durfort airport to Cascade.

Please email Cathy ( for more information or questions. 

For more information check out the Now That’s an Adventure! Page on Facebook.

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More trip details to follow enrollment

Free for booking

Staci Swider

Partie de Poule!

We’re having a hen party in Southern France!

A Mixedmedia Workshop with Staci Swider

Can you think of a better way to wind down summer than to spend a week making art and hanging with likeminded creative souls in a charming French village? Your residence for the week is La Cascade, a restored 17th century house situated in the tiny medieval village of Durfort. Your backyard is a lovely river with a cascading waterfall that welcomes you all day. The Village was home to a copper making industry and copper treasures can still be purchased in the shops. 

Our first order of business will be to visit the local market for some sketching and inspiration and then, the sky’s the limit. Staci will guide you thru your own individual creative endeavors with a focus towards charming farm animals and market still life. We will also be using texture techniques and faux copper to create a frame for one of your paintings. You will go home with one, possibly two finished artworks plus a frame at the end of your stay. 

La Cascade is the perfect venue to indulge your creative spirit and explore artistic expression in the large sky-lit studio under the eaves. Spend your mornings in the studio getting creative. Afternoons will be spent visiting the surrounding area. Once back at La Cascade, we relax in community at table, enjoying local fare prepared by our private chef, Nese Pelt. And of course, wine under the stars on the flagstone patio while we reflect upon the day and look forward to tomorrow’s adventure.  And if you need more studio time before bed? Of course! Won’t you join us?

The workshop will include:

  • Seven Nights lodging at La Cascade in Durfort, France
  • All breakfasts, most lunches and dinners prepared by our own chef, Nese Pelt. Nese sources produce, meat, eggs, cheeses etc. from the local farms and neighbors. Her meals are delicious and healthy. Dinners include wine Nese pares with the foods and these are usually from the region.
  • Excursions to explore nearby villages, museums and historical sites.
  • Workshop instruction.
  • All supplies for making one 16x16 mixed media painting and one 12x12 framed painting. 
  • Tuitionis $2200.00 US dollars. A deposit of $500.00 is needed upon enrollment. Remainder is due by June 8, 2020.
  • Students will be responsible for their own transportation to Durfort, France. The nearest airport is in Toulouse about an hour from La Cascade.


Staci Swideris an internationally known artist and recognized art instructor. She is the author of Acrylic Expressionsand numerous online art instruction videos. Visitwww.staciswider.comto see more of Staci’s work and to learn more.

Paula Coleman

Kelley Smith and Padraic Murphy

Keith Lobue

•  All workshop dates reflect 'date of arrival – date of departure'  •