Plein air painting - Miles Copeland castle
View of the castle in evening light. Images courtesy Lynn Gertenbach

A fortunate group of plein air painters recently enjoyed an excursion to paint in France at a castle co-owned by Miles Copeland, who once managed the bands Sting and The Police.

Lynn Gertenbach (www.lynngertenbachart.com) was one of a small group of artists who recently visited the castle. “Miles has a colorful personality and a rich history,” Lynn says. We all enjoyed his many stories.”

So why does Miles Copeland own a castle? Lynn explains: “Upon selling his music business he decided to purchase a castle in France, in the area of Dordogne.” The castle decor includes beautiful furnishings that once belonged to several churches in England that are no longer in use.

A bedroom in the castle

“This area of France has many chateaus and castles dating back to the 9th century,” Lynn tells us. “The castle Miles and his wife, Adriana, have lived in for the past 30 years is the Chateau Marouatte, originally built in the 11th century.”

“Miles is an extremely gracious host,” she added. “He definitely had the vision, thanks to the British plein air group he’d invited previously a few weeks ago.” Each day, Miles would drive Lynn’s group to an ideal painting location, including Creynas, with a beautiful river running through; Abbaye de Boschaud (Notre Dame de Boschaud; “The Abbey was bathed in golden light, which made it a perfect place for painting,” Lynn added); enchanting views at Brantome; Tocan and the “Mill.”

Painting together en plein air
Dining with the group
“Miles drove us to the Old Church in Montagrier, and we saw our first field of sunflowers,” Lynn said. “We knew this was where we wanted to paint.”
Plein air painting of sunflower field
Lynn Gertenbach, “Sunflowers of St. Remy,” 24 x 30 in.

Also included was swimming at the castle, visiting the Caves in St. Jean de Cole, a flea market, and more.

On the last afternoon, Lynn says, “Everyone brought all the paintings they had done during the week to the main dining room and lined them up for a final critique. You could definitely see the improvement from day 1 to day 5, and I was happy to have been a positive influence on their learning process.”

They plan to hold a similar week in 2020. More details can be found at www.artatthecastle.com. Visit Lynn’s website at www.lynngertenbachart.com.


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