The start of this year was busy, busy, busy. Courses are filling up fast; a nice number of return artists and that is a good sign. Two are even returning for the 4th time; which make art guests turn into good friends. We also had two guests from Australia, about two weeks apart. The international guests always bring a special flavor to our classes!

Luckily the weather has been cooperating and we could spend a lot of time outside plein-air painting. More and more people want to be like Monet and feel the sun and the beauty of the outdoors. We even had to purchase two more French easels. Some days painters get their canvases set up by 10:00 am, come in for lunch and then back outside again ‘til the end of the day. That certainly makes everyone hungry for a good meal with a glass of wine.

Talking about meals, we have had many requests for our recipes. Our art guests have suggested we put a cookbook together with Nancy’s recipes and Jan’s illustrations – maybe a winter project. I think the favorite appetizers (starters) of our guests are the Greek bruschetta and the grapefruit shrimp cocktail. Their favorite entrees are the Indonesian chicken sate with peanut sauce and Indonesian salad, or the Beef Burgundy. We try to make every meal special, change off the choice of carbs and meats. And, of course, every meal ends with a delicious desert and coffee. Here the bread pudding or apple crisp are the clear favorites.

We certainly have diverse menus – from Indonesian, Indian, Mexican to Italian and French.

Yes, you cannot paint on an empty stomach. No starving artists here.

Any questions? Call 612.221.1140


Shenandoah Art Destination, 325 Union Run, Lexington VA, USA. 24450

Established in 2010, The Shenandoah Art Destination is one of the only, art vacation retreat schools in the United States.  Home to students from all continents, the Shenandoah Art Destination offers rigorous art classes that include painting (oil and acrylic, watercolor, pastel), plein air painting, drawing, airbrush, drypoint, lino, mono printing and mixed media.
The Manors’s beautiful, 10-acre property is located in Lexington, Virginia, 50 miles north of Roanoke, VA.