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Walk the Arts | Testimonials from artists and students
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The following are testimonials from artists and students who attended our painting workshops and art classes in Italy, France, Canada and Colombia in South America. Thank you for reading.


Studio Italia

I attended the Studio Italia Workshop, and it exceeded my expectations. Yves and Monica were delightful hosts. Our setting and painting locations were once-in-a-lifetime moments. Yves is a dramatic professor with over-the-top enthusiasm about Art and Life. Florence could not have been better. Monica runs the show with Grace and Empathy. My artwork grew by leaps and bounds during the workshop, though I did experience some Doubt! I am truly thankful I participated in this Tuscan Odyssey. Thank you with all my heart. (P. Adams, RI, U.S., Studio Italia 2023)

I am so happy to have had this time in Italy with you both and the group. My life has changed forever. Through the visuals, Yves taught me to look in new ways and to express myself. Monica not only fed our bodies, but our souls as well. Walk the Arts art workshop inTuscany was an incomparable experience to any in my life. (S. Adams, VA, U.S., Studio Italia 2023)

The Tuscan 2022 Walk the Arts workshop was a unique and satisfying experience. The workshop setting was inspiring and Yves Larocque is an inspiring instructor tailoring his guidance and advice to individual needs. Mónica’s food is extraordinary and the accommodations are comfortable. Local excursions provide great opportunities to paint and experience the Italian countryside. Highly recommended for any skill-level painter who wants to advance their artistic expression. (R. Ascroft, New Westminster, BC, Canada, Studio Italia 2022)

Studio Italia 2022 was once again a most enriching artistic and living experience in beautiful and inspiring Tuscany. Yves knows how to individualize his support and his precious, respectful and sincere advice. This allowed me to get out of my “comfort zone” for my greatest joy. I questioned myself, I explored, I doubted, I started again and I painted… In short, I opened myself to new avenues for the pursuit of my art. Throughout the workshop, the synergy of the group and the constructive criticism allowed me to progress. Yves is a very experienced and attentive teacher. He shares his skills in painting and in making connections between various aspects of art history without reservation. He is undeniably a source of inspiration. I can’t go without mentioning the culinary magic of Mónica, our Chef, who concocted for us exquisite dishes of Italian gastronomy which made our meals convivial and conducive to exchanges. Thank you Yves and Mónica for your generosity and your ‘joie de vivre’. You are a great team that allows everyone to push their limits! (S. Michaud, Montreal, Canada, Studio Italia 2022)

Walk the arts is not only a masterfully run organization but one that offers an unparalleled opportunity for sharing knowledge of art history, and for supporting each participant in their own creative approach. Yves and Monica have shown such flexibility and great talent when needed to adapt to unforeseen circumstances in a flash while still respecting the proposed work plan and always finding a solution allowing each participant to benefit the most from each workshop and move forward in optimal conditions. I have participated in workshops in Italy, France and Canada and I have never been disappointed with Walk the Arts. To someone looking for a good painting workshop, I would definitely recommend Walk the Arts for an exceptional learning and travel experience. (S. Beaudet, Nicolet, QC, Canada, Studio Italia 2022)

An amazing and unique experience! I have attended Studio Italia twice…the first time was amazing and the second time even better since I had a base to start from. The initial anxieties one faces when confronted with a new experience were alleviated and I could focus on learning and painting. Yves and Monica are an amazing team. They are both very accommodating and helpful in every way. Great food and great art teaching, guidance and support. (J. Mann, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2021)

Studio Italia is a wonderful blend of learning and fun. Each day was a new adventure, both in visual art, and in  culinary artistry. All levels of artists are treated with the same respect. From beginners, to the more advanced, everyone is made comfortable. Yves and Monica are incredible hosts,  genuinely caring and generous. You can not help leaving this workshop as a more thoughtful artist, and human being. (T. Moe, Minnesota, US, Studio Italia 2021)

In one of the most beautiful and inspiring settings one could imagine, Studio Italia was a profound and transformative experience of supportive learning and personal growth in art culture, history, technique, and, most importantly, creative confidence and courage. It was like a software upgrade for life and I feel I am a better human being with version 2.0 now expressing myself in the most surprising ways. Thank you for making it all a wonderful reality. (T. Bird-Gayson, Midland, Canada, Studio Italia 2019)

You’ve given me so much to think about! Your philosophy was impactful and thought provoking! Walk the Arts provides a unique blend of art instruction and art history combined with fabulous Italian home-cooked meals, new friendships and wonderful exposure to the beauty of the Tuscany region. (S. Sohn, Detroit, MI, USA Studio Italia 2018)¸

Studio Italia is a jewel in the crown of art workshops. The program is so well designed to balance painting, instruction, advice, critique and museum tours by day with long, warm social evenings of conversation. This is all possible thanks to two people, Mónica and Yves, completely dedicated to providing a complete experience in the arts. Mónica’s meals were exceptional and Yves provided painting instruction, approaching each painter at their level and raised the bar on us all. I do not believe anyone could walk away from this program unaffected. (K. Gross, San Francisco, U.S., Studio Italia 2016)

As a second time participant, I can only say the experience relived has changed my life, in the context of my art, yet again. The program couldn’t be better organized and enlightening. Being in Italy, seeing the art, both in the fields our lodge and the museum trips included, the vibes of the Italian masters reach the soul. This program is so enhanced by the knowledge, instruction, patience and the humor of our instructor Yves. Our chef, Mónica provided meals fit for royalty and those long evenings with all around the table brought together people from different worlds with warmth and harmony I will never forget. My faith in humanity was restored with this group and I look at my photos daily to keep the memory as close as possible. Already thinking about another trip… (K. Gross, San Francisco, USA, Studio Italia 2018)

 An experience of a lifetime, with a brilliant teacher, a talented chef, sublime locations, thoughtfully designed program, which left us with only one question: when we can do this again! (A. Fader, New York, USA, Studio Italia 2018)

One of the best experiences of my life. (C. Monhollen, Detroit, Studio Italia 2018)

Studio Italia exceeded my expectations. Yves and Mónica were there for us all the time! Italy is so rich in history, so beautiful! I particularly loved Assisi! I learned a lot about painting and art history and also about creating comradeship and fun with a group of new friends. (K. Hanford, Rochester, U.S., Studio Italia 2016)

Walk the Arts offers not only a stimulating art workshop that motivates students to experiment and progress, but they also offer a wonderful cultural experience that is enhanced with excellent food and warm friendship. Studio Italia was a memorable experience! (D. Ericsson, Toronto, Canada, Studio Italia 2017)

I was encouraged throughout the workshop to let the process of art making lead me. This mindfulness led me to breakthroughs in my process and to a new way of seeing and expressing myself in paint. There was also a good sense of accomplishment and very exciting feeling of reward when my paintings were finished in Italy. Thank you! (K. Wilkie, London, Canada, Studio Italia 2017)

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Studio Italia, from the beginning to end. Yves, a fantastic instructor and guide, is exceptional at gently pushing you to have fun with what you are painting while sharing his knowledge with you in a very entertaining way. Mónica is a great hostess, coordinator and amazing Chef. When we sat down for our first dinner as a group, I could not get over the warm table setting and food presentation. Every meal was exceptional and works of art on their own. I also really enjoyed my fellow student artists who were all so supportive and lots of fun. The experience was so much more than any of my expectations and I will definitely be attending another Walk the Arts workshop! (J. Gross, Detroit, U.S.A. Studio Italia 2016)

Fun, eye opening, intimate, loved every minute of it. It was a whirlwind affair, lots of places to paint, many insightful discussions, totally instructive painting demos, loved the museum, adored Italy. Walked away with a new respect for art. Made some new friends. Yves and Monica are terrific. (A. St. Louis, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2016)

Walk the Arts delivered more than a well-structured and organized art workshop, they inject a high level of passion for all elements. The art lessons, lectures and locations were invigorating and Monica’s love of fresh produce and serving delicious meals made a perfect end to each day. An enriching and memorable experience. (P. Reid, Sydney, Australia, Studio Italia 2016).

Wonderful! beyond description! (Alice Chang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Studio Italia 2015)

I have attended many workshops but the one offered by Walk the Arts was by far the most in-depth and rewarding. I gained insight, clarity and affirmation that I am on the right path. And it was fun … a lively, harmonious cultural experience. (C. Mabb, London, Canada, Atelier Provence 2016)

The immediacy of painting in plein air in Provence, easel in hand, and the expansive views of lavender and wheat fields vividly evokes the impressionist and modern painters. This is an experience I shared with my husband and one I will cherish. (B. Cohen, Ottawa, Canada, Atelier Provence & Barcelona 2016)

The universe brought me to you and for this I am very grateful. A good teacher is a rare and special treat and should be celebrated…thank you for sharing your light with me…and thank you for all my fellow students who also enriched my soul. (E. Léger, OSA, Ottawa, 2016)

I cannot thank you enough for making my first trip to Italy so wonderful.  I’m saying I will come back, but I wonder if my pleasure was in Italy or the wonderful people I lived with for 11 days! Thank you for your patience and caring attitudes!  You are a wonderful couple and you shared so much of each other to make us creative, comfortable, well fed and happy. (B. Rea, Dallas, U.S.A. Studio Italia 2015)

Thank you so much for the past ten days of Studio Italia. I appreciate all the effort both of you took to make us feel comfortable yet push us out of our comfort zone. I learned so much about art history, painting, life and love… Thanks for being honest, though encouraging, for the wonderful food and wise words. (E. Chan, Singapore, Studio Italia 2015)

The essence of Studio Italia is Yves and Monica and their innate ability to inspire and involve the group attending! The location is wonderful, how could it not be in beautiful Tuscany which we zoomed around in and painted. The opportunity to learn a little of, and appreciate, art history and then to view for ourselves with Yves an experience not to be missed. We all seemed to want to “free up” or “loosen up”; we all certainly achieved our goals, whilst having a stimulating and very enjoyable time. I “will be back!… I had a ball! (H. Wadrop, North Yelta, Australia, Studio Italia 2015)

We had such a great time and learned so much… Thanks for a terrific workshop and superb food! (A. Koukari, Kambah, Australia, Studio Italia 2015)

This was a unique life\\Art style changing workshop experience. I was constantly buoyed with reinforcement, yet constantly, in a kind but constructively critical style, made aware of the huge learning curve and expectations that were daily set for me. Thanks for a marvellous leap. (E. Wilson, London, Canada, Studio Italia 2014)

As a beginner painter, the stakes were high. The venue, the menu and the touring were equally important to me and they did not disappoint. Every day and throughout each day, I felt immersed in art and an Italian adventure. As a “foodie”, I was delighted with the thoughtfully planned gourmet menu. Our hosts, Yves and Mónica are delightful and are positively charged and open-minded. As for the whole experience, it was enriching on many levels. It was lovely meeting our group from abroad. It was a life learning experience for me. (K. Dempsey, London, Canada, Studio Italia 2014)

The whole experience was totally enriching — emotionally, intellectually and visually. The rich mix of painting with Yves’s instructions, his lectures on art history and theory and the wonderful visual sensations of hilltop towns. Monica’s food was “gourmety plus”. The whole workshop will remain a peak experience in my life. (B. Cail, Sydney, Australia, Studio Italia 2013).

One of the best holidays and learning experiences I have had in my life. A thought-provoking, reflective, and inspirational short time that I would dearly love to repeat. (S. Scanlan, Sydney, Australia, Studio Italia 2013)

I recommend Studio Italia to every artist, painter, hobbyists, historian, and art enthusiast. I have returned from this magnificent experience a different artist. Yves has inspired my creativity and extended my knowledge, way beyond my expectations. I also feel much less anxiety about my art, I am somewhat free of too much self-judgment, and this is an enormous relief. Yves and Monica are passionate about their business and have honed this workshop over fifteen years into the smoothest and tightest run ship, between painting, lectures in French and English, and curated museum tours everything flows along magically…The food is a culinary delight…The friendships formed will last a lifetime. (L. Prussing, Port Macquarie, Australia, Studio Italia 2014)

There are not enough words to describe the experience, in Studio Italia, The combination of lectures in art history, tours in museums and medieval cities as well as plein-air painting the scenic vistas in Tuscany has for ever changed mannerism, train of thought, and the way I paint. For me it was the ideal combination of vacation and painting. One must not forget the gourmet meals and wine, after a long day under the Tuscan sun.!!!! Thank You Walk the Arts. (G. Priniotakis, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Canada, Studio Italia 2014)

For a novice in painting as me, Studio Italia was a real “parenthèse enchantée”, plenty of painting, great feelings, marvellous landscapes, delicious and laughing diners and above all so sweet people. Thanks to the ‘dream team! I’ll never forget! (F. Jacques, Metz, France, Studio Italia 2014)

A really memorable experience and delightful to recall. It offered so much more than my expectations! New creative experiences, wonderful meals, so much sharing, interesting excursions, a pervasive atmosphere of fun and fulfilment, an environment that encouraged creativity and insightfulness. (T. Burns, Sydney, Australia, Studio Italia October 2013).

Every day opened my heart and soul to a new and innovative art experience. The country environment added to the Italian experience provided by our hosts, the locations for plein air were endless, the instruction encouraged us to be free and express our true selves and the lectures were inspiring. (N. Hinshaw, Stonington, CT, U.S.A. Studio Italia 2013).

I came to Italy from Australia to paint — with a few tubes of paint and mixed expectations. I spent 10 magic days in the heart of Tuscany and couldn’t recommend the experience highly enough. Not only was the tuition excellent, but the food and wine we were served each day were sublime. Our afternoon explorations to hill towns to both draw and sip ‘prosecco’ and our full-day trips to Florence and Assisi enhanced our artistic experience. (P. Wise, Sydney, Australia, Studio Italia 2013)

Our second time with you both and again thank you both for a great learning and travelling experience filled with fun, drink, fantastic food, travel, friendship and very wise counsel and advice. Thank you very much! (B. and M. Cohen, Ottawa, Canada, Atelier Provence 2014)

Painting workshops are easy to find on the Internet. However, thrifty artists must ask the big question: Which ones are worth the investment of time, effort and money? Based on my recent experience in a ten-day workshop in Tuscany, I can heartily endorse Studio Italia, led by Prof. Yves M. Larocque and Monica Marquez, his able partner. (M. Hall, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2012 & 2011)

Memories of the time I spent in Tuscany with you and the other artists brightened up my days. My friends and my husband (who is my sternest critic) love my new-found confidence and style of painting. Thank you so much again for a fabulous 10 days. (S. Brough, Adelaide, Australia, Studio Italia 2011)

Thank you Yves for the great Uffizi Tour! For me, it was a great review of Renaissance Art and having had the opportunity to see the actual Art in front of my bare eyes along with your in-depth analysis made for a remarkable and unforgettable experience. I will cherish these memories, always. (J. Wong, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2013).

I am returning because of the excellence in the teaching of art history combined with actual painting lessons, the itinerary, the tours and the food. The whole experience is based on the culture of the country one stays in and Yves and Monica make the most of it. (B. Powell, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2011 & 2001)

I learned to be bold with colour and to have an ordered palate. Thanks for the drives around the many little cities and arranging for us to join in on a town celebration. Thanks for cooking the imaginative tasty meals that I looked forward to each day. I will ever remember these experiences. (E. Weber, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2011).

I really enjoyed the workshop, learned more about painting than I expected. The company was great. The setting is great — lots or room to mill about, paint, walk, swim… (P. Dolan, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2011)

The ambiance, the surroundings, the food, the artistic immersion, it was a worthwhile experience… (E. Medaglia, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2010)

Yves, you have a gleaming outlook on life and exude a passion for everything you teach!  I enjoyed both your company and your instructions.  It takes a gifted teacher to recognize the individual need of each student and to find insight to help them grow spiritually and artistically, and all that with a dash of humour! We discovered something new about ourselves.  Bravo!  I encourage Wal the Arts (icscis) to continue in its philosophy’s and teachings.  I hope to join you again in another place for a new adventure. (T. Legault, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Italia 2007)

‘Yves is a teacher who knows how to get the potential of his students. He makes us dive in the depth of who we are’ (Le Droit, Feb. 26, 1999)


Now, Atelier Provence – Art Tour Barcelona

This was a dream come true. Thank you both so much for things too numerous to list. This trip exceeded my wildness expectations. I grew as an artist and a person. The villa in Provence was wonderful beyond words. The painting locations were spectacular. The itinerary and hotel in Barcelona were excellent. There were so many fun, meaningful and memorable moments.  Our dinners, wonderful food, drink, and conversation. I could go on for pages…(T. Moe, Minnesota, U.S. Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2023)

Atelier Provence and Barcelona was an intense art experience for me; I learned more in the seven days I painted under the watchful eye of Prof. Yves Larocque than I did in the last five years. Yves taught me to question my place in this art world and to think deeply about my art. He did not spoon-feed me, but he wanted to bring out the best in me by challenging me to think outside the box. We painted intensely from the moment we landed at our lodge in Provence. When we sat down to dinner each day at 8:00 pm, just as the sun was setting with food cooked for us by Mónica Márquez, the evening was filled with not only the sights, smells and wafts of delicious food and many bottles of wine; it was filled with animated conversations on philosophy, art and life. I found that Yves was a wealth of knowledge who willingly shared much more than I expected to learn in this workshop. In Barcelona, we visited major art museums and Gaudí’s sites. Yves summarized each visit with a lecture which gave us a lot of food for thought. I would highly recommend this workshop to novice and pros alike. (H. Paul, Dayton, US, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2022)

The workshop was excellent. It was a true Provence experience, starting with plein air painting in lavender fields, Ocre-Colorado Mountain, Notre Dame de Lure,…, lessons at the beautiful house where we stayed near Banon, fantastic dinners at the house terrace surrounded by interesting and very friendly workshop organizers and other participants while watching the beautiful sunsets. It was amazing!! The second part of the workshop was great as well. Visiting Barcelona and enjoying art history tours was well organized and interesting as well. Many thanks to Mónica and Yves!  (V. Visnjevac, Toronto, Canada, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2022 )

I’ve learned a lot from Yves – maybe not much about the technique/mechanics of painting but how to look at art and see things differently which is still a skill that I’m working on. I found Yves encouraging, enthusiastic and impressive in his ability to facilitate rather than dictate. Plein Air classes were particularly inspiring. Mónica’s keen interest in our development, her knowledge and feedback was also much appreciated, not to mention her amazing organizational skills and superb cooking! It was one pleasurable workshop in every aspect of it and I would not hesitate to recommend it to my friends and attend it in the future. (M. Djordjevic, Toronto, Canada, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2022)

If you are looking to be inspired and challenged as well as seen and embraced as an individual you can’t do any better than Yves’ and Monica’s Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour. The energy they brought to each day and each person was truly awesome. There were participants of all skill levels and experience but Yves’ ability to understand and respond to each of us individually was exceptional. The combination of the art workshop with the art history tour created a unique learning experience. I can’t believe how much we did over the course of the 11 days and I never felt like I was pushed or that it was too much. The food and accommodations were outstanding. Dinner always gave us a chance to have lively conversation and bonhomie; sharing moments of the day and getting to know each other better. I left feeling energized and excited about continuing my art practice knowing I was given the tools and support I will be able to use and build upon.  (E. Bartlett, Boston, US, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2019)

This was my 4th art adventure with Walk the Arts and, like all its other offerings, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour lived up to the highest expectations. Yves and Monica are true professionals in organizing art trips that combine learning, exploration and fun. Painting the lavender fields, the ochre cliffs and Mont Sainte Victoire in Provence transported us to the time, light and landscape that inspired iconic painters like Cezanne. Yves communicated his profound understanding and passion for art through his plein air and studio instruction sessions. Evenings offered al fresco gourmet dining, feasting on local delights exquisitely prepared by Monica – all accompanied by ample fine local wines and an abundance of stimulating conversations. Barcelona transported us to the world of Gaudi, Picasso and Miro and an appreciation of their context and inspiration. Yves and Monica took care of every detail to ensure that we were free to explore and enjoy this value-packed art experience. A million thanks for the memories I will always treasure. (C. Ouseley, Ottawa, ON, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2019)

Atelier Provence & Barcelona Art Tour surpassed my expectations! Twelve days of engaging lectures and instruction from an experienced artist and professor, painting & visiting beautiful sites, museums, great food & wine, conversation and the camaraderie of other like- minded people! (C. Arutian, Los Angeles, US, Atelier Provence and Barcelona Art Tour 2019)

If you want an intense, fun and multicultural art experience this is the one. Walk the Arts high energy team made this workshop a rewarding and unforgettable experience. (R. Desrosiers, Kingston, Canada, Atelier Provence& Barcelona 2018)

What a fabulous experience! I learnt a lot, met great people, saw wonderful places. Thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to doing another one in a not too distant future. (S. Paine, Christchurch, New Zealand, Atelier Provence& Barcelona 2018)

Thank you Walk the Arts for another great art adventure that was very exciting and fulfilling in so many ways. I highly recommend it. (S. Patry, Kingston, Canada, Atelier Provence& Barcelona 2018)

This workshop exceeded my expectations in every way. The locations in which we painted were outstanding and well sourced. The accommodation was excellent. The food was beyond outstanding. Mónica is a genius in the kitchen and it was such a pleasure to taste locally sourced produce. The tuition was far more professional, and accurate than I had imagined. Yves is an exceptionally passionate and informed teacher and his experience is invaluable. His lectures were a wonderful treat and I looked forward to those each day with genuine delight and enthusiasm. Without a doubt, the workshop has inspired me and given me both the confidence and strength to develop my own painting practice and for that I am truly grateful. This was indeed an experience of a lifetime and I loved every moment. (A. Knaggs, N.S.W., Australia, Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2017).

I have fond memories of our adventures, painting and the wonderful people I met. Monica, I’m still dreaming of the delicious meals you prepared…Yves, you have so much passion and are so encouraging and I really appreciated your critique and suggestions. I plan to move forward and challenge myself to paint beyond “pretty pictures”… (H. Dubiner, Atlanta, U.S.A., Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2017)

This was a wonderful program, a great adventure, an opportunity to paint in Provence in serene and charming surroundings, and very nicely executed. The instruction was excellent, the food was divine, and the itinerary was fast paced, but very satisfying. The accommodations were just right for the price. I definitely recommend this for artists of all levels who want to paint in Provence with fellow artists. Our group was amiable and we had a lot of fun. Painting lavender was a dream come true. (A. Gorton, N.S.W., AU, Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2017)

I have attended many workshops but the one offered by Walk the Arts was by far the most in-depth and rewarding. I gained insight, clarity and affirmation that I am on the right path. And it was fun … a lively, harmonious cultural experience. (C. Mabb, London, Canada, Atelier Provence 2016)

The immediacy of painting in plein air in Provence, easel in hand, and the expansive views of lavender and wheat fields vividly evokes the impressionist and modern painters. This is an experience I shared with my husband and one I will cherish. (B. Cohen, Ottawa, Canada, Atelier Provence & Barcelona 2016)

I participated in both Studio Italia and Atelier Provence. These workshops are the best thing I have ever done for my career as a professional artist . (L. Prussing, Port Mcquarie, Australia, Studio Italia 2014 & Atelier Provence & Barcelona 2015)

Mónica and Yves, I am becoming seriously addicted to these workshops — and the art tour of Barcelona was icing on the cake! The two of you work tirelessly and seamlessly together to create an experience that is all at the same time demanding, challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, and great fun! I believe I learned a lot and took a positive step forward in my art. Bravo and thank you! (H. Gasewicz, Ottawa, Canada, Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2015)

Walk the Arts workshops are a re-awaking of creativity and appreciation of art as well as lessons on how to live life to its fullest. (B. Horne, Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2015)

Thank you for your guidance, lively teaching, beautiful food and warm support. (P. Evers, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2012)

Thank you for opening my mind to the world of art and further possibilities to extend myself. (M.L. Egar, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2012)

I hope life is starting to settle down for you after our wonderful time together in Provence…what an experience! Thank you both! Times like these just can’t be put in words adequately for me as I feel so privileged to be part of this experience. (L. Bromilow, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2011)

Another workshop has passed! Thank you so much for sharing your passion for art with me again. I will go forward from here. I know. (S. Tilley, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2012)

I am writing to thank you both so much for the wonderful experience of Provence — life, laughter, lavender; fabulous art, friendships, food, fun & Yves with his inspiration!So many villages & beautiful fields & skies & mountains & sunsets, and yes, even nights!!  Many, many thanks to you both for such a fantastic & fabulous week.  But whilst my painting doesn’t yet reflect where my heart would like to take it, I can only keep working on this & becoming braver & letting go…  (L. Lillecrapp, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2011)

Some of us like to stand out from the crowd. Thanks for helping us learn to think. (K. Mayes, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2012)

Thank you for your teaching, encouraging words, new insights… I look forward to a new direction in art. (L. Hiesley, Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2012)

On New York Art Trip

This was the first time I have gone on a group tour of any kind. It was a great experience from start to finish. It was extremely well organized and always on schedule. The bus was comfortable and Yves gave a few talks on the way down and back which made the trip go faster. The hotel location was wonderful with an easy walk to Times Square. We packed a lot into four days! The MoMA was my favourite museum and I could have spent a full day there. We choose to spend a full day at the Met the following day. The Nick Cave exhibit at the Guggenheim was the icing on the cake. And, a walk in Central Park was a great way to bid adieu to NYC. Yves and Monica put together a great itinerary and we’re charming and attentive hosts. I can see why there were many returning participants. I came back feeling very motivated and excited about art. Thank you Yves and Monica! (S. Rosidi, Ottawa, ON, New York Trip 2023)

It was my first trip to New York with Walk The Arts, and it was fantastic. Time in the bus was filled with a couple of short lectures and our days in New York were spend on visiting Museums and galleries. I was hungry for the art, and I attended all visits. Tired at the end of each day but very happy.. Thank you Monica and Yves. It was amazing and I am going to New York next year. (M. Stawicki, Mississauga, ON, New York Trip 2023)

I always take great pleasure in taking part in this artistic adventure in New York City. The organization, before and during the stay is exemplary, the location of the hotel exceptional and above all, the availability and expertise of Yves and Monica are flawless. As an artist, this resourcing “in the Big Apple” allows me to stay abreast of advances in contemporary art. I just love this trip and I’m already looking forward to renew the experience in 2024. Thanks for everything!  (S. Michaud, Montreal, QC, New York Trip 2023)

This is my second time participating in the New York Art trip and both trips have been outstanding. The organizers, Yves and Monika, are welcoming and resourceful. Every detail of the trip from the transportation, lodging and museums is well organized and suited to anyone who wants either a step by step tour or more fluid and individualistic trip. I highly recommend Walk the Arts New York art trip!! (M. McGrath, Ottawa, New York Trip 2023)

What an amazing trip! It was my first time with this tour group and I had a wonderful time . I was able to see what museums I wanted. If I wanted to venture off on my own it was no problem. I took in a, Off-Broadway show and ate some amazing meals, some from food carts on the street. I would highly recommend this this trip to anyone who is on their own, a couple/group – it is perfect. Yves and Monica were friendly, warm and made everyone feel included. 100/100.  (S. Jasiak, Ottawa, ON, New York Art Trip 2023)

Always exciting visits, good company, Walk the Arts staff is very dedicated to their customers and always ready to accommodate when ever possible. To have the opportunity to walk part of the museum (MET) with Yves was a treat! such important knowledge sharing experience ( i wouldn’t see this happening with the whole group but in small group it was perfect). It will not be my last trip with Walk the Arts. (S. Beaudet, Nicolet, QC, New York Trip 2023)

Walk the Arts was an excellent way to travel and visit art museums in NYC. It was well organized, informative and lots of fun. (D. Sokolsky, Kingston, ON, New York Trip 2023)

This trip was mindblowing, especially as it was my first visit to NYC and seeing its wonderful architecture, Broadway show, and the incredible range of museums was a truly wonderful experience. (S. Bailey, Kingston, ON, New York Trip 2023)

This art trip is excellent. This was my second trip and I will be going again — and that tells the whole story. Walk the is the best! (E. Roberts, Prescott, ON, New York Art Trip 2019)

This is a wonderful way for a concentrated taste of art in New York, presented by enthusiastic and knowledgeable people. And the other guests were lovely, too. (L. Bennett, Ottawa, New York Art Trip 2019)

Since 2007 I have participated many times in New York Art Trip; I have always loved it. A very well-organized tour visiting the most important museums and galleries with wonderful people all enjoying the same passion for art and architecture. (P. Clarkson, New York Art Trip 2019)

I’ve done the NY art trip five times and look forward to more. (R. Gougeon, Ottawa, New York Art Trip 2019)

Yves and Monica were perfect hosts on this inspiring trip. Being immersed in art with enough time to catch a Broadway show each evening met my expectations. My view of art has been changed for the better and I am eager to learn more so another trip will be planned in the near future. (J. Smoley, Winnipeg)

It was my third participation in New York Art Trip, each trip ended up being an excellent learning opportunity and a great source of inspiration. (D. Sayeau, Ottawa, New York Trip 2018)

Thank you for a very enjoyable and educational art tour. The experience was incredible and has provoked me into rethinking “that” Marcel Duchamp. The tour was my road to Damascus and this doubting Thomas might yet become a disciple. It was truly a pleasure to meet you both and the other members of the art community. (C. Ouseley, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016)

The NY trip was a wonderful experience for me. Seeing art works from the past and the present gave me a new outlook on possibilities with my own work. The bus, hotel and arranged gallery stops were great. I felt very safe, comfortable and met a lot of interesting people. Yves was so informative and enthusiastic as a guide. I felt very welcomed and plan to go on this journey in the future. (J. Barr, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016)

My first experience with Walk the Arts. I would do it again. So much to see and do with people who share the same interest. Merci. (H. Ethier, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016).

I’m not an artist but Yves’s commentaries on the bus helped me view the different aspects of art with a new appreciation. Thank you. (L. Spearman, Ottawa, Ontario)

 The New York trip is a must for any serious art student who wants to experience what the world’s art crucible has to offer. It wets the appetite and yearning to see and experience more and perhaps, perhaps, for some of us, it will ignite a passion and suggest paths to explore to go beyond. (L. Vadeboncoeur, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016)

My first time to the big museums — I loved having the added company as well as Yves’s expertise on my initial visit. Also that when I come another year, I will be more familiar with the museums but there will be new shows. Absolutely met my needs and gave me a chance to see a whole new part of NYC that I had not seen. (E. Rajamadan, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016)

This was my husband’s first time in New York and my third. I saw so much I had never previously seen. My husband was thrilled with the architectural beauty, the museums, the vibrancy of the city. We both loved every minute of our trip! Thank you so much for all the detailed coordination and the generosity of sharing your knowledge. (P. May Mc Millan and N. Dupuis, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016)

This was my fourth time in New York with Walk the Arts. Great value for money and total immersion in the world of contemporary art. (R. Gougeon, Ottawa, New York Trip 2016)

This is an excellent trip for the experienced artist or the inexperienced “art lover”. Very organized with a plethora of venues on the agenda but then it’s up to you, the participant, to choose your own options for the day/evening. Monica and Yves are excellent hosts and everyone on this trip was delightful, helpful and really wanted to groove on the vibrant New York art scene. Thank you for a great trip. (E. Roberts, Ottawa, New York Trip 2015)

This trip is well organized and well worth it. So much to see and learn in New York City! (H. Sutcliffe, Ottawa, New York Trip 2015)

This is the third trip to New York with Yves and Monica. The logistics of the trip were very well planned and executed. There were no delays and the hotel was located near all the central attractions. Easy walking distance to restaurants. Yves lessons on art history was informative as always and broadened my historical knowledge of how art throughout the ages has developed and influenced (P. Clarkson, Ottawa, New York Trip 2015)

I would do this trip again in a nanosecond. I truly enjoyed the museums and galleries. The experience of seeing new art, the opportunity of meeting with some artists to discuss their creations was awesome. I’m just sorry we did not have more time to discover more. (New York Trip 2015)

First time on the trip. We really enjoyed our visits to the galleries and exhibitions highlighted on the itinerary. It was truly inspiring to be able to study so many great works by important artists. We also loved visiting the Chelsea galleries and that these were in walking distance to the hotel. (R. Sutcliffe, Ottawa, New York Trip 2015)

This trip was very well organized, and I had a great time. The tone was informative but relaxed and I liked that we could participate in events or opt out with no pressure. Even the coach was nicer than expected, much nicer than a regular greyhound bus (it even had power outlets) and we breezed through customs. The hotel rooms were small, but this was expected, and the hotel was centrally located and provided an excellent breakfast. There is so much to see, I would consider doing it again and would recommend Walk the Arts to anyone interested in art and New York City. (K. Bond, Ottawa, New York Trip 2017)

If you love the arts you will love this trip…bring your walking shoes!  (J. Vandromme, Kingston, New York Trip 2017)

Yves and Monica work hard to make an entertaining and educational experience effortless. Excellent value for money! This was our third time and not our last. (S. and R. Gougeon, Ottawa, Canada, New York Art Trip 2014)

This was my third time going with Walkthearts and I really enjoyed the hosts and the planning was superb. (M. A. Varley, Ottawa, Canada, New York Art Trip 2014)

Thanks, we had fun and learned a lot (N. Akman and D. Emmens, Ottawa, Canada, New York Art Trip 2014)

Thank you for the marvellous experience that you made possible for me with the New York tour.  The pre-arrangements, the hotel, the schedule and the actual visits were all excellent.   I appreciated, learned and stretched my mind… My mind is filled with wonderful images and happy memories.  (Valerie Knowles, Ottawa, Canada, New York Art Trip 2013)

On Studio Colombia ART & EAT

Walk the Arts provided us all with a wonderful and memorable set of experiences – everything one could want on an artistic, and cultural jaunt down the northern coast of Colombia!!!   Yves provided animated and useful instruction on learning perspective in drawing, art history (and life in general!).   Monica provided opportunities for us to learn about Colombian culture, and cuisine, from street food in Puerto Columbia and Cartagena to cooking demonstrations in a hotel and private home (complete with delicious dinners to follow).  And then there were the delightful participants, the palm trees, the beach, the nice hotels, the surprise boat ride to the market, the toucans, parrots…   We highly recommend this tour.  (P. Hobson-Underwood and D. Underwood, Victoria B.C., Studio Colombia Art & Eat 2019)

If you’re looking for an authentic experience of Colombian culture and food, look no further. As a non-artist, the draw for me was the varied and interesting itinerary — many off the beaten track of usual tourist sites. The diverse culinary and cultural experiences made it perfect! Monica and Yves are knowledgeable, passionate and delightful to be around. I can’t imagine experiencing all that I did without them at the helm. (R. Gallo, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Colombia Art & Eat 2019)

I came back amazed with the country and the art (food and drawing). I would do it all over again but stay longer; I enjoyed it that much. (A. St-Louis, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Colombia Art & Eat 2019)

Studio Colombia was a very fulfilling experience. Not only did I come back with a great appreciation for the country and its culture but I also found the other workshop participants to be quite interesting. There was never a dull moment during Studio Colombia. I would recommend it to whoever is thinking of joining the next studio in this fascinating country. (D. Lamontagne, Ottawa, Canada, Studio Colombia 2013)

From non-artists and accompanying partners who have attended our painting workshops

As a husband accompanying my artist wife, I was very impressed with the varied locales of the entire region to which the artists were exposed, the personal attention and guidance provided to each artist by Yves, as well as the Critique exercise at the end of the workshop. The museum itinerary in Aix and Barcelona was excellent. This sublime adventure was, of course, topped off by the excellent cuisine, and caring attention to participants’ personal needs by Monica. (R. Haney, Atelier Provence and Barcelona 2015)

The location is incredibly beautiful and full of charm and history. Although I did not paint, the lectures enlightened my understanding and I am looking forward to applying some of the learned concepts on my writing. And let me say that the food was superb! Our meals were tasteful, colorful and abundant. Furthermore, I loved the spirit, the conversation, the humour, etc. I enjoyed myself for ten consecutive days among wine, delicious food and friends. It was an adorable experience. (T. Galofre, Bogotá, Colombia, Studio Italia 2011)

My evaluation is simple; I gave it fourteen out of ten. I am reliving the moments as I sort through our thousands of photos. For me it was the most amazing and rewarding experience. For that, I thank you both. (I. Oliver. Adelaide, Australia, Studio Italia 2009)

Thank you for a most wonderful journey! The art, the food, the company, the humour! Everything was you! (T. Pluck. Adelaide, Australia, Studio Italia 2009)

Thank you for the knowledge. I now look at paintings differently and enjoy art much more. (D. Hiesley. Adelaide, Australia, Atelier Provence 2012)

It was one of my best holidays: joy, laughter, great scenery, great food and wonderful food! (B. Davis, West Vancouver, Canada, Studio Italia 2007)

On Art History Trips… and More on New York Art Trip

I wanted to be amazed and I was. I wanted to learn art history and I did. Enjoyed every day and would repeat the experience as there is more to learn and more to appreciate and more to discover about art! (S. Beaudet, Québec, Canada, Art Trip Italy and the Venice Biennale 2017)

Educational, enjoyable and effective — excellent experience to understand and appreciate the evolution of art. Extremely worthwhile! (C. Ouseley, Ottawa, Canada, Art Trip Italy and the Venice Biennale 2017)

A wonderful way to see the beauty of art that was created by man throughout history — and the delightful addition of visiting a beautiful part of our world. (B. Gray, Ottawa, Canada, Art Trip Italy and the Venice Biennale 2017)

 Just a note to thank you for a fantastic trip. We both enjoyed it immensely. Your knowledge of the art and cultures of France and Italy (not to mention the transportation systems, language, etc.) added tremendously to the success of the trip. We learned about places and things we could never have found out for ourselves. On our own we would have been wandering aimlessly, missing many of the highlights (L.S. Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Art Trip Italy and France 1999)

On our live online art classes

Wow!!I Having attended tonight’s class, I feel so relieved and liberated to not be tied to tradition. Hearing what and how the artists in the class have created their art was so inspiring. I  do not have to stick with those damn paint brushes, pens and pencils!! I can create and express myself with other things! Now I have to do it! Thanks for being an amazing facilitator/guide/stimulator/pusher! (J. Mann, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2022)

This online painting course has been so amazing,I feel I have improved above all my expectations. It has been stimulating, inspiring, educational and above all exciting and fun! Thank you for all the time and energy you invest in all your students, for challenging us to extend ourselves and become better and more professional artists. (D. Lombard, Sydney, Australia, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Wow Yves you are ever-evolving. This last term was excellent and you can only make it better. I only hope you can now relax at least a little bit. I am interested in fall sign up so keep me posted. I find the class a very important push for me with goals and incentives, any the teaching elements always stimulating. (G. Giuliani, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Thank you for the energy you put into the class.  At the beginning, I didn’t think you could keep up with checking in with each student as we painted – but I had greatly underestimated your stamina and enthusiasm!  I thank you for being a great teacher and for the tremendous progress I made during the winter session.  Thank you too for helping us make the professional steps of thinking about what we were painting, writing our artistic statement, and for putting together the fabulous online gallery and final crit. I greatly enjoyed the class and already miss not seeing you and my classmates on Tuesdays. (J. Takahashi, Santa Fe, NM, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Thank you for another great session. It was good to get back into painting and feel your motivation. (L. Rivet, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Tu es un des prof le plus généreux et attentif que je connaisse. Ce fut un vrai plaisir de te rencontrer sur Zoom et j’envisage avec plaisir l’occasion de te rencontrer en personne, soit dans la Gatineau et/ ou en Italie! J’ai aimé ton sens critique qui ne passe pas par quatre chemins pour offrir une opinion. Merci de ta franchise, et pour ton érudition que tu as partagé avec nous. (L. Mantha, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Thank you Yves for your guidance and your dedication.(P. Lanoix, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

We are very grateful Yves for your enthusiastic teachings, your positivity and insights from your international artistic vision. (C. Poirier, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Thank you for another great session and crit. (JD Powell, Ottawa, Canada, Rendering the Invisible Visible, 2021)

Yves opens my mind, pushes me out of my comfort zone, challenges me, he makes us suffer a little bit, and he will make you laugh. The result is you will learn something new and you will be stretched to a new level in your art world. It’s a privilege to be able to study under him with the convenience of zoom class. (L. Prussing, Port Mquarie, Australia, Understanding Perspective, 2020)

I participated in Walk The Arts “Understanding Perspective” nine-week course during the time when we were all locked down in various countries due to COVID-19.  From his studio in Quebec, Yves applied an enormous amount of practical thought and lessons into how it may be possible to teach a somewhat technical course from a distance. With his usual passionate and philosophical approach, Yves engaged us, breaking down to simplify each step of the way. His follow-up from lessons and instructions for corrections were a valuable component.  A worthwhile and ‘eye opening’ course. (P. Reid, Melbourne, Australia, 2020)

Enjoyed the class, informative and useful for future projects. (J. Guy, Cupertino, CA, Understanding Perspective, 2020)

I am feeling back to my old self and want to say thank you for a wonderfully interesting course.  Have always enjoyed Yves classes.  Perspective was hard for me to understand until Yves patient tutoring. (M. Phelan, Windsor, ON, Understanding Perspective, 2020)

It was so good to do the course with you Yves, made the lockdown pass so quickly and has improved my drawing skills and appreciation of our world, thank you. (D, Lombard, NSW, Australia, Understanding Perspective, 2020)



Since 1997 Walk the Arts (icscis inc.) has been offering top quality painting workshops, art classes, and art history tours in Italy, France, Colombia, Spain, and the United States.

© 2021 Walk the Arts

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Prof. Yves M. Larocque in front of a view of the Val d'Orcia getting ready for an art class in Italy

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