About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

The team, Tod Ramos and Kate Lovegrove have been sharing their lives for more than 20 years, in this time they have united their expert fields of fine art to hone an unbeatable art school.  Art is in their DNA which has been supported by two very successful professional art careers.

“The landscape course at Academy Studios Abroad was a life changing event. Studying and staying with Tod and Kate combines excellent, technically grounded – yet uplifting and inspirational – tutelage with a heady mixture of delightful food and delicious conversation in a truly beautiful environment. I learnt more about painting in oils in 10 days than I had in 7 years at 3 different art schools. I will be back for more!”

Jonny, Landscape Course

Tod Ramos

“The Racehorse in 20th Century Art” by Claude Berry described Tod as “the convivial extrovert”, whilst Ken Howard RA describes him as “the most naturally talented painter I’ve ever met”. Attending The Royal Academy Schools as a postgraduate student, under the tutelage of Ruskin Spear, Robert Buhler and Leonard McComb, Tod is an eminent member of an artistic dynasty: generations on both sides of his family have distinguished themselves in the arts. Raised in an artistic environment, he is fortunate to have been introduced to most of the major artists of the British art scene, many of whom he counts among his friends.

He has taught and lectured on art at every level. As he is able to communicate his subject simply and clearly he has been called upon to participate in several television productions dedicated to the arts, most recently “Simon Schama’s “ The Power of Art” and “Civilizations”. As a master of all techniques in fine art he has a facility for conveying this knowledge with a rare ability to teach others clearly and without mystery so that they are able to develop their fundamental knowledge of painting techniques.

Believing that the foundation of all good painting, including contemporary art, is in classical techniques, Tod has a thorough knowledge of ancient and modern processes and history of art. Past students have distinguished themselves in a wide variety of fields from realism to apocalyptic modernism!

He has worked on several publications including “The Art of Painting and Drawing”, with the late Stan Smith. He has written on the etching technique of his Grandfather, Sir Henry Rushbury (“Henry Rushbury, Prints; Catalogue Raisonné” Royal Academy Publications).

As a painter, he has a worldwide reputation and has exhibited on every continent. His source is life around him, his subjects are drawn directly from it.

Kate Lovegrove

Kate Lovegrove, as Catherine Lovegrove Murals, has a worldwide reputation of a long-established mural studio. Her portfolio of work includes commissions from Bridget Riley, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Royal Automobile Club, and Bridgeman Library amongst many others. She has executed extraordinary trompe l’oeils for commercial and private clients in places such as Hong Kong, New York, Colorado, Kuwait, Japan and Azerbaijan as well as numerous projects closer to home. Her website illustrates the scope and size of her oeuvre.

The subjects that they encompass can be defined as classical and over the top, people and contemporary, Art Deco, 1930s style and trompe loeil. Evidence of her love of trompe l’oeil can be seen in parts of the house and garden in Aubais.

Kate is represented as one of 39,000 artists who feature in the UK’s national collection. She is considered an expert in the marouflage technique and has invented a unique method of trompe l’oeil.

Robert Carter described Kate:

“Kate is the most talented artist – this is of course completely obvious from looking at her work – but what everyone should know is that she is imaginative, sensitive, inspirational, dedicated and above all FANTASTIC FUN to work with.”

Artists have always taken a great interest in food; it is rare to find an artist who cannot cook. Kate is no exception. Having attended the Cordon Bleu Cookery School, entertaining and cooking have always been part of life for Kate – fortunately both she and Tod share in this.

Courses 2019

The Lifesaver Course

Our very popular course of drawing and painting the model from life, in movement and repose.

Portrait Painting Course

Painting portraits from life. Every technique of portrait painting and drawing from the model taught in detail.

Landscape Course

An opportunity to be tutored to paint and draw plein air in our exquisite region.

Generation Art

A five day course for children and parents to learn to draw and paint in an artists studio.

"Tod Ramos makes painting fun, exciting and rewarding.

He is the type of teacher we all want to find. I felt encouraged but always challenged in any task he taught me. What ever level you arrive at you can guarantee you will leave more advanced. In short he makes learning seem easy and so much fun.”

Tessa Campbell Fraser, world renowned painter and sculptress

"Tod, thank you for your immense patience, inspiration, encouragement and brilliant tutoring

You have a very special ability not just in your own talent but enabling others to find theirs, a true gift. It was wonderful to see how you, while still giving us the methods, teased out each individual style and gave the room for them to expand and excel. My head and dreams have been spinning with painting ever since.... Kate, you are just amazing ... the cooking... well, all those clean plates and greedy expectant faces said it all. I have been trying to emulate some of it here but it is not quite the same. And cooking is only a small part, you are the mainstay and absolute core of all fun, producer and alchemist, making that special Academy Studios Abroad mix work. Huge huge thanks to you both.”
Jo, Lifesaver Course 2015

"A huge experience in so many ways

enormous information and practice in different art skills, wonderful accommodation and food"

Kirsten

"Challenging and fun. Great food and company. Top shelf"

Roger

"I value my time at Aubais more than I can tell you

It was a full, rich experience and Kate and Tod struck the perfect balance between hard work, rest, and nourishment; work and play! Thinking about it, what I wanted and needed was to be pushed in new directions, expanded (pried out of hard earned ruts), and that is exactly what I feel happened.

Very pleasant, comfortable, well-organised. Rigorous. Challenging. Frustrating. Rewarding."

Schellie

"The landscape course at Academy Studios Abroad was a life changing event

Studying and staying with Tod and Kate combines excellent, technically grounded - yet uplifting and inspirational - tutelage with a heady mixture of delightful food and delicious conversation in a truly beautiful environment.

I learnt more about painting in oils in 10 days than I had in 7 years at 3 different art schools. I will be back for more!"

Jonny

“Great experience with you all. Thank you for your generous and delightful hospitality.”

Charlotte

"It hasn’t just been a 'trip to do a course in the South of France' for me, it has been an utterly meaningful experience

you were so right when you said to me that you witnessed a journey …  I feel as though my eyes opened wider to take so much more in - that a thin film that was covering them, soon to be getting thicker, has dissolved!"

Michelle McCulloch, Tour de Horse Masterclass student, now well-known horse painter.

"The art course itself is superb

The art course itself is superb. The teaching is of the highest standard with each person getting their coaching and encouragement entirely individually. Having said that, Tod also managed to make us all feel very comfortable with each other, despite considerable differences in age, experience and temperament between us. I think we all benefitted hugely.On the domestic front I don't think it would be possible to outdo the wonderful Cordon Bleu cooking of Kate Lovegrove, the rooms were well provided for and the whole setting absolutely delightful. We were given the chance to see some of the local countryside, go to the art gallery in Montpellier, visit a market in Sommières and also relax at the weekend. The swimming pool on the property was a real treat.”
Claire, Lifesaver course

"In the vast studio of the painter Tod Ramos

Florian, a beautiful French saddle horse of 17 years to pose. With his brown coat and black mane, the horse is sketched on the white pages of students passionate about painting.”
La Gazette de Nîmes

"Tod is the most encouraging and illuminating teacher

He corrects and challenges one's work and inspires you to do better. I learned more in one week on his horse painting course than I could have imagined.”
Do Burgess, Masterclass student

"Tod Ramos makes painting fun, exciting and rewarding.

He is the type of teacher we all want to find. I felt encouraged but always challenged in any task he taught me. What ever level you arrive at you can guarantee you will leave more advanced. In short he makes learning seem easy and so much fun.”

Tessa Campbell Fraser, world renowned painter and sculptress

"A huge experience in so many ways

enormous information and practice in different art skills, wonderful accommodation and food"

Kirsten

"Challenging and fun. Great food and company. Top shelf"

Roger

“Great experience with you all. Thank you for your generous and delightful hospitality.”

Charlotte

"In the vast studio of the painter Tod Ramos

Florian, a beautiful French saddle horse of 17 years to pose. With his brown coat and black mane, the horse is sketched on the white pages of students passionate about painting.”
La Gazette de Nîmes

"Tod is the most encouraging and illuminating teacher

He corrects and challenges one's work and inspires you to do better. I learned more in one week on his horse painting course than I could have imagined.”
Do Burgess, Masterclass student

Residential Art Courses in France

Maison Jean, 6 Avenue Emile Leonard, Aubais, 30250, France.